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How COVID-19 Is Changing Businesses

A lot has changed over the last few weeks. Families are working from home, kids are learning in Google classrooms, events have been canceled across the globe, and the service and hospitality industries have taken a huge hit. Yet, there is good news for businesses. Companies are thinking outside the box and finding virtual ways to stay connected with their audiences.

Now is the time to ask yourself, “what should I be doing now, to focus on retaining my customers and clients?” Check out the following examples of how a few local companies are transforming the way they do business!

 
young girl writing in front of tablet

Telehealth

This is not the first time our healthcare industry has depended on telehealth to treat patients but healthcare professionals are doing it more now than ever before. Telehealth is comprised of many services, from making appointments online to conducting an entire primary care visit via video chat. Among the major measures used to fight COVID-19, is social distancing, the world of telehealth is stepping up as a key technology for safe and efficient communications. On April 2nd, 2020, the FCC enacted a $200 million telehealth initiative to ease the COVID-19 burden on hospitals. Medical offices are implementing telehealth communications on various levels across the globe. Locally, Atlantic Physical Therapy is offering their physical therapy services via telehealth, for patients who are able to do their therapy at home.

cottage cafe virtual happy hour announcementCottage Cafe's virtual happy hour announcement
 

Virtual Happy Hour

In light of the novel coronavirus, virtual happy hours are now the new way to hang out with friends. What is a virtual happy hour? It’s exactly what it sounds like. Bars and restaurants are choosing a platform and a meeting time, and sending out invites to whoever wants to join! Cottage Cafe in Bethany Beach, Delaware, recently hosted a Virtual Happy Hour on Facebook Live, where local performer Frank Raines performed, with approximately 400 devices that tuned in to watch! You can host your own Virtual Happy Hour by scheduling a Zoom or Google Hangouts meeting, or Facebook Live and interacting with comments as they come.

Virtual Classes

Despite having to close, many businesses are able to continue to run by offering virtual classes. If you own a yoga studio, consider taking a class to Zoom, or even offering it on Facebook live. Non-fitness businesses are able to do this as well! From virtual BINGO to art lessons, there is no limit to what you’re able to show and offer the world while we remain indoors. Locally, the Art League of Ocean City will now be hosting their classes online while their physical location remains closed. Virtual classes offer a great way to generate revenue and acquire new clients during this time.

Are You Feeling Inspired?

Consider how you can apply virtual-business to your own company. Stay ahead of the curve, this very well may become the new normal for many organizations, even after COVID-19.

How To Communicate With Your Audience

How are you marketing your business during COVID-19? As people across the globe are adjusting to social distancing, and physical business locations are being temporarily shut down, business owners and social media managers are jumping to adjust content and campaigns to meet new norms in how people are consuming information.

Staying connected and relating to your audience is more important now than ever before. Facebook and Instagram have seen a 40% increase in usage due to COVID-19. With more eyes on your word choices, what should your company be posting? Check out these helpful tips for navigating your social media during COVID-19.

 
cottage cafe virtual happy hour announcementCottage cafe's virtual happy hour announcement

Acknowledge What Is Happening

Ignoring the pandemic, or pretending like it’s business as usual, can come across as inauthentic and disconnected to your followers. Let them know that you’re listening, that you’re aware of special circumstances, and acknowledge that this is the new normal. Simply acknowledging the current climate helps to humanize your brand.

inquisitive woman on mobile phone
 

Decide If Your Brand Should Continue To Post

Decide if it’s right for your brand and audience to continue to post at this time. For some brands, posting might lead to discussions or comments that they don’t necessarily need to be a part of yet. For example, if your seasonal business is not yet open, but you remain active on social, acknowledge the pandemic, and leave the deeper conversations to those who are dealing with this on the front lines.

If you determine that it is appropriate to continue posting, then focus on sharing content that aligns with the values of your brand. Update the copy in your captions to let your followers know that your imagery was taken prior to the pandemic. Consider verbiage such as “daydreaming of___”, or “take me back to ___”, this allows you to use content that you have in a timely manner.

Empathy Is Everything

COVID-19 is affecting people globally but in very different ways. Some people have temporarily lost their jobs, some are now working from home, some have kids that they are caring for or teaching and some are experiencing bouts of loneliness from social distancing. The point is, everyone’s situation is different, so be empathetic. Think twice before trying to be funny or sarcastic! While you don’t have to explicitly mention the pandemic in each piece of content, take into consideration how your captions may be interpreted by people who are facing a new reality.

If you’re promoting a sale, acknowledge that “not everyone is in a position to shop right now”, or that it “feels weird to post a sale, but if you feel compelled to help support us during this time, please do.” Adapting your messaging towards empathy goes a long way.

Remaining Optimistic

During this time, it’s important to remain authentic with your followers, but try to be optimistic. The onslaught of news is inevitable, so try to be the good news in someone’s day. A simple message of, “there’s light at the end” or “looking forward to ___” can be uplifting. Reminding someone that this time won’t last forever and that there will be a return to normalcy after it’s over is encouraging to those enduring long days at home or uncertainties.

Navigating through this unprecedented time can be challenging, but remembering to communicate, and empathize with your audience gives life to your brand, and hope to your followers.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Social Strategists at D3 to assist with your brand’s messaging - we’re here to help!

 
d3corp instagram post

Are You Feeling Inspired?

Consider how you can apply virtual-business to your own company. Stay ahead of the curve, this very well may become the new normal for many organizations, even after COVID-19.

Embracing The Moment

As news regarding COVID-19 continues to seemingly change by the hour, many people are uncertain about how they can best spend the “extra” time that they now have. Once the new normal hits, and it will, how will your business have benefited? Now is the time to begin planning your post-COVID-19 content, start working now so you can benefit later. Consider the following ways that you can improve your business now - you don’t have to wait!

 
woman using a laptop in a sunny room
woman using a mobile phone with a search bar overlay
 

Monitor Keywords & Google Trends

In times like these where search interest and user intent are shifting, it’s important to monitor keyword changes. Utilizing tools such as Google Search Console, or other third-party tools can help you and your business stay on top of trends. Be sure that your business is not missing any opportunities by keeping your eye on keywords.

It’s also important to monitor Google Trends for questions and topics that people are asking about in your industry during this time. When you stay on top of this data, you can begin to create relevant content around those topics. By creating content that people are looking for, you leverage your business as the resource that people need, improving your website traffic and overall SEO.

Build Up Content & Plan Ahead

Having a stockpile of great content that is ready to go ahead of time gives your business a leg-up on the competition. While this content might not convert to your short term goals during this pandemic, it will funnel into your long term goals and set you up for future success. Write the blogs you didn’t have the time to write, conduct an audit for outdated content on your website and take product photos. Now is the time to build up the content that you’ll need to hit the ground running.

While you’re building up content, begin thinking about Q4 and your holiday initiatives! No one knows the possible economic repercussions of COVID-19, so look forward and consider what your business is going to need to change during this time. Begin brainstorming on how you can make up for lost revenue, and start thinking through Black Friday and Christmas.

Embrace Data And New Strategies

People are searching more frequently, so utilize it! Consider which pages on your site are now getting the most traction, and how you can use that to benefit you! Speak with an expert on how you can collect the most data during this time, so you can utilize it in the future. Beyond that, take the content that is getting the most views and repurpose it! Consider the information that you’ve shared via your social media or website that’s resonated well via traffic, and create a video with that information to post on your social media and YouTube accounts. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to give people the content that they’re looking for.

 
woman on a mobile phone

Use Your Time Wisely

Content may be the first SEO-related task that comes to mind, but use your time to update and improve your SEO as a whole. The possibilities are endless, but consider starting here:

  1. Ensure your page speed is where it needs to be.
  2. Ensure your content is easy to find.
  3. Update your website with fresh photos.
  4. Ensure that your site is good for user experience.
  5. Check links throughout your site to be sure they’re not broken.

Don’t stop your SEO efforts just because of current events. Your data may look a bit different, but there are opportunities out there to improve. Taking some time to improve now will ensure that you’re on a path to success for the long-term.

Are You Feeling Inspired?

Consider how you can apply virtual-business to your own company. Stay ahead of the curve, this very well may become the new normal for many organizations, even after COVID-19.

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