While most of the planet shuts down to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, many businesses are treading water and trying to catch their collective breathes. Much of how we do business has suddenly changed and likely will remain changed even after quarantines lift.

Though it’s tempting to pause during this time and focus on just getting through today, now is the time for aggressive, forward-thinking marketing strategies. Businesses that adapt now, during the crisis, will be best positioned not only to survive it, but to thrive after. The best way to do so is to have two primary growth focuses during COVID-19: marketing and branding.

Uploading Marketing Strategies

Even before the pandemic, businesses started investing in online marketing. However, for many, the virtual world was a small branch of their overall marketing model. Old school efforts, such as networking events and word of mouth, accounted for a more significant portion. These traditional formats are failing as conventions and trade shows get canceled, and customers stay indoors. 

This doesn’t mean consumers have disappeared; they’ve just moved venues. From in-person to digital, there’s a migration occurring, and savvy businesses will take advantage of the online influx. Now is the time to invest in a marketing strategy that prioritizes virtual connection, building relationships via online resources. 

Key will be configuring language and actions toward those working or staying at home. This might mean investing more in search engine optimization (SEO), social media campaigns, and non-traditional marketing techniques, like utilizing online influencers. 

Some may be concerned about putting so many eggs in the digital basket when COVID-19 will eventually pass. Though it may be weeks or even months, eventually, things will return to ‘normal,’ right? 

The truth is, probably not. While we’ll start leaving our home and interacting once more, chances are there will be notable changes to how we conduct ourselves. We likely will shake hands less, and shop online more. Additionally, given the uncertainty businesses now face, it’s reasonable to assume that many, betting against future global crises, will stick to formats that remained reliable this time. 

In sum, investing now in digital marketing can both help businesses stay afloat through COVID-19 and thrive after. 

Related: How to Support Your Local Small Businesses During The COVID-19 Epidemic

Cementing Brands

The other focus for businesses during these times should be cementing their brand. 

COVID-19 presents a unique branding opportunity for all sectors. Pre-coronavirus, businesses may have spoken about their charitable values or community-minded character. Now, they can prove it. Many companies are giving back in ways that not only provide help to those in need now but will also cement their brand for years after. 

For example, Christian Siriano and his team are making face masks for New York health care workers. Microsoft, Google, and other tech and service companies have committed to paying their employees despite shutdowns. Many others, like Zoom, are offering their platforms at free or reduced rates to educators.

These are the kinds of moves that are remembered long after we’ve left the danger zone. Paired with clever online marketing, businesses can simultaneously grow their businesses and brand during COVID-19 and put themselves ahead in the future. 

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