Empty Restaurant Because of Covid

How Covid-19 Changed Digital Marketing in Your Business

In 10 years, people will look back at the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 and call it a game changer for business. 

Companies that didn’t have an online marketing strategy stumbled hard in March of 2020 when the national lockdown was first announced. Without physical customers and with no online strategy meant they were not being heard. Without an eCommerce strategy, they were not selling. 

The lesson is that business is no longer just about face-to-face communication and selling. It’s about coupling your offline strategy with an online presence to remain strong in both worlds.  

If 2020 harmed your business, then whatever your strategy, it isn’t working. 

However, it’s still not too late. Start now to build your online business and you’ll be in a better shape to face the upheavals we’re sure to see through the rest of this year. 

To help, we’ve developed three simple rules that will help form your online strategy. 

Rule #1: Online Search Works in the Past

Think about tomorrow’s promotion today because today’s promotion was planned yesterday. 

Duh, right? But planning and online activity is a real problem in a crisis. Google Search takes time to catalog your site. If you’re a small business without much traffic, it takes even more time to find your way into relevant searches. 

Photo by Leon Seibert

To be in front of your customers in a crisis, you need to build that traffic when there is no crisis. That will give Google time to rank your site and give you time to tweak your strategy. Then, during a crisis, rour site then becomes the go-to website that people visit for answers.

Thus, think in three month windows. What you do today may not be easily searched online for up to three months. 

But what do I do now? 

If you haven’t been upgrading your site to reach your customers during Covid, it’s not too late. This will be a long-term crisis. However, you should start now. 

Make sure your content will still be relevant in several months. You can also look at Google Trends and find ideas that should have even more impact later on. 

Regardless, start now. 

Rule #2: Trust is Important in Covid-19

A website should always include some “trust” elements. This could include reviews, testimonials or third-party certifications. 

Post Covid-19, however, there’s a different type of trust companies need to build. Websites should emphasize that they’re focused on safety, both for their customers and their employees. 

If you have an eCommerce store, emphasize that employees are wearing masks and gloves when handling your merchandise or that your policy is for sick employees to stay home. Make sure your customers know that their health is a priority. 

No eCommerce site? Then emphasize how much you care for your employees. If you have extended sick leave or if you offer medical masks and hand sanitizer for employees, let your customers know. 

People want to do business with companies that prioritize their customers’ health and the health of their employees. 

Make sure you communicate the constant sanitation, handwashing, cleaning, mask wearing, social distancing or other activities your company does to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Even if it’s mandated by law, it’s just good business to let customers know. 

Rule #3: Focus on Branding, Not Just Ads

Putting your money into ads means your investment is looking for an immediate return. In a crisis, however, those immediate dollars may not be around. 

Photo by Patrik Michalicka 

Make sure you’re also looking long term and putting your money into branding. There’s a lot you can do to build your brand: 

  • Promote well-being for your company and your customers
  • Promote Safe and Clean Workplace
  • Promote your brand’s core value

Regardless, offer something unique to capture their attention. As the economy opens up, you’ll  have more followers and be ahead of your competitors.

Also, remember Rule #1: Google and Facebook algorithms are based on the historical data. 

Treat this time a chance to build on the data that Google and Facebook will later use. Your investment in time will not be wasted.

Need Help? Call us.

Visual String helps companies build a digital presence as a way to build revenue online.  Call us. We can help.