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March 31, 2020

Digital Marketing During Coronavirus

Proven Strategies for Digital Marketing During Coronavirus Covid-19

Here are our top tips for using digital marketing during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Many businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, have had to double down on digital marketing during the Coronavirus pandemic purely to stay alive.
We’ve compiled our up-to-date advice to help your business not only survive, but also to use it as a springboard opportunity for when all this blows over.
One caveat: this is predominantly aimed at restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, tour operators and travel agents. But the principles apply to many other sectors too, assuming you are operating to some degree.
And even if you are not operational, and your employees are furloughed and you can’t make sales calls provide services, the first point is still important as you can continue to remain relevant to your target market. This first point is…

1. If you aren’t already,  start doing more promotion on your social media

Lots of you already are. And with good reason. According to Econsultacy, 87% of marketers predict an increase in the use of online services by consumers during the outbreak, and 70% forecast an increase in e-commerce usage.

Talking about your products and services is great: keep doing more, but not just promotion.

Do nice ‘human’ stuff. Tell stories, keep people connected. Share content from others – Twitter last week found that 75% of COVID-19 related tweets are retweets, demonstrating the need to complement official brand publishing and advertising with peer-to-peer sharing.

Messages are also more trusted when they come from a peer. Create content that makes people feel good – be silly (but respectful), have fun. Folk could do with a laugh.

digital marketing during the Coronavirus - Deliveroo rider

Meal delivery has rocketed during the crisis

Utilise Check-Ins

This strategy is all about using the power of Facebook™️ check-ins to create word-of-mouth, viral traffic to local restaurants (plus it can be used for other local niches).

The problem in our new COVID-19 world is that people are stuck indoors. So how can your business benefit from check-ins when no one is visiting your business?

It’s actually very simple. People can still be incentivised to check-in, even when they are not physically going to your business location.

For example, during this crisis, let’s say your restaurant has switched to 100% home delivery. You can set up a “check-in contest” for customers whereby anyone who orders home delivery and checks into the business location on Facebook™️ will get entered into a weekly/monthly contest to win a prize.

The effect is the same. All of the customer’s friends see they’ve checked in, and are recommending this restaurant, which means online exposure for your business that gets you more customers.

Try creating ‘viral events’

Again, this can work with other niches. Let’s imaging you run a Mexican restaurant. Under normal trading, you could have a ‘Taco Tuesdays’ where all Tacos are half price. People love to say that they were at an event, and love showing off about it on social media.

It’s easy to think this strategy can’t work now because people aren’t able to go out and attend events. But, just like the check-in strategy, it’s SO easy to translate this to online events.

Using the above Mexican restaurant example, there’s nothing to stop you changing the event to a ‘Taco Tuesday Takeout’ event… in fact, you could get creative and get people to share photos of themselves enjoying their tacos at home!

Create ‘digital coupons’ for your business

Perfect for these straightened times.  Imagine you could run digital coupons where you entice people to book a table to celebrate their birthdays with a special deal…

So long you can do home deliveries, all you have to do is slightly amend the coupons to show that people can still celebrate their birthdays and get a special offer, but they just dine at home instead.

 

2. Get Into Facebook™️ and Instagram™️ Ads

There are some BIG reasons you should be using Facebook™️ advertising for supporting your business during this crisis.

For a start, people are obviously spending more time at home.

Almost everyone is in lockdown, we’re becoming more isolated, we’re working from home. We have already seen the stats that show people are spending more time in front of a screen.

They are reaching out to friends and family, they are doing online shopping, they are checking for news updates.

People are spending A LOT MORE TIME scrolling through their newsfeed on Facebook™️, as it’s a major source of news and information.

This increases the likelihood of your business getting in front of your audience.

Secondly, the cost of advertising has dropped dramatically. As a result of all this additional screen time, people are spending more time on Facebook™️ and that means there are more ad spaces available.

At the same time, other advertisers have been cutting their advertising budgets. And some have been pulling out altogether: a survey carried out last week by The Clikk found that 53% of marketers had cancelled or reduced their online advertising spend.

Yet at the same time, Facebook™️ announced they are working flat out to maintain a HUGE increase in traffic on Facebook™️, WhatsApp™️, Messenger™️ and Instagram™️ as a quarter of the planet’s population went into lockdown. In the countries hit hardest by the virus, total messaging has increased more than 50% over the last month.

More people are on the platform, and advertisers are pulling out. Facebook™️ need to show these users advertising but have fewer advertisers bidding for ad space.

This means YOU have the chance to get your ad seen for less.

We are seeing cost reductions of 30-50%! Now is the time to shore up your business with digital advertising.

Running an online shop? Get your products in front of potential customers. Retarget site visitors with reminders of how great your stuff is.

In the hospitality sector? Keep people engaged in your brand – remind them of the experiences they have had before and will have again.

Create offers, build a database of contact details so you can hit them directly with your offer when your doors are open once again.

In B2B? Reach your prospects while they work from home and they are distracted by Facebook in their hands.

Imagine being able to cut your cost per sales in half!

3 Build Your Mailing List

Everyone is already talking about ‘when all this blows over…’ Be creative in finding ways to collect customer contact information for email marketing.

The benefit of email is you own the relationship with the customer or prospect. You don’t have to hope the social media algorithms are sharing your content, you don’t have to pay to get it on people’s phones.

You just need to build a database so that when the time comes, and the bounceback happens, you are primed with great offers and reminders of why they should book with you.

Doing deliveries or takeaway? Slip in a voucher that incentivises them to fill in their contact details

Create a VIP programme: loyalty programmes can be incredibly popular if they are pitched correctly. Offer VIP status to turn your repeat customers into raving fans.

 

We all know these are tough times. It has been particularly impressive how small businesses have embraced digital marketing during the Coronavirus crisis.

If you haven’t yet – get on it. Start small, get the basics right. Ask for advice if you need it.

If you have taken on more digital outreach, great! Now start thinking about how you might leverage this opportunity for when your doors can open once again.

 

Need help with digital marketing? We provide all the services listed here on behalf of our clients. For a no-obligation chat, book a consultation today.