There is no playbook for digital marketing during a pandemic. Disaster relief is ramping up at a scale we haven’t seen before. As you navigate these uncharted waters, remember that actions speak louder than words. 

For those considering a COVID-19-themed digital marketing campaign, following best practices remains imperative –  do so only if you can say that it will tell customers something they don’t already expect, that the information is relevant for the current situation (changed hours, etc.), and that there is something in it for your customers that they need now. This applies to all of your marketing channels, from email campaigns and social media to blog posts and paid media campaigns. Let your company values guide the decisions you make just as they would at other times. 

Below are the steps we are taking for clients and recommendations we are making to our fellow business partners and marketing colleagues. As we learn more throughout this process, we will update this page with useful information. If you would like to learn more, please reach out. We are here to help where we can.

Additional Resources

Understanding the Impact of the Coronavirus (Data and Analysis)

Covid-19 is Changing our Digital Marketing Habits

SEO

  • Review and update your Google My Business and all other local business listings. Make sure customers know your revised hours. Note that Google has suspended local reviews.
  • Add content to your website specifically addressing the COVID-19 impact on your business and what customers need or would want to know. You can add this to your home page or create a separate page for this content.
  • Consider your bilingual customers and have important information translated for your website as well.
  • Add COVID-19 specific schema markup where appropriate.
  • Review your website traffic to see where visitors are frequenting the most during this time period and make changes based on what you find.
  • Set up phone call tracking numbers to help funnel business calls to work-from-home employees or offer other group communication platform solutions to customers.

Content Marketing

  • Pause all content generation irrelevant or insensitive to the current conditions. Hold those pieces for future use or reposition them to meet the current context. This can be done through rewrites or a thoughtful introduction.
  • If relevant to your business, create useful written or visual content that can help support your customers partners or your community. Create unique information that could help.
  • Share your experience. This is new territory for all companies. Customers are interested in how it is effecting everyone including the companies they know and have frequented. 
  • Turn written and/or visual content ideas into videos, webinars and interviews from your brand. 
  • Consider un-gating your content to help customers easily download materials that may be helpful to them now.

Email Marketing

  • Audit your nurture campaign flows and determine whether they should continue as is or be paused. Revised the email messages as needed to reflect the current situation. 
  • Send regular email updates to your client and customer lists notifying them of changes within your company that may impact them. Be authentic and true to your brand. 
  • Only send things that provide value to the reader. What’s in it for them? In a crowded and overwhelming time online, you need to be serving them first.

Social Media

  • Audit your social media advertising and pause all insensitive or irrelevant campaigns. 
  • Leverage social media as a customer service tool to continue to engage with customers and answer questions using visuals where possible for the best engagement. Learn more about our social media response package.
  • Offer regular updates on business activities and changes on the social platforms most used by your customers.
  • Use social media to share helpful information relevant to what is happening right now. How-tos and best practices related to working from home, home repairs or DIY projects, etc. 
  • Develop a Social Media Playbook that specifically addresses crisis situation communication expectations for your team. 
  • Designate someone (internal or agency) to own the community management for your company. It is important to be able to respond quickly.

Paid Media

  • Audit all ad copy and make adjustments to ensure ads are sensitive. All companies should want to avoid being tone-deaf in this environment. 
  • Refresh social and display ads where needed to ensure sensitivity and accuracy.
  • Review campaign metrics each day and assess where the deltas are occuring.
  • Set new short term KPIs focused on brand awareness if that makes sense for your business. 
  • Meet frequently with your PPC management to keep up on trends and assess KPI performance.

How we are helping clients

We are committed to seeing our clients succeed during these unusual times. Below are a few things we have been working on to help our digital marketing clients weather these changes. Please reach out if you have questions or if your business needs help making these quick shifts.

  • Web and social media copy and design to address COVID-19 related closures and business changes.
  • Social media community management to help clients keep information up to date, responses timely and messaging sensitive to the current climate.
  • Modifying articles, web copy and various other written pieces into design and video assets.
  • Auditing paid media campaigns and adjusting budget and placement allocations.
  • Assessing buying trends day-by-day and making advertising recommendations.
  • Developing webinars and related online meeting materials and marketing campaigns.
  • Creating Social Media Playbooks specifically to address crisis situations.
  • Promoting online classes and courses typically held in a classroom setting.