The current Coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented situation, the likes of which we have never seen in our living memory. Life, as we know it has changed with the introduction of social distancing and the mandatory shutdown of a variety of ‘non-essential’ businesses. That means that your carefully thought out internet marketing strategy is likely no longer effective, and you will need to seriously reconsider how to continue to market your brand to not only survive but also to thrive.
Let’s take a look at the impact COVID-19 has had on internet marketing thus far, and the initial steps we should be taking to combat it.
1 – Should I Stop Marketing Now I Am Closed?
No. Now is not the time to pull back from internet marketing. Just because you are closed for face to face business does not mean that you should stop communicating with your audience. Is your service or product something you could deliver mail order or via a video? Can you sell a gift certificate for use after the virus situation has been resolved? If the answer is yes, start gearing your Internet marketing plan towards those changes in your business. If the answer is no, you should still be keeping in contact with your audience, letting them know that you will be back stronger than ever. Reach out and ask how they are handling the changes to their lives. Offer tips and tricks they can use at home as a temporary measure until you can resume service. For example, if you are a hairstylist, can you offer some at-home styling tutorials or tips for deep conditioning at home.
2 – Prepare For a Fluid Marketing Strategy
One of the biggest challenges in internet marketing during this pandemic is that things are changing daily. Shutdowns that were recommended for just 2 to 3 weeks are extending into 2 to 3 months in some areas, and nobody knows when we can expect a return to some semblance of normality. That means that we have to be prepared for change, and we must be ready to change the trajectory on a moment’s notice. More people are spending time online right now, which means you may see your social media reach increase, but we don’t know if the communications network could suffer, resulting in a drop in a few weeks. We need to be vigilant in studying changing trends in the market and even changing feelings in our target markets. If social listening isn’t already part of your internet marketing, then it should be now! The factors that drove your audience last month are no longer a valid indication of what they need.
3 – Show Compassion to Your Audience
Everyone is in a rough situation right now, and consumers are going to remember the brands that stood by their side in darker times. Don’t exploit the pandemic to further your own business. Don’t prey on fear to make money. The perfect example if this is that due to the lack of supplies of things like sanitizer gel, face masks, and even toilet paper, some businesses and individuals have been inflating the price if they have the items to sell. It’s not only morally wrong, but it’s incredibly short-sighted. Consumers will remember, and you will lose their respect and their business in the long run. All of us are going to struggle financially. Business owners are losing their income; individuals are taking payouts or losing their jobs entirely. Use this time to empathize with your audience. Understand their pain and send out a message of solidarity and unity.
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Maddox, Internet Marketing Consultant. bluedress INTERNET MARKETING, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online.