Top 3 digital marketing tips to reach customers during the COVID-19 outbreak

The outbreak of COVID-19 has unquestionably transformed our daily lives in multiple, unforeseen ways. It stressed health services to new levels, it decreased human activity to the point where environmental changes can be observed, it caused massive unemployment rates and shook the market. It has also caused new outlooks on both public health and the economy to surge into public discourse, and social distancing and self-isolation have reshaped our social habits. Its weigh on the economy has forced both traditional and digital marketing to accelerate innovation out of necessity

Most notably on the front of the economy, such dire circumstances pose a unique set of challenges for most businesses – and, by extension, their employees and customers alike. Given how the outbreak has reignited our online presence and activity, new digital marketing innovations may be just what your business needs. For your convenience, we have gathered the top 3 digital marketing tips to reach customers during the COVID-19 outbreak you could consider below.

#1 Update your digital marketing presence and communicate with your customers

In such periods of uncertainty, it is vital that your business remains up-to-date in all its digital channels – where digital marketing begins. From local government mandates on store opening times and regulations to product unavailability due to hampered supply lines or unforeseen demand, a myriad of factors will affect how you will interact with your customers. When your business will be open, what products and services you can offer, and how your customers can reach you are all vital pieces of information that you should ensure are accurately communicated.

Make sure to update such key information, beginning with key online business directories, in order to best reach customers during the COVID-19 outbreak. As of 2020, the top 10 are;

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing
  • Instagram 
  • Twitter      
  • LinkedIn    
  • Zillow        
  • Yelp 
  • TripAdvisor

For most people, Google will be their first resort when looking for information, products, or services, so it is crucial that your information on this platform is accurate. Considerable organic search growth has been observed during the COVID-19 outbreak, therefore it is now more likely that your business may get exposure and traffic through proper SEO. You should thus make sure your Google My Business (GMB) information is up to date, and it accurately reflects the current state and operations of your business.

Similarly, social media play an important role in your business’s digital presence. It is thus imperative that you also update your social media profiles and materials to reflect any such changes in schedule or availability. Doing so will safeguard customer trust, which may otherwise be endangered by incorrect information during an emergency, and will ensure that your digital marketing efforts yield better results.

#2 Expand digital marketing through paid ads and global SEO

On more expansive digital marketing strategies, it is vital to note two emerging trends during the COVID-19 outbreak: namely, that paid ads are becoming cheaper and that geography diversification is becoming more valuable.

As far as the former is concerned, fewer small businesses are now advertising. This relative lack of competition for advertising space decreases demand, which in turn reduces the cost per click (CPC) for ads. At the same time, social distancing and self-isolation have drastically increased web traffic – both in terms of search activity, as outlined above, and in terms of the general traffic. It is a noteworthy point of reference that Netflix has had to reduce its streaming quality for this reason, and similar companies and platforms seem to be following suit. Therefore, lower CPCs and increased traffic create an ideal environment for advertising, with paid ads now producing a much higher return on investment (ROI) than before the outbreak. If you find your business in need of more digital marketing ventures, now is likely the ideal time to do so.

On geography diversification, then, it is equally noteworthy that the outbreak has not affected all regions, and thus all markets, equally. Such countries as the United States, Italy, and Spain have experienced many more cases, which has encumbered their respective economies, while such countries as South Korea and India have fared better thus far. The spread or slowdown of the virus can significantly affect your traffic and digital marketing endeavors – so a possible safeguard can be to diversify your sources of traffic. By simply translating your content for other regions and delving into international SEO, you can decrease your reliance on a single country’s or region’s economy and increase your traffic. This practice can very well be combined with region-appropriate paid ads, as outlined above, for increased effectiveness. Results may not be immediately impactful, but such practices will follow your digital marketing into the coveted day after as well.  

#3 Help selflessly and, if possible, offer educational courses

Given that the COVID-19 outbreak is unlike anything we have experienced before, people have been facing unique and staggering hardships. This leaves both local and global markets hampered, having workers seek new employment opportunities. This dire need of selfless support and educational material creates an environment where your business can indeed offer invaluable help at a human and societal level, while also receiving practical benefits at a business level. Providing educational material is indeed more circumstantial, in that it may not be possible or viable for all industries. Still, it is a sizeable aspect of the outbreak – as unemployment inevitably rises, people need to resort to remote work and work in new, unfamiliar fields. This high demand for educational material most often manifests itself in increased online education website traffic, which presents the opportunity of selling online courses en masse. If you are able to do so, it is highly advisable that you do; you will both provide help to those in need, and benefit from increased exposure in the process.

Selfless help falls in a very similar category, in that the market indeed calls for it. From the Gates Foundation Pandemic Relief fund to local businesses offering free services and products, any and all forms of assistance are indeed highly appreciated and welcome. Should you find your business able to engage in such activities, it is vital that you do so selflessly and don’t treat it as a strict digital marketing tool – overt self-promotion is very likely to be perceived negatively in such times. If the public perceives your efforts as genuine, they are bound to be appreciated, yielding higher exposure, traffic, and brand trust as welcome byproducts.  

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