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28th April 2020

How brands should adapt their marketing strategy during the Coronavirus pandemic

As marketers, we always have to be reactive to what is happening in the wider world to generate interest and success from content marketing campaigns. The current Coronavirus pandemic is no different – since lockdown, we are seeing an increase in search across the internet.

We’re seeing a surge in those researching around the virus; Google itself gave a great example of amending its marketing strategy due to an increase in Covid-19-related searches. It has launched a corona-virus hub looking at search-related terms.

 

There are many ways that us as brands can adapt our strategy, because the data suggests that people are still actively purchasing online. However, we also have a responsibility to be sensitive to what is happening in the world while advertising our services and products. Here’s how brands can adapt their current marketing strategy to stay afloat.

1.Honesty is the best policy

We are not living in the same world as we were six months ago. Consumers have different fears around making a purchase, and honesty has never been more vital for brands to build rapport with them.

We need to make customers aware of the changes the pandemic may have to your service. It could be longer delivery times, lower stock or even a change in business hours. This can be done effectively by creating a banner that either lets your users know what changes have been made or links to a dedicated page.

Some examples of travel brands using this can be seen below:

Virgin Atlantic

 

Expedia

 

Airbnb

 

 

2. Dedicated FAQ pages

As well as being honest in your approach, it’s important to consider further questions your customers may have. These are unprecedented times where no question is a stupid question. Clearly, it is not viable for businesses to put all of their resource into answering every question, but it’s worth putting together an FAQ section or dedicated Coronavirus page where your customers can get the information they need. It will also prevent your business being overloaded with requests.

Royal Mail provides a great example of this.

 

3. Be reactive to changes in search

It’s important from a business standpoint to be reactive to the market. One of the things I’ve noticed across my clients is an increase in desktop users. Now that we’re in lockdown, we are no longer on the move and searching as we have been, and this seems to have led to a change in the devices we use.

Many brands are optimising their sites for desktop due to many of their users using this platform. I’d recommend the following:

  • Review your website’s desktop designs
  • Submit a test enquiry through your desktop. Is it as smooth as possible from a conversion perspective?
  • Can your content be organised in a more desktop-friendly way?

 

4. Adapt your offering

Many companies have changed their offering to make their service and product more viable for customers given the current Government guidance over social distancing.

From my time working in London, I was a big fan of a stall in Westfield that specialised in cookie dough. They’ve since created a dough that customer can have delivered to their homes and bake in their own kitchens. Customers can then create the experience from the safety of their own home. Their campaign used the hashtag #BakeItYourself.

This is just one example of how brands can adapt their offering. Personal trainers are now turning to home-video workouts for their clients to keep their businesses going.

 

5. Be selfless in your approach

Since the arrival of COVID-19, we have seen some thousands of amazing gestures to help those who are in need. From the Run 5 Donate 5 Nominate 5 initiative to Captain Tom Moore, the war veteran who has raised millions for the NHS. We are seeing inspiring stories daily and many of these gestures are coming from businesses. LinkedIn is full of professionals offering free advice and services as many businesses are experiencing hard times.

As a final thought, have a think about how you might be able to help the wider community. Any gesture has the potential to form strong business relationships and provide future clients.

 

Author: Michael Ryan is an SEO consultant based in Essex. His approach is to provide ROI-led transparent SEO consultancy.

 

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