In the period of a few short weeks, our world has turned upside down. Over half the world’s population are in lockdown. Social distancing has become the new normal. Global economies are in freefall. A roll of toilet paper costs more than a gallon of gas.
As the new reality sinks in, more and more people are going online for help and resources. And this makes it essential that you create a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic.
As the reality of the Coronavirus epidemic comes into focus, business owners and professionals realize that they don’t just have to worry about themselves and their loved ones. They also have to consider business challenges.
While consulting your digital and web design teams might not seem like a top priority right now, it’s something you should consider. You will need both to help you create a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Online versus Offline
In just a couple of short weeks, we’ve seen meetings and conferences disappear, cafés and theaters shutter, and individuals look for ways to minimize contact with crowds. All of this means business is going to change for the immediate future. And, it means your website is going to be an even more crucial piece in your sales and marketing puzzle.
Humans are pretty good at weathering the storm, but businesses are still starting to feel the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. Securing the long-term success of your business takes a significant strategy shift. By developing a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic, you can set your business up for survival, both during and after the epidemic.
Be Compassionate and Provide Value
As a brand or product company, your new focus should be on redefining your services to suit people at home. Use this time to be useful in a way that plays to your strengths. The panic will eventually pass, and businesses that rose to the occasion by being compassionate and helpful will stand out.
Becoming more digitally available is the first step to winning a share of the voice at this time. Digital socializing is on the increase, so now is the time to increase ad budgets and spending on social channels. Get creative to ensure that you have the right content for the right platforms at the optimum times. You now have the chance to rethink your brand positioning and tone of voice.
Your online audience is likely in a state of anxiety. You must remain sensitive to that and ensure that any communications you do make are in the public interest as opposed to pushing sales. Being overly promotional will damage your brand’s reputation. But increased social spending will benefit your long-term recovery plan. Any digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic must adjust for the current climate in a way that is both mindful and authentic.
If you’re wondering what you can do or how you can pivot to keep your organization afloat and maintain your competitive edge, you’re not alone. Many brands and product companies around the world have started to come up with creative ways to break through the noise and remain a leader in their industry through digital outlets.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few simple ways you can adjust your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic.
1 – Add E-Commerce Functionality
The first step to developing a digital strategy for the Coronavirus Pandemic is to add e-commerce functionality to your website. Everyone is doing their best to avoid physical stores, with most people doing all their shopping online now.
If you’re in the business of selling products or services, an excellent time to add e-commerce functionality is yesterday. At the very least, it will allow you to take online payments and help you stay in business. Most likely, you will also add to your loyal client base and attract new online consumers as well.
2 – Upgrade Your E-Commerce Capabilities
If you already have an e-commerce presence upgrading your e-commerce capabilities has to be part of your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic. While essential stores are busy, the common expectation is that people are going to do what they can to avoid crowded shopping areas.
If you have products to sell, this is an excellent time to upgrade your online store. With better inventory, marketing, and pricing features, you might be able to replace revenue lost from retail locations with improved e-commerce performance.
3 – Optimize Website Content for Users and Search Engines
Because recent buying behaviors have changed, the way people are searching for things online may also have changed. Ensure you’re staying up to speed on the most highly searched keywords relevant to your product or service. Brainstorm ways that you can tweak your website content to align.
As part of your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic, take a good look at your existing content. Does it relate to your target audience’s state of mind, and does it clearly illustrate how your brand or product company can help them? Don’t forget to include relevant keywords and phrases as you update your content. And be sure to optimize your website images for search and user experience.
4 – Create Fresh Relevant Content
In addition to optimizing your current content, it’s essential that you also create unique pieces around newly targeted search queries. In a time like this, consumers look to learn as much as they can about how Coronavirus might be affecting their everyday routines and business plans. You can use this to your advantage as you create your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Look at creating a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to generate new ideas for blog posts or put together a weekly newsletter for your prospects and customers. Become an essential resource for your audience.
Show them you are just as concerned as they are, and as a result, you’re going to keep them updated on everything relevant. If it makes sense, you can also write a press release to inform the media and a broader audience on a specific topic of importance.
5 – Update Critical Website Info
It’s perhaps inevitable that some parts of your business (like supply chains, or hours of availability) are going to be affected in unpredictable ways. Customers will understand this, but you should do everything you can to give them accurate information on your website. That will help keep your business running, of course, but also keep your credibility with buyers intact.
6 – Utilize Online Videos, Presentations, and Meetings
Millions of businesses that rely on personal demos, face-to-face presentations, and trade shows are affected by the sudden move away from travel and personal interactions. One way to overcome the issue is to upload more online videos and presentations to your website. If that is not possible, you should at least invest a small amount in better communications and videoconferencing tools.
Utilizing popular videoconferencing tools like Zoom and Skype needs to be part of any effective digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic. If you can’t meet for an in-person sales dinner, meet over a Zoom call. If you’re not able to have that in-person team meeting, use Skype to make sure everyone feels included and productive. Or, if you need to get a one-on-one message out to a team member or a client, try the GoVideo feature from Vidyard.
7 – Host an Online Event or Webinar
If your business or organization had an event that was affected by the outbreak, that doesn’t mean you can’t get people together and still deliver the value they expect. But you will need to do it a different way, that is all.
Over the past few years, online events and webinars have become increasingly popular. Why not include them in your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic?
Even if you were not planning an in-person event, hosting an online webinar or interactive workshop is extremely helpful and beneficial for your audience in tough times like these. Topics ranging from how to use videoconferencing tools or creating a functional workspace at home, and from online learning to staying fit are all viral right now. And I am sure you can come up with a few more topics that are of interest to your specific audience.
8 – Create Video Content
Video content has boomed in the last couple of years, and creating a video right from your computer is easier than ever. Because of the more personal feel that video offers, it can be used in a multitude of ways as more companies begin to embrace the remote culture.
Video can replace or supplement written content that you share on your website and social media platforms. Considering that in-home media consumption is on the rise during the Coronavirus pandemic, why would you not incorporate video into your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic?
9 – Engage with Your Audience on Social Media
Did you know that 79% of the population in the United States has at least one social media profile? And 62% of adults use social media to catch up on trending news. During lockdowns and social distancing, more and more people use social media to stay in touch, get information, and engage with other people in the same situation.
Therefore, your social media strategy must become a part of your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic. Create new content or host an online event or webinar to engage with your audience. Sharing this material on your social media platforms can have a significant effect on your digital reach.
10 – Increase Search Visibility
In case you haven’t noticed, more people are online right now than in their cars or walking the sidewalks. Search traffic has increased significantly and will continue to do so as people are locked down. They are glued to computers and phones looking for updates within their community. People are also looking for entertainment and ways to pass the time. For most, that includes online shopping.
Online consumption is higher than ever before. Using search engine optimization strategies to climb to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) must be part of your digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic.
Right now is not the time for your business to go into hiding and poke out your head every few days to see if the epidemic is over. Instead, you want your business to stand out and get noticed online!
11 – Adjust Your PPC and Paid Marketing Campaigns
Leading economists expect that the Coronavirus pandemic will trigger a sharp short-term economic downturn. And it may take significant time for the economy to recover. At the very least, expect purchasing and consumption patterns to change.
With that in mind, this is an excellent time to review your online advertising expenses. Keep a close eye on your analytics over the next few weeks and pause any campaigns that aren’t showing positive returns for the time being.
12 – Focus on Local SEO and Online Reviews
Everyone has reduced our travel and are staying close to home. In the rare times when we do leave our house, we’re looking for nearby destinations for services and supplies. So you want to make sure your business is using local SEO strategies to optimize your website for “near me” searches.
You want customers in your geo region to be able to find you online quickly, so they turn to you first. We are all looking for more convenience, and this gives your business a chance to assist during a critical time for families.
Another way to boost your local SEO during this time is to not forget about the importance of adding positive reviews. During the Coronavirus pandemic, online reputation management is as crucial as ever.
Building a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic is a great time to connect with your target audience during a chaotic time. Helping people during a stressful time like this is likely to be rewarded with a glowing review.
13 – Stay in Touch through Text, Email, and Chat
Right now is the time when your customers, employees, and vendors need to hear from you more often. Use your email newsletter to inform them about any developments, policy changes, or shifts in the business. You can even let them know that you are working as usual.
Either way, keep in touch so they can understand what to expect from your company as the situation changes.
Another way to stay in touch with your audience is by using live chat on your website. That way, you can answer basic questions even when you may not be available. Live chat will reassure your audience that you can address their concerns during the pandemic.
14 – Enhance Your Intranet Features
If you have an employees-only section of your website, now is the time to make use of it. Integrate features like slack chats, file-sharing apps, and remote scheduling tools. It’s crucial that you and your team stay in touch and on top of the details. Internal communication is critical when employees and family members become ill or unable to come to the office because of other disruptions.
15 – Invest in Your Business
Turning challenges into opportunities is how businesses succeed. Creating a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic will help you not just handle the pressure but thrive under it! No crisis lasts forever.
But what you do now will determine how well you position yourself for what could be a lengthy recovery period. Investing wisely in your brand or product company, and your online presence will have positive, long-term impacts.
Yes, I know that you are most likely dealing with many challenges right now. And I do want and expect you to focus on the safety and wellbeing of your family and loved ones first. But I also want to point out that a crisis can bring out the best in all of us. You may not realize this, but this is an excellent opportunity to position your business to do better online.
Now that you’re not commuting to the office or taking in-person meetings, your schedule has likely freed up some time for you. This extra time allows you to deal with website optimizations and digital marketing items that may have fallen through the cracks and been overlooked.
Perhaps your website needs a fresh look or redesign. Our mobile-first web design team can overhaul your website in two to three weeks, all while working remotely. With everyone shopping online, you may need to add some additional e-commerce functionality.
Now is also a great time to optimize your landing pages to ensure your call-to-actions (CTAs) are turning leads into customers. Also, it’s an ideal time to do an SEO audit of your website to ensure you’re maximizing your optimization strategies.
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of website consulting and design services for businesses and product brands, including custom web design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, and WordPress optimization.
Our team would love to help you survive the current pandemic. We can create an online presence that will allow you to take full advantage of opportunities during the recovery phase.
If you need help, feel free to reach out to us. Our team will listen to your concerns, evaluate your needs, and come up with a list of things you need to build a digital strategy for the Coronavirus Pandemic, and beyond. We are all in this together!
How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your business? Did you try out any of our tips for creating a digital strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic? Which ones did you implement, and how did that help your business? Is your business facing other online challenges during the epidemic?
Do you have any other tips or ideas for creating an effective digital strategy to survive the current crisis? Please feel free to comment below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO