Viral Marketing: How to Pivot During Coronavirus
Life’s only constant is change. It’s a phrase on the minds of millions of people worldwide as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads into our communities and alters our perception of “business as usual.” While some businesses have been forced to close their doors, others are left wondering how to promote themselves during this uncertain time.
The answer: pivot. Like 9/11 or the rise of Facebook, the coronavirus will become a watershed moment for our society. Brands that understand and adapt to it will thrive. Those that maintain the status quo may not. Here are some ways we’re seeing brands big and small succeed in the face of the coronavirus.
Make Online Your Lifeline
Recent stay-at-home orders have made traditional dining, entertainment and shopping virtually impossible. But a closed storefront doesn’t have to mean closed for business. Even businesses that don’t typically rely on web traffic—like restaurants and breweries—suddenly find themselves scrambling to move their entire operation online.
We’re seeing more businesses invest in new technology and digital marketing tactics, like:
- Adding eCommerce functionality to existing websites
- Using a third-party payment processor, like Square
- Improving a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) for discoverability
- Investing in pay-per-click advertising to promote the website
Serve First. Sell Later.
Times like this help break down barriers between consumers and businesses, reminding us that we’re all human and we’re all in this together. People are looking for hope more than they’re looking for products, and the best brands realize it. Anheuser-Busch recently announced plans to manufacture hand sanitizer for hard-hit regions. Ford, 3M and GE have teamed up to increase production of critical healthcare supplies, such as ventilators and personal protective gear.
If your business has the ability to spread help, health or happiness to people during this challenging time, now is the time to do it. Your customers are watching, and they’ll remember your efforts long after the virus has passed.
Stay in Touch
Right now, your audience is largely at home seeking any source of comfort and happiness they can get. Even if you aren’t spamming their social feeds with hard sells, you can still build meaningful relationships with them online—relationships that will endure the current crisis. Shift your focus to listening and creating meaningful dialogue with your audience.
Take a hotel chain for example. Although most hotels are closed for the time being, they won’t be closed forever. People will still want to travel when this is all over. A hotel company might consider using the opportunity to showcase interesting places around the world, share travel photos from customers, or highlight the communities that surround their properties.
Now more than ever, we’re here to serve. The last few days have made it clear that our world won’t look the same when things finally settle down. Reach out to our strategists today and let’s use this time wisely. Start adapting your business and your marketing to the possibility of an online-only world—because you never know when it might have to be.