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Marketing Strategies to Use During the Coronavirus Outbreak

In this week's episode of Local Search Tuesdays, we share several marketing tips to help small businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. The key point is to be transparent and communicate with your customers... Watch the video for all the details.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, we paused our normal schedule of videos so we could talk about the coronavirus and what your business should do during this uncertain time.

The World Health Organization has declared the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, a global pandemic, and countries all over the world are taking drastic measures to slow the transmission of the virus.

Kids are home from school, many people have transitioned to working from home, and the internet is going crazy with toilet paper memes. It’s an uncertain and unprecedented time, and we know that many small businesses aren’t sure how to proceed.

I’m not a doctor, so I’m not going to be sharing any medical advice, and we’re not going down the politics road. But if you’re wondering how your business should respond to what’s going on, we wanted to use this week’s video to try to help.

Almost across the board, website traffic has gone up over the last few weeks - that makes sense though - as more people are home, there’s going to be more search traffic. There’s a big community vibe, with lots of people suggesting on social media that during the crisis, it’s important to avoid Amazon and instead support local businesses. 

The most important thing you can do is be transparent. Let your customers and potential customers know how the situation is affecting your business. Are you changing your hours? Have you distributed hand sanitizer throughout your store? Are you closing for a few weeks? 

Make sure these updates are communicated clearly on both your website and your Google My Business profile. Many sites have added COVID-19 popups, with a brief explanation of how the business is responding and a link to a page on the site with all the details.

You can also update your GMB description, and it’s not a bad idea to use Google Posts to inform customers and potential customers about how your business is handling the situation.

Some states have closed restaurants and bars for dine-in business - if you’re a restaurant or bar in one of these states, it’s absolutely vital that you update your website to let people know that you’re still open and providing pickup and/or delivery service. 

If you’re another type of business and you’re pivoting your service model, let people know. If you’re able to provide virtual service or delivery of goods, your customers need to know.

Google and Facebook have blocked all ads that are exploiting the situation - so don’t rush out and try to put up any “coronavirus specials” ads. You should also check your ad accounts - you’ll probably want to pause any ads that encourage store visits.

Keep an eye on your comments for any Facebook or Instagram ads. You might be more likely to get negative or off-subject comments for the next few weeks.

Be careful with your organic social posts as well - stay away from any posts that make blatant marketing statements about the pandemic. It’s a serious situation, and you don’t want to look like you’re insensitive, or worse, like you’re taking advantage of people.

While no one is sure how long this crisis will last, we do know that it won’t last forever - and it’s important to let your customers know you’ll still be there when restrictions are lifted.

That’s it for this week’s episode, so you know what time it is. Put your hand on the screen right here - we totally just high fived cause you learned something awesome. Thanks again for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.