Written by Adolfo Marquez
The stream of daily updates and breaking news from our government and health authorities are challenging companies all over the nation to adapt to stay afloat and survive amid the current chaos related to coronavirus.
You’re probably already researching virtual conferencing platforms to replace in-person meetings, but now is also a great time to rethink your online marketing strategy.
As more people find themselves indoors, your business’ online presence will become even more important in establishing your company in the minds of your target customers. While it would be easy to deprioritize marketing due to operational or financial concerns, this will result in competitors gaining an online advantage and an increased share of your target market.
Here are some tips to help you remain relevant as consumer behavior changes and our current situation continues to evolve. Please note that Google has taken an aggressive stance toward misinformation regarding COVID-19. Consequently, we’ve removed many explicit mentions of COVID-19 and coronavirus within this article to avoid it being perceived as a “sales” attempt or crass promotional push.”
Use your website to inform, educate customers
Your customers and partners will be searching for reassurance or updated information from you during this time. Your website is one critical way to communicate critical information regarding changes in hours, meeting policies, and other details. As people search online for information about your company, using your website as a “digital billboard” to announce changes you’re making will inspire confidence in customers that your company is remaining nimble during challenging times.
Here are some tips for using your website as a customer-facing communication tool during this time:
— Ensure your website is available and loads quickly for customers. Downtime or load speeds slower than three seconds will frustrate customers and signal corporate unpreparedness.
— Even if recent events don’t affect your industry, acknowledging its possible impact on customers will build goodwill and establish trust with customers.
— Base all company updates and actions on verifiable facts from credible and reliable sources.
Show respect, empathy
Mental health issues and unbelievable grocery lines are just some of the challenges people are facing due to current events. During this time, ads and social posts should be carefully composed to be respectful and considerate of the hardships and challenges facing people during this time.
Regardless of your personal opinion on recent events, being aware of your customer-facing messaging during this time will help you avoid damaging your company’s reputation due to tone-deaf or insensitive comments. For B2B companies in communications or software spaces, being careful to frame ads and messaging appropriately will be especially important and vital for success.
— Check all planned social media posts and ads to ensure they position your brand as helpful and accomodating, rather than tone-deaf.
— Be sure that your employees are respectful and considerate in their professional social activity.
— In social messaging and advertising, emphasize value and concern for customers, employees, and partners, when possible.
Communicate critical informational changes
According to InternetLiveStats, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches every day. If you have a physical storefront or a local audience, setting up and updating your Google My Business profile will provide people with critical business information when they search for you, and help you rank in Google. You can also use Google Posts to announce changes to existing and potential customers. Here is some possible information to update on your Google My Business profile:
— Business description
— Company announcements (using Google Posts)
— Business phone number
You should also update other business profiles as well. Profiles on Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Manta, and other local sources should be updated so it’s consistent and accurate for people searching for your services.
Adolfo Marquez handles content strategy and business development for AMARQUEZ, a local web design agency. Since 2011, AMARQUEZ has helped local companies rethink their online presence and improve their online marketing strategies. We nurture positive relationships with our clients and adapt our services to their unique marketing needs. Through thoughtful website design, data-driven SEO, and timely website management, we help companies focus on their business while we grow their leads and rank online.