Why communication is key for businesses in isolation

Blue Mantis

The current climate feels new, unimaginable and dizzying. Governments around the world have put together some of the biggest stimulus packages - in history. The coronavirus pandemic has been labelled the ‘Greatest test since World War Two’ by the UN chief. Crises shape history.

Studies have shown that major life events often make people more open to changing their buying behaviour and take opportunities to try new brands. Coronavirus is certain to be one of the biggest life events of this generation.

So let's help them know what you're offering.

Listen to your consumers. Look at your Google Analytics and business data to understand how customer behaviour has changed in recent months.

Is there a shift in your shopper’s spending habits? Is there anything you could be making easier to find? Edit your e-commerce platforms to reflect what your clients' are looking for in the current climate. Use this time to do new research on what the consumer currently wants. Google Trends and Google Alerts are great resources that can really help you to stay up to date and better understand your market's frame of mind.

Recent data showed that activity on Facebook messenger has increased by over 50% during the last month in many of the virus hit countries. This would suggest people are currently spending way more time on the social network. Reach out to your followers, do a Q&A - ask to hear their thoughts and what their hopes are for you as business to be able to serve them.

This is a time we all need to be sensitive and understanding — and not too 'salesy' or pushy. It’s a great opportunity for your brand to stand out during this difficult period and prove your core values. Use social media to really understand and connect with your audience. Providing resource and support where possible.

Whilst listening to your customers, make sure you keep them well informed on the current status of your company. You can do this by listing your business as “temporarily closed” through Google My Business. Don’t worry about this affecting your rankings, though, as Google’s Danny Sullivan has confirmed that marking a Google My Business listing as temporarily closed will not harm rankings or visibility.

Image: Twitter

If you're needing reviews for your newly pivoted business, for example, you could invite your consumer to leave feedback and comments through social platforms - this will let consumers, old and new, know what you’ve been doing to keep your business up during the pandemic. Invite customers to leave a quick review, and let them know how much of a positive impact it could have on your business, and how they'll be helping others by doing so, too.

Google recently notified they are temporarily disabling new reviews, new review replies, and new Q&As for all businesses until further notice - so bear this in mind whilst asking for reviews.

There is the need for clear and concise communications during these uncertain times, it builds trust towards your brand and so much more. If you’re offering online services our new found deliveries, communicating to your audience will help them know your availability, and about any fundamental changes to your business.

Creation of a concise survey for your audience to complete is another important and great way to tune into your following. Are they happy with how your company is dealing with the current situation? Ask them how you can help them, prompt them to find some of the mini-solutions for your business, and turn them into working pieces if enough demand is whisked up.

A great example of this is Prolific North's short survey on 'How is COVID-19 impacting your organisation' - a great way to gain information on your customer base. Any stats you gather, such as customer happiness, can be used in future marketing, too, so bare this in mind.

Image: Prolific North's Covid-19 survey

Remember, it’s just as important to communicate within the business itself, to your employees, your managers, your teams, as it is to keep up communication within your audience. Morale and productivity will be boosted as effective comms will create a breeding ground for a greater understanding and relationship between you and your staff. Just check in, see how they’re doing. An anonymous survey may also work here; especially if you feel your staff are saying they’re fine, when they may just not be communicating over fear of sounding ‘moan-y’.

Clarity is key.

Useful tools:

1. Google trends - website by Google that analyses popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. Use this to work out what's going on around your sector.

2.Bing webmaster tools - don’t forget about Bing! Get your keyword rankings for Bing and other suggestions to help your business stand out on the platform - Google has 92.4% share of the UK search market, followed by Bing with 4.4%... Don’t dismiss them!

3. AlsoAsked.com is a great tool to work out what other people asked for when searching for your search term (not to be confused with AnswerThePublic which uses suggest data, and not “people also asked” data

4. Ubersuggest have opened up their keyword data report to help people and businesses through financial difficulties

5. Check in with your audience, what would they like to see? Survey monkey is a great tool to check in with your customers

Thanks for reading the latest insights from our Digital Marketing Executive, Megan Lancaster.