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  • Writer's pictureAlison Ellerbrook

5 Digital Marketing Steps To Take During The Coronavirus Crisis.

We're living in very strange times.

Who would have predicted at the start of the year that loo roll and pasta would become coveted products and that by Spring we'd be self-isolating in our homes.

It presents challenges for everyone in business, whether you run a small corner shop that's currently booming or a business that's had to send everyone home and wait things out.

There's a lot of noise online at the moment, and it's more important than ever to ensure if you are going to say something, that you're not just adding to the racket.

The sheer number of 'How we're coping with Covid 19' emails and discount vouchers landing in my inbox right now are going largely ignored, I totally appreciate that business is in desperate need of, well, business, but striking the right tone is incredibly important.

Whatever business you're in, there's a fine line between keeping in touch with your customers, promoting to a new audience and behaving inappropriately during this current crisis. Make sure your content is either informative or entertaining and always engaging.

If you run a micro or small business (whether you've had to pause activity or are still continuing) there are a number of things you definitely SHOULD be doing at the moment to manage your online presence and keep customers updated.

1. Update Your Google My Business Make sure your Google My Business profile is accurate. Update the opening hours and ensure you post any updates about your situation/service here too.

2. Be human on your social profiles. More than ever, we want to connect with other people right now, show your customers who you are, what you're doing. Don't bombard us with promotional posts about your products or discounts. Use Facebook Live and Instagram stories to show behind the scenes and who you, and your staff, are. Facebook Live has seen a massive increase in engagement, so now's the time to stop being shy and put yourself out there!

3. Update your website. Ensure you cover any FAQs that may relate to the crisis or have a dedicated page if you are a business such as a restaurant where your product or service has been severely impacted by the crisis.

4. Remove any outdated scheduled posts

If you thought you'd been organised by scheduling Facebook and Twitter content weeks in advance, then sorry, it's time to review what you had planned. Make sure there isn't any insensitive or inappropriate content due to be posted to profiles. Not only may it look insensitive, it will also give the game away that you're automating!

5. Nurture your existing customers

It's always easier to retain customers than to find new ones, so use this time to build on your relationship with your existing audience. Focus on community and engagement rather than selling. Even if you're closed for now, you'll want them to remember you in the future, now's the time to join in the conversation.

Above all, stay safe, stay home if you can, and if you want any advice do get in touch, I'd be happy to help if I can.

Alison Ellerbrook delivers social media management and online marketing for small businesses in North East England and beyond.

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