How Covid-19 is Affecting Small Businesses and Marketers

It seems like despite the world’s best efforts, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is still hanging in there. Millions of people have been infected worldwide and thousands have died since the virus was first detected late last year. As a result, many businesses have been forced to permanently or temporarily shut down.

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting public health and economies around the world. According to Google, search interest for the virus has increased +260% globally. While spikes in search trends are common during large scale events, there has also been a surge in traffic for related products and topics as a direct response to the pandemic.

How Google And Facebook Are Responding

As a response to fake news and information circulating around the internet regarding Covid-19, both Google and Facebook are removing anyone running ads to exploit the situation. Google for example has removed content on YouTube that claims to prevent infection in place of medical treatment and is blocking all ads exploiting the coronavirus disease.

How does it affect small businessmen like you? It doesn’t.  Unless you copy this type of messaging in your ads that claims to cure or prevent Covid-19 then these changes implemented by Facebook and Google will have minimal effect on your marketing.

These platform policies will most likely not impact your account. However, the pandemic and the resulting market changes will. Here are some strategies to prepare and adjust your accounts.

Review Accounts

It is always important to stay on top of marketing changes because the trends can impact your strategies. For example, it might affect your paid search and paid social accounts, from changing click and impression volumes to changing costs.

Staying on top of changes and current trends can help you to get a more accurate picture of where you stand in terms of your metrics. Monitor comments within your post too to prevent the spread of disinformation and fear-based comments can detract potential customers.

Communicate Changes With Customers

Communicating effectively with customers is a key factor in maintaining relationships. For example, your office or store might need to postpone operations temporarily and customers and suppliers will need to know the changes in your schedule in terms of office hours, delivery etc.

You need to communicate changes as soon as possible especially online. Google recommends changing business hours and description on Google My Business profile. Your description can be updated to reflect any changes in terms of precautions and any changes to your services.

Adjust Strategy

A lot of changes have happened due to the coronavirus disease pandemic. For example, hand sanitizers have been in short supply and social distancing is now the new normal. Remote working is also becoming popular while non-essential travels are banned by some countries in a bid to help prevent infections. These changes are stressful which is why marketers need to have a concise and clear messaging strategy.

For example, if you have products advertised that are flying off the shelves make sure that you’re still not advertising them when they become out of stock. Exclude out of stock products from store campaigns to prevent advertising products you no longer have.

For Travel Agencies

The travel and tourism business is perhaps one of the hardest hits sector due to Covid-19. In Australia for example, you can’t leave the country unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs and other nations have instituted similar bans on non-essential travel.

Despite the ban, there is still interest on “cheap flights right now” and “cheap flights due to coronavirus”. This means that while many people can’t travel beyond their countries right now, there is still interest for travel in the future. For the travel industry, this means focusing on the future. Advertise trips or activities in low-risk areas, and provide additional content about what trips and activities are still safe.

Bottom Line

While coronavirus disease pandemic has affected the livelihood and economies of millions of people and countries worldwide, keeping ourselves and our communities should be our first priority. Many businesses are feeling the effects of the business and staying up to date with the correct information is a key.

Businessmen and marketers should continue to monitor the situation as more industry experts, data, analysis and resources will come to light in the coming weeks.

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