As we navigate our way through an unprecedented pandemic for most of us, there is a lot of instability entering our lives: how we work, how we manage life, if our work is still viable in the climate. Particularly for small business, the fiscal ramifications have been swift and it’s difficult to plan ahead when no one knows what the future is holding. However, what we do know is, if there is a space that will continue to not just remain status quo, but indeed thrive, it’s digital. While it can seem insensitive, even selfish, to be configuring ways to work with the audience behavioural changes amid this crisis, it is the reality that it is vital if you’re to keep your livelihood the wake of COVID-19. We are, and have always been, believers in a strong strategy. However, we believe even more in a flexible strategy that can manoeuvre with audience behavioural changes and if ever we’re seeing that, it’s now. With that, digital marketing is your best, most accessible, financially viable way of reaching your audience.
It’s time to ramp up your social listening and really watch the behaviours of your audience. Are your social analytics numbers dropping as everyone shifts their engagement and interest to news sites and viral shares on COVID-19? Or, are you finding they are ramping up as people become concerned with their future access to your service or product? Whatever the case, take notes and be fluid with your strategy based on what you find. If you are getting a lot of questions and concerns, answer them within an hour where possible. This will not only help with the engagement-led algorithm of platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, it will also ensure your current and future clients and customers know you are still very much present in delivering your service or product.
Use your social media, temporary update pop-ups on your website and EDMs to consistently update your client list on any changes and ongoing processes of your company. Even if there are no changes to business as usual. People will be wondering and will want to know how you are planning to go forward. Even for micro changes, be as transparent as possible and nurture the trust you have with your clients. Using digital marketing in this way allows you immediate access to them in a helpful and informed way. In terms of a strategy to ensure that, even if actual business is slowing down, your clients will feel valued and will return when the dust settles.
Social media might feel clogged up with news and updates, and seem like there are few cracks in the feed for you to engage your audience. However, the opposite can be true if you offer informative posts, even entertaining to break up the doom and gloom on everyone’s feed, while still remaining sensitive to the situation. Use imagery to capture attention and watch your analytics for what is working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly. Although this advice is our standard social posting advice, it is more important than ever to do this. News and updates are moving at a rapid pace and it’s important to know that your posts, directly or inadvertently, do not offend or contradict (if you’re delivering information about COVID-19) based on these updates. Social media is your direct bridge of communication with your clients and now more than ever, it should be a priority to continue, or elevate, your activity on these platforms.
In all, digital marketing is your way of ensuring you do not lose your visibility with your target audience. More people than ever are looking to their screens, and you want to make sure you are meeting them there; it’ll be your best resource for getting through an unprecedented hit on small business and social behaviour.