As COVID-19 continues to progress, our hearts go out to those impacted both directly and indirectly. In addition to those who are ill, the consumer response and shifting economic environment has created significant turbulence for many businesses as brands hold their breath to see what comes next – things are evolving quickly.
During this critical time, more and more people are facing “shelter-in-place” orders, social restrictions, and closure of non-essential businesses – where do people turn? We learned that in China internet usage went up by over 20% while people were quarantined. I expect this to be more significant in the US. Blue Moon Digital believes consumers turn to online shopping to stay safe and avoid stores, and there is data to support this – as things have worsened, Coresight expects 75% of consumers to shop from home, but your brand can still be part of the conversation.
Some brands have taken the initiative to participate in local fundraising or support community programs – this is a great way for your brand to get involved and show we are all in this together. Other brands’ leadership teams have shared heart-to-heart messages, encouraging people to diversify spend (not just to them) for the good of the economy. There are many approaches you can take, but it’s important to align with what your brand stands for.
As people are increasingly self-quarantining, many are facing new experiences. This can take physical and mental tolls. It is reasonable to acknowledge how some might be feeling and even offer solutions, we must understand our audience to better communicate with them: where are they, what are they doing, what makes them happy, and where are they spending their time digitally? With the right messages in the right places, we can help offer solutions and be present.
To be clear, we are not advocating profiting from fear, we are encouraging your brand to continue to be authentic and communicate with your consumers openly and honestly.
As consumers settle into their new day-to-day and lean on digital, a return to normal will come and online purchasing will pick up. Over the past week or so, uncertainty slowed some digital programs, but we believe this should be temporary. We can rely on data to guide our decisions, tracking and focusing on performance. If users are coming to the site, there is interest in your products, even if they haven’t purchased, we can capture that interest.
NOTE: It is also important to note that historical data might not apply to the current environment, so make sure you are using fresh data and keep an eye on inventory!
Most brands will see opportunities across multiple channels. Our resident Paid Social and Display Marketing Expert just published an awesome post highlighting some COVID-19 best practices when it comes to managing your paid social and display channels during this trying time.
The opportunities we are seeing are not limited to one channel:
- Video Ads are a great way to capture your audiences’ attention while they are entertaining themselves with content (across all devices)
- Paid Search and Shopping help you capture intent, and if the customer isn’t looking for you yet, capture interest with Non-Brand Terms
- Email allows you to have a curated voice. You can inform customers how you are responding, keep them updated on crucial news, offer on-brand recommendations (eg, “Stay safe while jogging with these 5 stretches,” or “Ship happiness to your loved ones with our _____ Boxes” ), or promote products that are helpful in people’s day-to-day
- Marketplaces allow you to sell your product alongside many others, in a way that can streamline purchasing. Amazon is the biggest player here, but as they move to focus on critical products during COVID-19, it may be worth exploring additional outlets. Ensure all listings are updated and have fresh, relevant copy
- SEO will ensure your site is packed with the content your customers need while being accessible when they are looking for it
- Affiliate is an incredible platform that allows new revenue streams with minimal risk. Offer select discounts to move inventory or use third parties to offer cashback, this is especially important with looming financial concerns. Most programs are paid based on performance, reducing your upfront investment
- Analytics tools keep a pulse on the business and track shifting consumer behavior in real-time. Be sure to leverage your Analytics and bring your efforts full circle with a heavy focus on your data
Blue Moon Digital has 16 years of experience helping brands drive and grow their business, even during tough times. We are here to help!
If you have questions about how your brand is responding to COVID-19 reach out to your account team or set up a free consultation with our team of specialists.
As always, Blue Moon Digital is here for you!
Keep an eye out for channel level deep dives and more COVID-19 updates. Stay safe out there, we are all in this together.