Keep Calm and Optimize: Digital Marketing Amid the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is rapidly spreading across the globe. The healthcare systems of different countries are being pushed to their limits. Public health and safety are compromised, and everyone’s daily lives have been upended.

Apart from these, the spread of the virus has also affected businesses worldwide. In the U.S., states have implemented different strategies to contain the virus, including closures of establishments that do not offer essential products or services. This means that if you do not operate a grocery store, a pharmacy, or other healthcare establishments, your business is to remain closed until further notice.

But does this suspension of your business operations mean that you can take a break from marketing your brand? The answer is no. In fact, now is the time to take advantage of digital marketing.

Why Should You Continue Digital Marketing Amid a Health Crisis?

With the outbreak of COVID-19 comes many uncertainties, especially if you’re a business owner. But what’s important to remember is that this won’t last. Eventually, the containment measures being implemented will work, a cure will be developed, and we will recover.

If you don’t maintain your digital marketing strategies during this time, you’re setting your business up for an uphill struggle to recover. But if you keep on optimizing, your efforts will help in lead generation.

This is because people are not only spending time indoors right now, but they’re also spending it online. And while you might not be able to offer your products or services during a pandemic, remember that digital marketing is a long game. The strategies you’re implementing now will play a part in your search results ranking down the road and give you an edge over your competitors. So you must come out on top after all these.

That said, we’re here to share what digital marketing strategies are essential for your business during this time.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategies

Make “keep calm and optimize” your business’ mantra.

  1. Add Coronavirus-Related Content on Your Homepage

The suspension of your operations means the pandemic has significantly affected your business. You won’t be able to take new orders and deliver your products. You cannot accept new appointments for your services. And while you can assume that your customers already know and understand this, it would be better to explicitly let them know.

You can easily do this by adding a coronavirus-specific piece of content on your homepage. Here, you can offer a brief explanation of the situation to your customers and let them know how it has affected your operations, whether it’s a change in your operating hours or the time they can reach you online.

  1. Update Your Google My Business Profile

If you’ve been investing in local SEO for a while, you know the importance of Google My Business (GMB) for your brand. With your business listed, it’s more likely to appear on local search results, with relevant information like your address and contact information readily accessible.

Now that your business is suspended or under limited operation, it’s important to let your customers know what has changed. Google has announced how updating your GMB profile helps, including marking your business “temporary closed” or updating your business hours, as well as sharing information on how your operations have been affected by the virus.

  1. Plan for and Post Relevant Content

In times of great uncertainty, like right now as we deal with the spread of COVID-19, customers value content that helps them make sense of everything that is going on around them. However, pieces of content that may inadvertently present your brand as seeking profit during this sensitive time must be avoided.

Find ways to insert relevant keywords to your blogs without making them the main focus of the content. Treat the keywords as a ranking element, not an opportunity to sell. Make sure to focus on a topic about the pandemic that still relates to your business. Do you run a hotel? Share tips on how you sanitize your rooms so your readers can replicate them at home. Own a bookstore? Share a list of informational resources or books your customers can read during the lockdown.

  1. Change Your Call-to-Action

Although your business is temporarily closed, it doesn’t mean you have to close off or ignore communications with your customers. They might still want to reach out to you, asking about when you’ll be back in operation or inquiring about the status of pending orders or bookings.

Your call-to-action before the pandemic, such as “Shop Now” or “Book an Appointment Here” will not work in this situation. Modify your CTAs to reflect a more practical way to reach you, such as “Send us an e-mail” or “Call us.” This allows you to talk to or interact with them directly and explain the temporary changes to your operations.

  1. Do Some a La Carte Link Building

We’ve reiterated how important maintaining your digital marketing efforts is during the shutdown. However, you must also be smart about where to spend your money while you’re not gaining profits.

So, instead of a full-blown link-building strategy, try a la carte link building instead. Through this, you can still get the benefits of backlinks but you’ll only be paying for keywords you want to maintain.

Web Development Strategies

Apart from SEO, there are web development strategies you can implement while your business is affected by COVID-19. One of these is:

Adding a Pop-up Page about COVID-19

Pop-ups might be a nuisance to some, but if used correctly, they can be a great tool to send a message to your website visitors. Entry pop-ups, for example, appear as soon as your landing page loads.

If you want to let your visitors know what measures you’re implementing to address the coronavirus outbreak—including how it will affect their orders or bookings, how it will change your operating hours, and how they can contact you—adding an attention-grabbing pop-up will be useful.

Your Digital Marketing Partner in Times of Crisis

At Waypoint Creative, we understand firsthand how businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, are reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let us help each other. Partner with us and make sure your digital marketing strategies are up-to-date.

Chat with us today.