The current environment presents a list of very challenging questions for transformational marketers.
- How should we think about digital strategy in the age of coronavirus?
- How should we handle content marketing, SEO, and customer relationships in 2021?
- How should we prepare for a post-Covid future?
The key question that ties all these concerns together for the digital marketing industry and e-commerce business since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic is: How will this all impact our digital strategy?
It is difficult to know right now which communication strategy, regarding consumers and also with things like influencers, you should undertake. Everyone is wonder—what’s next?
Here is some good advice on digital strategy in a time of crisis, as well as some things to keep in mind.
The World Has Turned to Online Channels Like Never Before
With the global spread of the Covid-19 virus, shopping patterns in almost all industries changed abruptly. With the introduction of health restrictions and physical distancing, consumers have turned to online channels like never before.
Unexpectedly, we got some winners and losers in this new market formulation. A completely new atmosphere has been created in which the winners club will be joined only by those who recognize the advantages that come with the new online environment.
An Atmosphere of Business Uncertainty Has Been Created
In the first seven days of the pandemic, the number of search queries on Google for issues such as “Marketing During Coronavirus” increased by as much as 300%. Business owners around the world were looking for answers that changed almost hour to hour.
Each new piece of information increased uncertainty and impact on the world economy, trade supply chains, and market demands. For all decision-makers and business people, the situation has become unbearable. Unfortunately for many, it is still like that.
What’s Next? A Good Answer Actually Exists!
The answer to top-level questions—what to do? what should my digital strategy look like?—depend on how Covid-19 has affected your business.
For starters, it’s important not to make the vital mistake that many are prone to make in such crises. When things go downhill, the first thing one does is to stop marketing activities. It is expected that the competition will react almost identically. However, difficult times also require difficult decisions.
Warren Buffet, the fourth richest man on the planet, said “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” In other words, find a way to read the situation to your advantage instead of running with the herd.
Active Communication with Clients During a Pandemic Is a Necessity
What should the online content that we place, either on a purposefully designed and customized site or social media, during the pandemic look like? How to place it adequately and keep the attention of your online audience? How to respond to the crisis? And how, if at all possible, do we improve all channels and prepare them for what is to come, and that is the post-Covid future?
These are critical issues that plague almost all businesses that, through online channels, strive to keep pace with the race for survival in the market. No one was prepared for such a pandemic, and the professional in the field of digital marketing was just as taken aback. Of course, all those digital strategists, whose opinion is respected, agree on one thing: active communication with audiences during remains a necessity.
The first step is to establish a plan that will allow you to function well.
A well-designed marketing plan in this period or a digital strategy in an era of a pandemic should play a key role in the recovery process. The key elements in this process are the website and social media channels. This is followed by search engine optimization (SEO) and, most importantly, quality and carefully selected content.
1. Crisis Period
To intensify the interaction with content that will distinguish you from others.
2. The period of Recovery
(‘return to the game’) is the preparation for the ‘new normal’ that follows after the pandemic. It involves actively listening to everything users have had to say about your business during the crisis and applying of possible things through new ‘enhanced’ content.
Digital Strategy in Times of Crisis: Active Communication and Humanization of Content
Listening to everything that clients have to say or ask is one of the basic focuses. This segment is vital in planning and creating a digital strategy after the crisis. As already mentioned, the focus must be on active communication with users and the placement of content that will be partly different from everything you have posted on your channels so far.
Make the Most of Your Site and Social Networks to Inform Your Users
One of the pieces of information that most online users on the planet want to know at the moment, including your consumers, is whether you have protected your employees. Also, what have you done for your users. Of course, all relevant information regarding the consequences of the expansion of Covid-19, which is reflected in your business as well.
So, Google, for example, recommends displaying pop-up banners on a site that should inform visitors about the status of your business. Then, about possible delays in delivery and the like, which will significantly help strengthen the loyalty of your customers/users/clients. It is, to say the least, meeting their expectations.
It is also recommended to update important updates to the user’s FAQ, with important information. For example, about the availability of services or products during a pandemic. And as far as the optimization segment is concerned, it is vital that all this data is properly structured so that users can access this site directly through search engine results. So, SEO at the time of a pandemic is vital.
Humanize Your Email Communication With Users
With the coronavirus pandemic, most companies have informed users through their newsletters of the responsible actions and steps they have taken to mitigate or compensate for potential consequences. In a flood of such information, such messages generally go unnoticed. To avoid a situation of ‘attacking’ their clients with confusing emails, a creative or even witty approach would make a significant difference.
An example of such creativity, wit, and even socially responsible behavior is the online campaign of the Mexican restaurant “Guerrilla Tacos” in California. This restaurant has prepared an extraordinary package, i.e. emergency package for its customers, which, in addition to the ordered food, also contains a free package of 30 eggs and four packages of wet wipes or the same number of rolls of toilet paper. The message is clear: “Humanize your communication!” This concept can be equally effectively applied to social media channels.
Update Your Google My Business Profile and Facebook Page
Of great benefit for communicating with customers, which is also important in the segment of SEO optimization, is to adequately update all data and potential profile changes related to your business. As an additional help, Google has also created a special category – Covid-19 Post Category. It allows companies to include changes in how they function during a pandemic: special working hours during a state of emergency and information on temporarily closed locations if any.
There are also requests for support and assistance to users, as well as information on special protocols related to hygiene. An almost identical option was made possible by Facebook. The goal is to help business users and companies inform their users about changes in services on their page and in searches on Facebook.
Take Social Interaction With Social Media Users to the Next Level
A proven way is to encourage direct communication with users/followers. For example, through video or photo posts or maybe even live videos that show examples of using the product in the new conditions. Or, more specifically, through ‘how-to’ posts to get even more interested old and potential new users in the services and products you provide.
And it goes without saying, with the constant message of social distancing and prevention, but also through letting them know that you are still available to all your users. In this way, you will be positively surprised by the results and probably by the increase in the number of followers.
Post-Covid Strategy and Preparation for the New Normal
One thing is for sure, everything that follows the pandemic will be shaped in many ways by what happened during it. Preparation is necessary. Especially for those who want to regain their business positions, keep old ones, and gain new clients.
During the recovery, which we have already mentioned, we listen to our customers to find out how to most accurately improve our own business. To discover how to ‘wrap up’ what we offer to our customers in the most efficient way possible in the post-covid era.
The following is a list of specific tips:
- Focus on the needs of your customers. When creating content, try to answer the question: “Will it help my users?”
- Be available to your customers for any additional questions, suggestions, and needs
- Prepare to adapt to the new emergencies of the post-covid future in the context of the new normal that will be imposed as a result of the pandemic
- Identify content that will bring new value, that will make a difference in terms of a unique offer or message that will enhance user interactivity
- Use more useful data and information in customer support
- Continue to create content that will help you with the long-term good position in the search engine (SEO)
- Update the list of frequently asked questions of users regularly
- Introduce duplicate content controls to avoid inadequate or sensitive topics
- Create campaigns that will bring you new online followers or increase the community that follows you
The final recommendation that brings together almost all of the above is to think about what are the challenges that your audience will face after a pandemic. What information will they need? Accordingly, shape your digital strategy for the post-crisis era, set up your online channels, and think about content that will be able to answer.