The World Health Organization’s Regional Director for Europe, Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, gave the following statement on March 12th: “More and more countries are now experiencing clusters of cases or community transmission. We expect that in the days and weeks ahead, the number of cases and the number of deaths will continue to rise rapidly, and we must escalate our response in such a way as to take pre-emptive action wherever possible. Such actions may help to delay the pandemic, giving health-care systems time to prepare and assimilate the impact.”
Click here to read the full statement by the WHO.
There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, with financial markets shaking under pressure and growing concerns amongst economists that a global recession could be imminent. How have online businesses and the marketing community been affected by the coronavirus outbreak?
According to a Company Announcement by Google, ‘People continue to come to Google to search for vaccine information, travel advisories and prevention tips (for example, since the first week of February, search interest in coronavirus increased by +260% globally). Our SOS Alert in Search connects people with the latest news plus safety tips and links to more authoritative information from the World Health Organization (WHO).’ As well as an increase in searches, there has been a similar rise in traffic for goods and related content concerning the new coronavirus outbreak.
How have the world’s largest search engine and social media network reacted to the coronavirus crisis?
Google and Facebook have both ramped up efforts to block and remove content and advertising that tries to take advantage of the situation as many users are worried about the fast spread of the disease.
What does this mean for online marketing campaigns? Just make sure that you are not creating content that would appear to be exploiting the situation; ads and articles that allege to deal with the coronavirus are a no go.
These rules and regulations updates may not necessarily have an impact on your marketing campaigns. But the virus outbreak and changes to the way consumers go about their day-to-day lives have changed a lot since the coronavirus started in China. So, let’s have a look at some of the key areas and elements you should be monitoring and updating to coincide with the current global situation that we find ourselves in.
Monitor any changes
Use Google Analytics to see how changes to traffic volume are impacting your clicks, click-through rates, conversion rates, impressions, and so on. It is important to monitor these changes regularly, especially now that more and more consumers turn to the internet for research and goods and products.
For example, Amazon has seen a colossal spike in online orders as customers turn to the online e-commerce business, earning it a reputation as a safe-haven alternative to supermarkets and retail shops during the coronavirus crisis.
You should be vigilant with your social media campaigns as well, particularly as more time is being spent on social media as governments around the world have imposed preventative measures, including citizens staying at home. With more and more people working from home, your target audience and potential customers turn to the internet to pass the time. Monitor your social media ad campaigns as the amount of traffic is sure to have skyrocketed during recent weeks as a result of the pandemic.
Communication is key
Strong customer relationships are built through good communication between the client and the business. Building and maintaining trust with your existing and prospective customers comes down to having effective communication. Things such as email newsletters, push notifications, and regular blog posts help keep your clientele updated as the rules and regulations are in a constant state of flux with governments and central banks trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
For businesses that have had to close or have been disrupted due to the pandemic, it would be a good idea to update your Google My Business page information. You could also update your page to inform your existing and potential customers of any additional measures you have taken to ensure the smooth running of your business despite the Covid-19 confusion.
Fine-tune your marketing campaign to respond to the coronavirus crisis
The general message from governments and health organizations across the world that regular hand washing and minimal social contact is vital to help contain the coronavirus spread. Businesses have now imposed mandatory work from home regulations, as well as governmental travel bans.
There is a lot of confusion out there at the moment, so the best approach is to ensure that you communicate clearly and accurately with your customers.
What about the travel industry?
According to reports, there has been a huge shift in search terms for holidays and travel terms for next year. For example, Delta.com has updated its customer experience page, providing enough information to help calm worried customers and holiday planners. “We’re ready when you are. Enjoy peace of mind with no change fees on new Delta bookings through March 31, 2020. Valid for all destinations served by Delta, this waiver allows a one-time change to your travel through February 28, 2021.”
The coronavirus pandemic has unsettled the world as we know it, from financial markets to global economic growth. During uncertain times the internet becomes a powerful source of information. For this reason, it is important to make sure you keep all content updated.