The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt by all businesses— large and small— around the world.
It may be obvious, but as people are advised to practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary outside trips, many businesses have experienced fewer and fewer customers inside their stores.
In fact, since the start of the pandemic, businesses have seen a drop in in-person store visits by up to 90 percent within just a month’s span.
Image Source: Wordstream
Businesses started noticing the small dips in in-store visits in late February. And by the 1st week of March, it went further down by 24 percent. And as the virus spread exponentially, scaring off people, store visits were down by 46 percent at the start of the 2nd week.
As leaders addressed their countries and the CDC issued global travel warnings, in-store visits continued down to 90% less than pre-pandemic levels. And up until the 1st week of July, businesses saw virtually no unnecessary store visits, hitting an all-time low, with most businesses forced to close their physical store.
These unexpected and stringent limitations on the foot traffic that most businesses rely upon, has also impacted the way businesses and advertisers are handling their daily operations and finding ways to keep their businesses alive.
As it’s clear that traditional brick and mortar businesses can no longer rely on foot traffic in order to make sales, they are now focusing on their online presence and digital marketing.
As a matter of fact, since the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve seen an increase in digital and online activities–mainly because the whole world is forced to stay cooped up inside their homes, and they’re looking for things to do.
Image Source: Datareportal
With this in view, lets have a look at some of the ideas that can help you counter the hit of this pandemic on your business. But first, you would like to check this video:
Best Digital Marketing Ideas That Will Save You During The Pandemic
1. Go Social
People are forced to stay inside their houses and exercise social distancing. So, in the quest to kill time, seek information, and stay connected to others, people are turning to digital contents and social media to fill the void.
As a matter of fact, latest research indicates that people are spending more time on social media. Forty percent of internet users are now spending more time on social media, with that figure reaching over 60 percent in the Philippines.
Image Source: Datareportal
So, it is time to leverage this social growth into a noticeable and positive impact on your customers and audience and keep them engaged.
However, this is not the time to be pushy and salesy. Instead, it is a great opportunity for your business and brand to just stand out during a difficult time. It is a time to show empathy for others and help out where you can.
You can either show them that your company is doing something good for the community or provide content that makes people feel good.
Show people that your business has a much bigger purpose than just making a profit. It can help win trust with your customers and employees. And when people trust your brand and your message, they’re more likely to share what you have to say with their social circle. Thus, getting publicity and taking in new customers.
For instance, you can imitate popular DJs around the world performing for fans on Facebook Live or TikTok (and go viral on TikTok). Canadian brand Lululemon, on the other hand, launched relaxing meditation sessions for their Instagram for followers.
Image Source: Lululemon Instagram
Think about what your brand and business have to offer and how you can inspire your customers and followers on social media during these trying times.
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2. Make SEO a Priority
In case you have not yet noticed, more people are flopped on their electronic gadgets and surfing the internet right now than walking the sidewalks or driving their cars.
Search traffic has significantly climbed over the past few months and will continue to do so until COVID-19 slowdowns ease. As we mentioned, most of the population is cooped up inside their homes; glued to their phones and computers looking for updates within their communities.
And any digital content right now will have a wide and available audience. So, this is not the time to be missing in action. You need to up your SEO strategies and make your way to the top of SERPs, doing what you can to keep your business moving forward, adapting to change.
So, how can you improve your ranking?
- Write and stockpile high-quality and relevant blog posts
- Conduct a local listing audit
- Target both COVID-19-related search terms and unrelated search terms
- Get featured in local media articles with links to your website
- Blogger outreach
- Pump up your website performance
- Update your already well-performing content
Relevant: Read what shape will the SEO strategies take post COVID-19 here
3. Don’t Forget Local SEO
As you move your SEO game up, don’t forget about your local SEO.
After all, the pandemic restricted everyone to their homes. And on the occasions that people do need to step out to grab household items and groceries, they also need to know if their go-to businesses are operating.
And this is why you should never forget to perk up your local SEO strategies. This way potential customers can easily find you and know whether you can provide services. You need to ensure that your customers in your region and locality can easily locate your stores online and find out your operating hours.
At a time when we are all looking for more convenience, pumping up your local SEO is a smart move. Having the opportunity to provide assistance during this trying time for families can build trust and relationships for the long term.
Perhaps the most important part of any local SEO strategy is your GMB or the Google My Business profile. Your GMB profile is the source of data for your local results listing, Google Maps listing, and Knowledge Panel results.
These listings can provide a thorough and quick snapshot of your business. It allows customers to find, assess, and engage with you directly from the results page.
Another way to boost your local SEO is through positive reviews.
During the pandemic, online reputation management is as crucial as ever. It is the perfect time to connect with your target audience. Provide a trustworthy product or service during this chaotic time. And in return, they’ll likely provide you with a nice review to give your reputation some much-needed oomph.
4. Take Advantage of Cheap Paid Ads
The latest marketing trends during this pandemic that we are seeing indicate that paid ads are cheaper than ever.
Why? Because these big ad networks make money via an auction system. And they need the SMBs to drive up the CPC (cost per click) for ads so that the bigger, billion-dollar enterprises have to spend more money on ads.
Without many SMB ads, there is less competition for inventory, and thus, the cost per click also drops.
For example, as the virus has been causing people to spend more time online, company giants like Netflix considered reducing their streaming quality.
In simpler terms, the traffic on the web is going through the roof but there are fewer advertisers. As a result, ads became cheaper. And so there’s no better time to include PPC marketing to your digital marketing checklists, allowing you to connect with customers and obtain a competitive advantage.
Image Source: Wordstream
In the last weeks of June, Google search ad impressions fell to 7 percent below average. Although this happens, especially during the holiday weeks, most advertisers didn’t expect it to be this bad.
This decrease is likely to continue until Covid-19 is under control, reducing the amount of money an advertiser pays a publisher for every ad click. This gives your business another chance to scoop up the lost market share where others may have pulled back during the pandemic.
5. Give Special Offers
During these unsure and troubling times, you have the opportunity to show your support for your customer base.
By offering special discounts and other offers. Most people at home are looking for ways to save money during this time of unrest.
It is a great way to keep your revenue flowing, while also attracting new customers.
For instance, Eric Siu decided to offer a free course that teaches people how to start a marketing agency. Normally, he would charge over $1,000 for this. But with the free course, more than 250 people have taken him up on this offer.
Not only that, but Eric also gained more social media fans and it has given him a chance to do a webinar about his services and products to a new audience of about 50,000 people.
So there, you have it.
Despite these unstable and trying times, these digital marketing ideas can help business owners keep their heads and proactively address issues. Hopefully, you have gleaned some insight into how you can apply these smart digital marketing tips during the COVID-19 pandemic and find a way to go forward, thrive and survive in this current global crisis.
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