Digital Marketing in the Age of COVID-19 - The Changes You Need to Make
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected about every facet of our lives.
Simple pleasures like dining out or seeing a movie are temporarily unavailable while every shopping trip demands that we be extra cautious. Those who have been infected by the novel coronavirus may experience even more changes that could stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Life does not stop during this pandemic, however. For many small business owners, completely shutting down their business is not a realistic option.
But how can you go about making a profit during this extraordinary time in history? Marketing smartly will certainly help. In this case, you need to tweak your marketing efforts with the pandemic in mind.
Listed below are some tips for how you can continue to promote your business effectively, even during this time.
Clearly Communicate Any Changes to Your Operations to Your Customers
It’s a given that the way you’re running your business now will not be completely similar to how you managed things prior to the onset of the pandemic. Your customers understand that as well.
What they may not completely understand is how exactly your operations have changed. Maybe you’ve scaled down your delivery operations because you don’t have as many drivers who can report to work. Perhaps you’ve also opted to manufacture fewer items due to a lack of workers.
Those are all understandable changes, but you still need to let your customers know about them as soon as possible so they can set their expectations. You don’t want the reputation of your brand to suffer because you neglected to update your customers about operational changes made necessary by the pandemic.
Send out emails or text messages discussing the changes to advise your customers accordingly.
Update Your Website
Have you taken the time to browse through your company website over the past few months? If you haven’t, you should set aside time for that as soon as you can.
Now that more stores are closed because of the pandemic, many customers will turn to websites to learn more about certain businesses and their respective offerings. More people will see your business’ website, so make sure that it is easy-to-navigate and presentable.
To give your potential customers additional guidance, you may also want to update your FAQs. It’s also not a bad idea to discuss how the services or products you’re offering now can be more helpful during this pandemic, and you can do that by updating the content on your website.
The website should always be treated as an important external arm by businesses of all sizes, but it matters now more than ever as more people are doing their shopping online.
Consider Adding an e-Commerce Elements to Your Business
Unsurprisingly, the e-commerce industry is doing great right now. Via Tech Crunch, Adobe reports that the e-commerce industry jumped up by about 49 percent in April relative to where it was back in early March before the government enforced shelter-in-place orders.
The biggest driver for the growth of the e-commerce industry has been grocery sales. We have observed a 110 percent spike in daily grocery sales from March to April, which is astounding but still an expected revelation.
In addition to more people having groceries delivered, the e-commerce industry also enjoyed record numbers thanks to people purchasing more electronics and books.
It’s abundantly clear that online stores are thriving at this time, and you can get in on that. If it makes sense for your business to offer an e-commerce outlet, then it’s time to make that service available.
Small business owners don’t need to put together large-scale delivery operations to support their new e-commerce offering. Even if you can only afford a few deliveries each day, that still beats having little to no business because your regular customers are hesitant to go to your store.
If you are having a hard time setting up an e-commerce store of your own, then you can also look into selling your goods with the help of some of the larger sites such as Amazon or Walmart.
Focus on Your Long-Time Customers
This is probably not going to be the ideal time for you to grow your business. Not a lot of people are currently working, and those who do have steady income may still be hesitant to spend lavishly without knowing when this whole thing will end.
Instead of trying to lure in new customers at this time, it may be more advantageous for you to focus on the customers you have already formed great partnerships with. They are the ones who know the quality of your work, and they will be more inclined to purchase your offerings.
Focusing on loyal customers may mean operating more locally, but there’s nothing wrong with that. If the best you can do for now is to offer excellent service to the residents of North County, San Diego, or the citizens of your neighborhood, that is perfectly fine.
Continue with Automated Marketing but Be More Discerning
Likely, some of your employees can’t work because of the pandemic. With fewer hands available, it becomes more important for you to properly use automation.
Sending automated messages to your customers is a good way to keep them up to date on your latest offerings. The problem with automation, though, is that it can go overboard if you’re not careful. You may already be spamming your customers unknowingly due to a fault in the automation.
Since many people have more time on their hands, they can browse their inboxes more carefully and spot those spammy emails. If they think you are sending spam emails out, you may lose their business for good.
Continuing to send emails is fine, but you must be certain they are emails your customers will appreciate. Make those emails informative and/or bundle them together with promotional offers so that your customers will have no issue with them.
Navigating this pandemic is a great challenge for all business owners, but it is not an impossible undertaking. By being more careful with how you approach marketing, your business can remain operational and even profitable during this time.