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Marketing Your Business in a Coronavirus-Affected World

By Evelyn Johnson

You are trapped in your home, using Zoom to coordinate with your colleagues and struggling to fend off pets, family, or whatever is distracting you from work. But those are not your only struggles. The world has drastically changed in the last few days. The marketing campaign that you’ve been working on for weeks is now on hold.

With people afraid of catching a viral disease or losing their livelihood in a recession, no one is interested in what your brand has planned for the spring break. However, life does not stop, even if half of the world is currently under lockdown.

Marketers right now have two duties: The first one is to weather the storm and determine what’s to be done under the current environment. The second is to prepare for life after the pandemic. Yes, life will eventually get back to normal and you need to strategize for that time.

Marketing in the age of lockdowns and quarantines

What is happening now is unprecedented. We are living through one of the biggest plagues in modern times and every new development seems bizarre and surreal. In this environment, no would blame marketers for seeking a structure or guidelines through the crisis. Here are some tips for marketing in the age of lockdowns and quarantines:

1. Write topical blogs

Blogs are great for educating your customers on subjects surrounding your product. For instance, a website promoting sales software might feature a blog on sales strategies to improve online sales. The value of blogs has increased tremendously in the last few days. People locked inside their homes are mostly spending their time online. Some are seeking updates on the virus while others need an escape in these depressing times. There is a demand for quality quarantine and non-quarantine content, which you can satisfy.

2. Keep up with the search trends

In normal times, you would be looking at spring and summer spending statistics right now to drive your next campaign home. While that’s still recommended, this is the time to keep up with trends on a daily basis. This means you have to stay online on Twitter and use Google Trends like your life depends on it. Keeping up with the latest searches will also greatly help in implementing the first tip (i.e., writing topical blogs).

3. Adjust your brand’s messaging and imagery

Due to the pandemic, anything that relates to touching, connecting people, and going outside has a negative connotation. Pokemon Go had to change its Twitter bio and even though it was a sad reminder of the current environment, it was nevertheless the right thing to do.

So even though it might sting a bit, remove anything from your website that alludes to physical interaction, exploring the world, or being a part of a crowd.

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4. Try to be empathetic and politically correct

Since people are going through a huge amount of stress these days, it’s time to tread with extreme caution. Don’t promote any content that comes off as boastful, arrogant, or in poor taste. Brands that do not understand public sensitivities during a time of discomfort earn a lasting bad reputation. Remember Pepsi’s controversial Kendall Jenner ad? Try your best to avoid such disasters.

5. Lend a helping hand

Iconfinder has released a number of coronavirus awareness icons that are free. Ford has dedicated its marketing budget to COVID-19 response ads. Businesses big and small are trying to help fight against the novel infection.

This is not exactly a great time to promote any non-essential products. So playing a small part in helping in the community might be the only way to increase your visibility. But regardless, taking part in the battle against coronavirus is the right thing to do.

6. Experiment

If you’ve been meaning to start something new, this is a great time. Since most of your conventional marketing operations are on hold, it’s time to experiment with a new social media forum. Maybe your brand is trying to reach out to Generation Z and a TikTok account is in order? Give it a whirl. If the experiment fails, there is no major setback. If it succeeds, you can be reaping benefits far into the future.

7. Prepare for the post-coronavirus world

With many businesses closed, you have ample time to analyze your whole marketing operation from a bird’s-eye view. See if some improvements can be made or some key elements are missing. Should your brand produce more video content or maybe it should reach out to small social media influencers. Using the current time to strategize will give you a competitive edge once things go back to normal.

Be reactive and proactive

Although life is in quarantine now, the world will eventually go back to its old ways. The key for marketers is to be both reactive and proactive. Yes, react to the current climate and create content suited for the world under a lockdown. However, do prepare for life after quarantine.

RELATED: 6 Strategies to Recession-Proof Your Small Business

About the Author

Post by: Evelyn Johnson

I’m full time cat lady and part-time blogger. I write about marketing and tech.

Connect with me on Twitter.

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