10 Easy Ways to Promote Your Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak
- by Alyson Shane
Social distancing is our only option to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus spread. But the impact could be devastating for many businesses, especially those that rely on foot traffic and offer on-site services.
As a result, businesses are looking for easy and efficient ways to promote themselves during the outbreak. Luckily, there are lots of tools at your disposal to stay connected and build awareness about your brand.
Below are 10 ways to keep your customers engaged from a distance:
1. Be active on social media
People are turning to social media to stay connected so make sure your brand is active online.
This is the best time to focus on community engagement. Leaving comments and having conversations with your audience and followers shows your business is tuned-in and humanizes your brand.
If your business can afford to contribute to local food banks or other community services, now is the time to lead by example. Share the news on social media and encourage others to do the same.
2. Connect with your customers through email
More businesses are online than ever before, so cut through the noise and to talk to your customers where they live online: in their inbox.
Use your email newsletter to promote discounts, events like live streams, webinars and online training, and anything your customers might care about.
Depending on your business, this might also be a good time to do something different with your newsletter.
For example, for the next few weeks the Starling Social weekly newsletter is switching to a “Good News” edition where we’re highlighting positive stories from our community and across the globe as a way to spread a little more joy in these uncertain times. If you’re interested, sign up here.
3. Revisit your pay-per-click strategy
With more people performing searches than ever before, now is a great time to invest in pay-per-click (PPC) marketing to help your business get found.
But if your customers need to leave the house to engage with your business, it may be worth hitting “pause” on any PPC campaigns promoting those services.
If you can, focus your ads on services and promotions that customers can access and enjoy from home. Revisit your keyword strategy and consider what new and different searches they might be making from home, and focus your ad dollars on those searches instead.
PPC marketing is also a great way to use any marketing budget that needs to be reallocated due to social distancing, as Google Ads offers an impressive return on investment (ROI) of $8 for every $1 spent.
4. Revisit your SEO strategy
With more people sitting at home browsing the internet than ever before, it’s vital that your business ranks as high as possible on a search engine results page (SERP).
For reference, before the pandemic started Google SERP rankings have a return-on-investment (ROI) of roughly the following:
- 1st Position: 31% click-through rate (CTR)
- 2nd Position 15% CTR
- 3rd Position: 9% CTR
- 4th Position: 7% CTR
- 5th Position: 5% CTR
Organic CTR for positions 7-10 is virtually the same.
As we can see, the CTR drops off dramatically after the first few results, so it’s critical to make sure your website ranks as high as possible.
Looking for more insight on improving your SEO rank? We’ve got some resources that may help:
- SEO Research Tips for Building Your B2B Content
- Here Are the Answers to Your Hottest Local SEO Questions
- How to Use The KonMari Method for SEO
5. Publish content on your blog
People are hungry for content to consume with all this extra time. If your business has a blog, use this opportunity to share posts that inform, amuse, or excite your readers.
Use any SEO and PPC research you've done to inform the topics you discuss on your blog, since searches give you insight into what people are looking for. If you provide answers to the search in your post, your blog has a higher chance of ranking higher on the results page.
Bonus: publishing blog posts regularly gives you extra social media content to share, making this task a little bit easier, and gives your website a natural SEO boost.
6. Highlight gift cards and take-out options
Gift cards give your business an infusion of cash right away and guarantee that the customer will return to your business in the future. In Seattle, customers are going out of their way to buy gift cards from local businesses to keep cash flowing.
To promote social distancing, set up an e-card program and promote take-out as an option if you run a restaurant, cafe or bakery.
7. Host contests and giveaways on social media
Contests are a great way to engage your audience and gain more visibility for your brand, just make sure they’re tasteful. Book publishers can give away audiobooks and e-books to their followers as a way to pass the time indoors, for example.
A great way to support other local businesses is to collaborate on a contest giveaway - just make sure all the prizes are either digital or can be sent through the mail.
8. Promote discounts
Now is a great time to entice long-term purchases by offering discounts. If your business offers memberships, encourage customers to lock into a one-year membership now at a discounted rate. If you run a retail store, consider offering free shipping for online orders.
Depending on your business model, you can also use traditional promotions like “buy one get one” (BOGO) and free incentives.
9. Keep customers engaged with live video
If you have a store opening, product launch, or celebration planned, use Facebook and Instagram Live to stream it to your social media channels.
If you don’t have any announcements planned, use video as a way to go behind the scenes with your business. Share how your team is connecting remotely. Walk viewers through how a product gets made. Offer a live Q&A. The possibilities are endless, just be creative!
Video is a great way to keep customers engaged and put a face to your brand in addition to selling your products and services. Promote your live events and increase attendance by offering a special discount code to the first 50 or 100 people who join.
10. Host webinars and online events
Social isolation is leaving people more time to invest in training and personal development, so now is the ideal time to hone any online offerings your business may have, like webinars or online certifications.
Many businesses rely on in-person events to generate income and leads, so if you have a conference or training event that has recently been cancelled, consider reformatting it into a webcast that attendees can join from home.
How to promote your business during the coronavirus outbreak: conclusion
Nobody knows when things will go back to “normal” or even what that “new normal” will look like, so it’s more important than ever for businesses to connect with their customers online.
Invest in your social media and in content that keeps your customers engaged and excited about supporting you during this crisis. If you need help, drop us a line.
If you want more tips like this (plus good news from our community and elsewhere) sign up for our weekly, hand-picked newsletter.
Above all, stay safe out there.
The Starling Social Team