How and Why to Do Digital Marketing in the Time of COVID-19

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The new coronavirus pandemic, known as COVID-19, has seriously affected all areas of the business, leading to unforeseen delays and work interruptions. On the other hand, online business representation is still present. Via the Internet, more and more things are being done. It’s important to inform customers about changes and respond to their inquiries, which will be a lot, in a timely manner. How can digital marketing help us?

Online sales in Italy, the most affected country by the coronavirus in Europe, account for as much as +81% of sales growth. Also, sales growth in online stores is 3x higher than sales growth in regular stores. An interesting fact is that as many as 40% of all UK retail stores are considering launching online sales. A pandemic has heavily impacted business in the very short term, but there’s a lot of space to support online business in the form of digital marketing. So, let’s go back to the beginning of the story and repeat – it’s important to inform customers of changes and answer their questions as soon as possible.

#1 SEO Optimization and COVID-19

SEO optimization is a continuous process, which produces very good results in the long run. If optimization isn’t up to date, your position on search engines may decline, resulting in less visibility on the web. The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the way many businesses work and their accessibility. In order to make all relevant information available to users, it’s necessary to adjust the content of the website. 

What does that mean? Customers are plagued by many questions which they then search on the Internet. The questions usually relate to the following:

  • Does a particular business work
  • Have the working hours changed
  • Do they have any products available
  • Is delivery possible
  • Are the products safe

Your website and business need to be up-to-date. One of the things that are keeping them updated is quality hosting. Almost every web hosting service provider offers a basic MySQL database included in its plans. These plans differ from each other by features such as monitoring, performance optimization, backups, and software updating. Having a website with low traffic, a web + database MySQL hosting combo is the option that will do the job. However, data management can be sometimes critical in websites with high volume traffic, so you might need MySQL installation hosted separately to better manage the above-mentioned features.

Being up-to-date also means to provide answers to the questions asked and, for that, we recommend the following steps:

Update Your Google My Business Page

Particularly, if your business is located locally, the first step is to update your work hours, any temporary closures, and security measures taken. Google My Business also allows you to create posts that are displayed over a period of time, such as 7 days, which is an ideal way to keep customers informed of your current situation.

Update the Webpage

On your webpage, be sure to state how your business is adapting to the restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus. It would be good to create a new landing page for this purpose only, or a new category in the FAQ so that users have all the information available in one place. This step is especially important for activities that have major business constraints, such as catering. If you have changed the way of doing business, for example – you no longer serve food in a restaurant but only deliver, inform your customers and clearly state to them what safety measures (above all, hygiene measures) you’re implementing to make sure they are safe.

New SpecialAnnouncement Scheme

Google has also announced a new SpecialAnnouncement scheme for coronavirus communication. With the things listed that might be a good thing to add to your website, now might be a good time for making full SEO optimization. If you have extra free time due to imposed restrictions, do quality optimization.

#2 Facebook Advertising and COVID-19

About 30% of Facebook users are regularly getting informed on this social network regarding COVID-19, either daily or every few days. Considering that this is a large number of people all over the world, the question is: How to use this information in the best possible way for your business?

Facebook Post About Protection Measures Taken

No matter what business you’re in, especially if you’re in constant contact with customers, let your followers know what you’re doing about security. Your post may contain information about the measures you’re taking to keep your premises and products secure, as well as your approach to resolving customer inquiries during this period. For example – inform your customers about temperature checks, hand sanitizers, and the like.

Facebook Post About Business Changes

Inform followers of any changes to the business, such as:

  • Changing working hours
  • Extended delivery times
  • Order statuses
  • Delay in materials and, therefore, production
  • A decrease in business volume
  • Temporary closure

The goal of this kind of Facebook post is to inform customers in a timely manner, encourage communication, and gain additional trust. It’s a good idea to think about the questions you might be asked and prepare answers to those questions, to be as accurate and relevant as possible.

Pin to Top Important Notifications

You can pin important notifications to the top of your Facebook page for easy accessibility. Of course, our recommendation is to highlight notifications that are very important to customers, such as closing a restaurant or postponing an event and pinning it to the very top of the page. Thus, the most important information is readily available and you’ll have fewer queries and needs for customer support.

Update Delivery Speed

The epidemic also affects border closure and impedes the delivery of goods, so delays in deliveries or longer delivery times for a particular product are likely. If you have a Facebook Shop, it would be a good idea to adjust delivery speed according to the actual deadlines. This will let customers know immediately about possible delays and longer delivery times, so a good customer experience with your store will be maintained.

Facebook Apps for Automated Messages

In order to facilitate customer support and reduce the number of queries, it’s possible to use automated messaging tools. Facebook applications such as Business WhatsApp and Messenger allow you to set up automated responses and manage your feedback.

Organizing Online Workshops

In the case of postponing or canceling any planned events because of the pandemic, you may consider using alternative channels. For example, you can turn a physical workshop into an online webinar to educate users. One alternative is Facebook Live. It enables real-time video streaming directly from your smartphones.

Organize Sales Using the Facebook Shop

If your business has the ability to move sales online from classic stores, Facebook has a solution. The Facebook Shop allows businesses to turn a classic page into an online store. Users can view your product catalogue and prices, and make the purchase in a very easy way. The rules that apply to webshops also apply to the online Facebook store. It’s important that the products shown have good pictures, good descriptions, and accurate prices. If you need help with Facebook advertising in these challenging times, get help from specialized agencies.

#3 Google Ads Advertising and COVID-19

The main recommendation of the competent institutions in the fight against the pandemic is to reduce social contact. So, how to offer customers the right product for them? The answer to the question is a Google Ads campaign. If you have a webshop or can offer your service online, Google Ads allows you to offer the right product to the buyer at the right time. Thanks to the still up-to-date delivery, the buyer will be able to purchase the desired products despite movement restrictions.

When creating a Google Ads campaign, it’s important to define the following:

  • What products we want to offer
  • Where we want to offer them (location)
  • Who we want to offer them (targeting)
  • By what keywords will buyers reach them

Given that budgets can be controlled and the campaign is constantly being optimized for new reports, why not try? Maybe now is the time for this type of advertising. Check out the benefits of Google Ads advertising. Digital marketing lets you stay in touch with the customers and businesses you work with. Part of the business can also be transferred online, so it’s important to take advantage of all the opportunities that are offered.

Be healthy, take the necessary precautions, and harness the potential of digital advertising!

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