Why digital marketing has become more important than ever amidst the coronavirus pandemic
At first, it may have seemed as if the outbreak of the coronavirus was going to bring the entire world to a screeching stop. Grocery stores had their shelves emptied, students of all ages had their classes dismissed, and many businesses, both large and small, had no choice but to close their doors as people around the world locked themselves in their homes.
However, remember that this pandemic is NOT the end of the world. Rather, it is a temporary crisis that has called for us to adapt and adjust to a new way of living for the time being. In many ways, this has involved going virtual.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to move their daily actions online. People are working from home and having virtual meetings. They are doing their shopping online. They are using social media to stay up to date with the news as well as each other’s lives. As you can see, living amidst the coronavirus crisis does not necessarily mean putting everything in your life on hold. It simply means making adjustments where needed, so that things can continue while everyone is staying safe.
If you are a business owner that has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis, do not lose hope. Instead, use your time at home to make the adjustments needed to keep your business afloat throughout the madness of the pandemic. If you did not have much of an online presence before, now is the time to establish a good one. During this time, it is more important than ever that you have a solid digital marketing strategy.
Use digital marketing to reach your audience where they are
As people stopped gathering together and going outside, many of them alternatively took their lives to the virtual world. People are now using digital technology for work, school, news and entertainment.
As a business, you have also most likely been impacted by social distancing guidelines. You can no longer rely on face-to-face interactions and events for publicity. However, being required to maintain a physical distance does not mean you will be unable to connect with your consumers. Rather, it means that you must do so digitally. Your consumers are most likely not going to come to you during this time. This means that you are going to have to adapt your strategy and reach them where they are, which is online.
The coronavirus crisis has pushed much of the world to go online, and your business must follow. People are now using their screens as their windows to the outside world. When people are scrolling through their social media feeds, they are looking to be educated, updated and even uplifted. As a business owner, you can use your social media presence to provide these things to them.
Use digital marketing to communicate any changes that you make for your business
Because we live in the digital age, in which trends and technologies are constantly changing and updating, it is important for modern business owners to be fluid. In other words, you must be able to make changes and modifications to your business as needed in order to keep up with the ever-changing times. This continues to apply now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Major changes are taking place each day, and just about everyone is staring at their screens and scrolling through social media to stay up to date.
It is likely that you have had to make some significant changes to your business. It is crucial that you communicate these changes to your audience, and using your brand’s social media platforms is an excellent way to do so. Throughout this time, be sure to post consistently on your business’ social media platforms to keep your consumers up to date with all the changes that are being made. Your audience will appreciate you keeping them informed.
Here are some examples of changes that you should communicate to your audience via your social media platforms:
Changes in hours of operations
Change, closure or reopening of shop location
Postponement or cancellation of an event
Delays in shipments of products
Products that are out-of-stock
Use digital marketing to show that you are being proactive during this time
It is during these challenging times that you have the opportunity to establish trust and loyalty between you and your consumers. You can use your social media marketing strategy to show empathy, as well as communicate the proactive measures that you are taking to help your consumers get through this crisis.
Show that you are aware of what your consumers are going through. People are experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety due to the uncertainty around them. Reassure them that you are taking the right precautions. For starters, you should use your social media platforms to communicate any sanitary measures that you are taking. This is the first step in addressing the fact that your business is doing its part in keeping others safe.
Next, you want to show your consumers that your business is proactive during this difficult time. This involves thinking about what you can do as a business to make things easier for your consumers. In other words, how can you offer your product or service virtually or while following social distancing guidelines? Furthermore, are you able to offer your product or service to those who are struggling financially at the moment? Once you have an idea of how you can safely provide your product or service during this time, you can communicate this to your consumers via your social media platforms. Not only does this show that you would like to help, but it also helps your business by allowing you to continue offering your product or service in a safe way.
How using digital marketing now will help your business in the long run
Remember that ultimately, the goal of having a social media presence for your brand should not be to make sales. Rather, your goal should be to establish and maintain long-term relationships with your consumers.
While at times it may feel as though the pandemic is going to drag on forever, eventually this whole thing is going to come to an end. Shops will be reopened, classes will resume, and people will gather together again. Slowly but surely, things will go back to normal. And when this time comes, people are going to remember how certain businesses behaved when everything was in chaos.
This is a major incentive as to why you should be utilizing your social media strategy during this time. You should be maintaining the relationships that you have with your consumers throughout the crisis. If you did not have much of an online presence before, now is the time to build one and establish those relationships. Your consumers will remember that during a time of constant stress and uncertainty, you remained connected to them via your social media presence.
Final words: be genuine, be informative, be empathetic and be proactive
If you do not already have an active social media presence for your business, now is the time to start one. If your business does already have an active social media presence, keep it up! Right now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that you maintain your connections with your consumers.
Remember that you have the means to reach your consumers where they currently are, which is online. Do exactly that. If your business does not have an online presence, now is the time to create one. Your consumers are currently online, and your business needs to join them where they are.
A very important thing to keep in mind as you plan your social media strategy during this time is to be genuine. Go ahead and promote whatever it is that your business is doing to continue providing your product or service amidst the pandemic. However, remember that this is a sensitive time for many. An overly promotional social media presence may send the wrong signals. Before posting something, consider whether it is appropriate given the current situation. Be sure that when you do post about your business, that you are posting in your consumers’ best interest. Post to show that you want to support your consumers throughout this difficult time. (For more on how to achieve a minimally promotional social media presence, read our article on the 80/20 rule of social media)
There is a load of uncertainty in the world right now, and people do not want to be left in the dark. Luckily, we are living in the digital age, and therefore we have access to technology that allows us to continue communicating with each other throughout these difficult times. Use your social media presence to keep your consumers up to date as necessary changes are being made.
Also, use your social media strategy to show your empathy during these challenging times. Show what measures your business is taking to be extra safe, and it will go to show that you are empathetic to the concerns that your consumers are most likely having regarding safety and health. This will go a long way in building trust between you and your consumers. Additionally, use your social media platforms to communicate how you are making things easier for your consumers. People will appreciate that your business was proactive during this time.
Lastly, keep in mind that the focus of your social media presence is to establish and maintain long-term relationships with your consumers. Eventually, this crisis will come to an end. Until that time comes, keep up your social media presence. Continue to keep your consumers updated about your business. Show that you understand and care about what they are dealing with. And show that you are taking proactive measures as a business. You will find that your consumers appreciate you using social media to stay connected with them, and their loyalty to your business will grow throughout this time.