Coronavirus: Impact On Digital Marketing?

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With the coronavirus escalating, we’re living in unprecedented times.

Whilst tough periods lie ahead, we must now heed the advice from our authorities, protect the vulnerable, reach out to those in need and strive to be inventive and useful in the face of adversity.

As an update from novel, we wanted to let you know that, depending if there is an impending lockdown regarding Covid-19, we will continue to operate business as usual. Once the schools close, we’ll be reducing our hours in order to cater for childcare, but otherwise we are available and contactable.

If you are a pure online player, you well see a couple of bumps, but you may also see an increase in traffic and sales as more and more people self-isolate and put themselves into quarantine. Just make sure people understand what you are doing within your business to keep people safe and mitigate the spread of the virus. For example, for deliveries taken at the doorstep, remind them to wash their hands after touching new materials. The NHS states: “It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages“, so taking deliveries is fine.

Many of the businesses we work have have already seen huge effects on their revenues in a negative way too, sadly. If like them, you are becoming increasingly affected by coronavirus, what can you do in terms of digital marketing, to help you get through these turbulent times?

Coronavirus & Digital Marketing

The situation with COVID-19 is changing on a daily basis, as the Government dishes out new instructions on how to limit its spread. At the time of writing, schools are about to close, and we’re in a phase of social distancing and non-essential travel. A lockdown won’t be far away.

Companies are already having to make cutbacks in terms of staff and advertising, but hopefully the Government announced grants and loans will help rebalance the losses.

How else is the virus affecting digital marketing?

Expect to push a lot more effort and budget towards customer service and reputation management. If businesses get through this tough period, and get through with an excellent reputation, they will be in a much stronger position to thrive once the virus passes.

Let’s look at the other digital areas that will be affected:

SEO – as more people self-isolate and become quarantined at home, searches on Google will undoubtably increase, so don’t be surprised to see spikes in traffic. That said, the keywords used might not have changed but the intent behind those searches may have. As mentioned above, if you are a retailer with products relating to the home or outdoors, expect an increase. If you have products related to holidays or travel or fashion items for going out for example, you will probably see a decline in traffic.

Google Ads – most companies have now either reduced the spend or paused their ads completely as demand has dwindled. Again this depends on your sector, and final decisions on ad strategies should be decided in line with the Governments advice, the capacity of your business and the external demand.

Email – use this as a customer communication channel. Updates as the operations of business during coronavirus, and what – if anything – customers can do to help.

Social Media – similar to email. Give best practice advice around your business to make people feel safe, and encourage them to take necessary precautions. For any ads running on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, also make decisions based on the Governments advice, the capacity of your business and the external demand for products and services.

Google My Business – people may Google your business first. Have your business hours changed, or about to change? Create a post on Google My Business in the same way you would Facebook or Twitter, informed customers of your business changes.

In summary, everyone is in a different situation…but we’re also all in the same boat. We have to do our best to help each other and come out the other side in the best shape possible.

Keep communicating, keep the positivity going! 🙂

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