COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt our lives in new and unprecedented ways. It has been notable that our behaviour has shifted over time- from working from home to socialising and meeting family and friends in the virtual world more times than physically meeting them in-person. With the uncertainty from lockdown based on the surge of cases, the usage of the internet has seen rises in usage from 40 % to 100 %, compared to pre-lockdown levels.1 This has also resulted in businesses all over the world having to adjust to new ways of connecting with their audience. As only essential business allowed for in-person, operating digitally became the only way to stay in business throughout the mandated shutdowns and restricted activity.
Before the pandemic, a shift towards digitization was already underway and the current events have accelerated the paradigm. The necessity of digital is now more essential than ever to increase your credibility and maintain your brand- but how do we adapt our presence and connect with them in times of crisis and beyond the crisis? Staying afloat during COVID-19 requires new approaches. Strengthen your online presence and understand how to create virtual spaces to provide great customer experiences.
1. Build trust with your audience.
Customers' priorities and behaviors have shifted and we know it, as we are very much all indeed focused on maintaining their health and wellness intensively first and foremost. For businesses in the health and wellness category, this is the time to use high-quality content to establish your expertise. As for other categories, your audience is looking to be comforted and does not want to feel like they are being sold to. Use content to educate the audience about your product/services with content from your FAQ, customer reviews, and links to your contact information.
2. Lay out a proactive strategy.
You need to develop a content strategy that resonates with your audience will while concurrently ensuring that there is a link to the current state of the world. Connect with your audience, provide value-added support and highlight your brand purpose to them. There is so much more to content that can be derived during these times of crisis, from reassuring content spreading positivity to laid-back and fun content to distract the audience’s state of mind. Explore how you use your content by hosting live sessions, Q&As, tutorials, or even inviting them to have a peek behind the scenes.
3. Utilize multiple social media platforms.
During a time of physical limitation contact, social media became an important place to interact. Consequently, as it helped the world remain connected, it had largely increased its usage during the pandemic. Notable insights includes from Facebook reported over 50 percent increase in overall messaging during the last month of March 2020, WhatsApp reported a 40 percent increase in usage, an increase in the use of Zoom since the start of the pandemic, and an increase in global downloads for TikTok went up 5% in March 2020. Therefore, if you want your content to make an impact, reach to meet where your audience is. Prior to the pandemic, it has always been advised to focus on one or two platforms that are best for your business, however, being experimental during these unprecedented times is the way to go. Your audience is exploring and experimenting with multiple social media as well. Spread your content across as many platforms as you can, do not limit yourself to reach a wider audience.
How we can plan for the next and the beyond?
As businesses having our space in the digital landscape, we must plan for multiple scenarios and time horizons, as we shift from crisis response to recovery. However, we should also plan for the possibility of multiple waves of the pandemic and lead in new ways during these uncertain and unprecedented circumstances, and we will all have to learn together with both confidence and humility.
75% of small-business owners are confident that their business will be better prepared to handle a crisis like COVID-19 if it occurred in the future.2
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