The crisis caused by the novel Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic has created a strangely difficult business environment. It has become a scary time for all businesses. Many businesses have been forced to close due to lockdown, many have shifted to a 100% remote workforce, and many small businesses have lost a noteworthy amount of customers. Added to this the employees are facing financial uncertainty and worry. 

The impact of COVID -19 on consumer behavior

This pandemic has led to a temporary change in the consumer outlook, perceptions, and behavior. The change is on a massive scale. The reason for this being the financial uncertainty and the prospective economic recession. A recent research report in March 2020 stated that the eCommerce advertising spend is expected to grow by 17.7% and social media spending is expected to rise by 22.2%. This report depicts the changes in consumer behavior due to COVID -19. The lockdown will make people switch to online shopping rather than coming to the streets.

The good news

The COVID -19 panic has given a unique and huge opportunity for online businesses to invest in digital marketing. Those who are already into digital marketing can optimize their strategies to keep pace with the competition. The increase in online shopping and changing consumer behaviors makes the marketplace more competitive than ever. If you do not optimize your digital marketing strategy now, your business will be severely affected. Here are a few tips to optimize your digital marketing strategy to stay on top during this uncertain time.

#1 Reassess your current marketing strategy

The COVID -19 pandemic is not the right time to conduct trade shows or events for the promotion or sale of your products or services. Also do not cut back on the digital marketing costs. This is the right time for you to invest in social media and search ads. This can help improve your organic rankings and help you stay ahead of your competitors. Reallocate your marketing budget to improve your search rankings during this pandemic. It could give you a long-term return even after the pandemic is over. 

#2 Enhance your digital presence

Due to the lockdown, there is a rapidly rising usage of mobile phones and online platforms. People use social media platforms to get connected with the outside world. They use a lot of eCommerce portals for online shopping and use streaming platforms for entertainment. You can use this opportunity and tweak your ads to reach the customers at the right time. You can update customers on changes in your operations through social media. You can use technology such as chatbots, product configurators, augmented reality, and personalization to enhance your digital presence.

#3 Focus on your customer experience

During such uncertain times, you must focus on inculcating trust among the consumers. Provide them with the right information about COVID -19, how the pandemic has affected your industry, how people can cope up with the situation, and how you can help them out. Let them know if you’re still operational and what are the services you’re offering now. Give an assurance to your consumers that they can use your products or services and proper cautions are in place. Ensure that you deliver the best customer experience to them.

#4 Emphasize your existing customers

Your customers will now have a lot of time to help your business grow. You need to optimize strategies to turn your existing customers into your brand ambassadors. It is also less costly to market your brand to existing customers than acquiring new ones. So, the key question is, how do you do that? Listed here are a few ways through which you can entice your existing customers

  • Call clients and ask how you could help them 
  • Offer additional products or services
  • Speed up your delivery process
  • Provide contact-free delivery
  • Offer more discounts on bulk orders
  • Send personalized emails or messages
  • Get reviews and feedbacks
  • Show support for other businesses 

#5 Increase social media activity

People are spending more time on social media during this lockdown. Therefore, social media is the most effective tool to engage and get connected with your customers at this time. It will help your customers know that you are up and running. Keep your customers informed about the changes in your business due to this pandemic. Update your hours of operation, safety protocols, or any important information through social media posts. Also, post the updates to your Google My Business listing.

#6 Cause Marketing

Quarantine and lockdown can help people stay safe. But, on the other hand, some people are affected economically, physically, and mentally. It is therefore crucial that you find innovative ways to serve people and build a long-lasting relationship. You can join hands with NGOs and other community organizations in serving people. Donate a portion of your sales to such NGO’s helping the needy at this time. You can also partner with fitness apps and educate your audience on how to stay fit and healthy at home. Cause marketing can improve your website visibility and recognition.

Final Thoughts

The coronavirus pandemic is unpredictable and it is said to influence digital marketing in the upcoming months. To survive this, ensure that you go above and beyond to fulfil the customer needs, use the right technology, and your digital marketing strategy is agile to make adjustments as and when required.