It’s hard to believe a month has passed since COVID-19 forced the nation into a collective state of emergency, leaving most everyone asking the same questions: What will this mean for our business and staff? How long will this last? How can we move forward?
Since early March, local governments and other organizations throughout the United States have been canceling events, closing schools, limiting non-essential business activity in a proactive attempt to keep people safe and healthy during these unsettling times.
With most everything canceled, non-essential businesses being forced to cease or dramatically limit their operations, and the vast majority of offices going to full remote work scenarios, physical commerce has been brought to a standstill.
All-in-all, it’s a devastating turn of events for many in the immediate term.
Consider these statistics as they relate to COVID-19’s impact on businesses and commerce in the United States and abroad:
But there are ray’s of hope as well:
While many of these statistics focus on the restaurant industry, the data on how COVID-19 has impacted small businesses and other industries has yet to be – or is in the process of being – collected. Regardless of industry or country, it’s easy to see how much of an economic nightmare has been caused because of the damage COVID-19 continues to inflict on businesses around the world.
Across the mainstream media and friends and family on social media, there’s an overwhelming amount of negativity around COVID-19. But as marketers and business leaders, we know the show must go on. Times like these require progressive and forward-thinking responses. Opportunities focused on solutions that will benefit and apply to just about any business in what may in fact become a “new normal”.
With that in mind, we’re offering 7 foundational actions that any business should be taking to help keep moving in the right direction.
In one of Google’s latest blog posts on COVID-19, they express that companies should update their Google My Business information if their business’s hours and availability have been impacted by the Corona Virus pandemic. Failing to update this information could negatively impact rankings, per Google.
This one is fairly obvious. As you can see from this Google Trends chart and map, users are beginning to search more for “delivery” (ie: food delivery) than they are “bar” (ie: bars open near me). So if you haven’t done so already, start offering delivery. While it can be expensive to start an online ordering platform, here are a few that are a little more feasible:
An influencer agency noted an average 76% increase in daily user engagement activity (likes, comments, shares, etc.) on Instagram and Facebook as users become more active and consume more social media during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In other words, keep posting and sharing quality content. People are listening!
Your business’s Google Reviews are a relatively significant variable in determining your website’s rank in organic search (SEO), so ask your customers and clients to give you a 5-star review on Google if they think you’ve done a great job! BONUS: This is also something you can do to support your favorite local restaurants and businesses.
Can’t sell your physical product? Sell gift cards instead! By doing so, you’ll see an immediate cash infusion to help you make it through hard times. You can even consider promoting gift card give-aways to engage with your consumers online in exchange for collecting consumer information or having them follow you on social media.
People love to learn and are now very likely to have the time to invest in learning more about your brand, products and services. Write a blog on your website about a topic relevant to your industry, or create some awesome photos for social media. Whatever you do, keep creating content! There are a lot of social media and SEO benefits that can result in monetary outcomes.
As the world has been forced to become nearly 100% digital, it’s now more important than ever to understand how your website is performing and how your digital presence compares with your competitors. Harvey provides free digital audits for companies who qualify. Contact us today to see what steps you can be taking to secure your website is visable and at peak performance.
Our hope is that at least one of these tips is something you can do to keep your business going during this COVID-19 catastrophe. If you have any additional tips, feel free to share them with us via our Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. We would love to hear from you.Next post: Subscription-Based Food & Retail Businesses: Boom or Bust?