The on-going pandemic, without a doubt, has dramatically changed our lives. It has disrupted businesses, traveling, and even our well-being. The worst part is Covid-19 has claimed so many lives, yet there’s still no cure or vaccine anytime soon.
I’m from Canada and though we’re going through reopening's, the global rate of infection is rising. If you care about the brand of your business, what do you do during these uncertain times?
Being proactive is a start. It can make the situation less daunting since you are preemptively seeking problems and planning solutions before it can ever become an issue. Now is a great opportunity to ask yourself - how will your brand adapt to the “new normal?”
Better Online Visibility
To contain the virus, many countries impose a lockdown or curfew of some sort. Since people can’t go out conveniently or, in many places, at all. They don’t have other means for receiving news, entertainment, shopping, and more. Almost all transactions and interactions are online. Figures show that there is a 70% internet usage increase due to the restriction.
This means there’s a higher probability that your target audience will see your online content.
So, instead of decreasing your content output because of budget constraints. You may want to consider increasing it to maintain your brand connection to your audience. If you lead with valuable content that is well researched and informative, you could take advantage of your competitors who fell asleep at the wheel and expand your reach.
Don’t look like you’re scrambling. Have your brand organized and look put together, with a consistent message and visual language across all your audience touchpoints.
Seamless Website Experience
Is your website loading too slow?
Is content valuable?
How’s the navigation experience?
Since many brick & mortar stores are still closed, more of your target audience are turning to websites to engage with your business.
If you have a B2C eCommerce website, then you’d want to have a user experience that takes out the difficulty of ordering online. Make sure that from the initial website visit to checking out is as seamless as possible.
Remove unnecessary fluff content and focus on delivering a wholesome website experience.
If you’re a B2B, also remove unnecessary fluff content and steer your audience to your call-to-action (ie. start a demo, or talk to sales).
Here are some changes that you can do today:
Update product/service descriptions
Add high-quality images
Provide customer assistance, like a chatbot
Fix page categorization and navigation
Add a subscription option for updates & news
Reframe your content to of your homepages to focus on your Call-To-Action (CTA)
Add a FAQ page
Offer Covid-19 related content
Regularly post news, stories, and updates via blogging or social media
Remember, fixing website issues will not yield thousands of visits, but can raise the conversion rates when visitors eventually find you. Digital marketing efforts like Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Management (SMM), email marketing, and content marketing will help you get the audience to come to your website, and that’s where you get that purchase, phone call, or email.
Address Covid-19 Difficulties
Buyers appreciate transparency and honesty.
If your brand is struggling, let them know. As simple as having a pop-up or banner addressing COVID 19 difficulties can help consumers understand shipping delays and out of stock problems. Make sure to update your brand’s social media accounts too. Here are some ways you can announce brand challenges:
Shipping delays - You can warn shipping delays on the homepage, product page, and even checkout. It doesn’t need to be a paragraph. A simple text like “Shipping delays can occur due to restrictions.”
Out of stock - Instead of placing a “Sold Out” button, you can replace it with a “Notify Button.” Once the item is in stock again, you can conveniently inform the buyer through email.
Refund and cancellations - Always reiterate that refunds and cancellations are possible even during a crisis. Don’t make claims difficult. Requests for cancellations and refunds should be done in just one click of a button.
Introduce the New Normal
Don’t forget to share your efforts in recognizing and welcoming the “new normal.” You can share business operation updates and new changes your business is adopting. Sharing this kind of update shows genuine dedication in keeping everyone safe during uncertain times.
Revise Your Brand’s Marketing Language & Visuals
Empathy and kindness go a long way, especially during a crisis. One of the simplest ways is to change your marketing language. You can strengthen brand core values through inspiration and story-telling. Recognizing and supporting frontliners for example, can also humanize your brand.
You can be creative as well. In support of social distancing, huge companies like McDonald's and Volkswagen temporarily changed their logo. (Did you know this?)
Although some companies were indeed left scrutinized by posting empathy messages and support, what’s important is staying true to your brand’s core values and practicing what you preach.
Remember, not making a stand is bad too.