Quarantine marketing. Who could have guessed this would have even been a “thing” a year ago? No matter how shocked and traumatized we are, the show must go on for small business owners. The COVID19 pandemic has not only claimed thousands of lives. It also has many businesses closing their doors for good. “Unessential” brick and mortar stores are ghost towns, abandoned by consumers who are ordering for curbside pickup or taking their shopping online to avoid social interaction. While the government is attempting to cushion the blow with small biz loans and stimulus payments, entrepreneurs will still have to be agile to survive Coronavirus. Your online marketing tactics are more important now than ever!

What can you do to stay relevant to customers who are forced to shop mostly online? How can you adapt your services to fit into a pandemic-stricken world? Here are our top 5 tips for adapting your business for better quarantine marketing—and online sales in the future

Plan for the Future Now

This pandemic will slowly pass and we will heal, physically and mentally. But our world is forever changed. We are now very aware of how careful we need to be when we go to the grocery, shopping mall, and any time we might have close contact with a service provider, like our hairstylist or dentist. Many brick-and-mortar businesses are caught completely off guard by this quarantine. And many customers are looking for ways to connect with their favorite local retailers.

We have been helping many small businesses with quarantine marketing, building and updating websites to help get products online and shipped to customers. If your website is stuck in the stone age and you haven’t updated your online inventory in a year, it’s time to put some serious thought into how you can make it easier for your customers to purchase goods and services online. Invest in the future of your business by diversifying your offerings, streamlining your website navigation, and making sure you’re ready the next time we have to hit pause on in-person purchasing. If you need help, Witty Kitty is always here!

Solidify Trust Through Social Media, Email, and Text Campaigns

The first places your customers will go to find information on how your business is handling quarantine are social media and their email and messaging inboxes. Are you still open for business? Can they order for delivery online? How are you ensuring that your employees are adhering to safe, healthy practices when handling goods or food items? Are there ways loyal customers can support you during this difficult time? These are all very important “quarantine marketing” questions you need to answer to solidify trust.

Make sure to update your social media often to make sure customers are aware of the best ways to purchase, any new options you might have available in the near future (like contactless delivery or curbside pickup), and any changes in business hours of operation. Also post plenty of fun, lighthearted, and inspiring content. Who doesn’t need a pick-me-up right now? If you need ideas for creative social media posts, here’s a guide we made!

You can also craft email and text campaigns to make sure customers know you’re taking their safety very seriously. Be sincere, heartfelt, and sensitive in your quarantine marketing—now is probably not the best time for jokes or making light. Your customers are stressed out! Your communications should be a source of comfort and reassurance for them. We wrote a guide for successful email campaigns if you need inspiration. Or we can spin up a beautiful email for you if you’re not the DIY sort.

Optimize Your Website for SEO and User Experience

While the need for a fast and easy to use website is nothing new, you may not have relied so heavily on online sales in the past. Now that your customers need to use your website, are you wishing it was a bit more modern and optimized for SEO and better sales conversion? If so, you’re not alone. Small businesses can no longer lean on an awesome location and skilled employees who can sell. They don’t have the ability to demonstrate and explain the effectiveness of their products in person. And we have no idea when things will go back to normal…if they ever do.

Now is the time to invest in revamping your website, make sure your SEO is tip-top so customers can find you online, and add video and blog resources that help support online sales. Your website has to show your personality and convey the mission and benefits of your brand. If it doesn’t, you need to take a really hard look at how your online presence and branding could be effecting your bottom line.

If it’s time to reboot, we’re always here to give advice and help you improve your site! Schedule a free consultation if you’d like to chat with us about your options. Quarantine marketing doesn’t have to be confusing or crazy expensive.

Adapt Your Services

Now is the time to take your business online, even if you aren’t sure how. Invest in pre-recorded video and subscription services, live offerings, and free incentives (like blog posts and e-books) that can bring traffic to your website and social profiles. If you’re a service provider or retailer who cannot safely accept customers right now, you’re going to have to get very creative and possibly stray outside of your comfort zone to secure income for the future.

Yoga instructor, personal trainer, or life coach? Offer online classes and consultations and accept payment via Paypal and Venmo. Or partner with a digital marketing agency to launch an online membership portal where patrons can tune in to weekly classes and purchase pre-recorded videos.

Doctor or Therapist? Get your website set up to securely offer eVisits and handle sensitive patient documents and communications. We’ve helped many doctors promote their online practices through instructional videos, HIPPA-complaint email accounts, and patient portals. This is a fantastic way to diversify your practice, quarantine marketing aside.

Brick-and-mortar store with no online presence? Get a website up—fast—and start moving inventory through e-commerce. It’s easy to set up a simple, secure site that looks great on WordPress or Squarespace.

Revisit your PPC and Social Advertising Campaigns

Still running pre-pandemic advertising campaigns? With everything that’s going on, you need to make sure your advertising is still ringing true with consumers. Perform an audit to ensure your messaging, images, and calls to action are pandemic-appropriate. Hint: you may want to nix that competition you were planning on running for a dream vacation to Bora Bora.

Consider running a pay per click or social media advertising campaign that specifically addresses new concerns your customers might have. National car manufacturers, grocery chains, and online retailers have been finding success with this tactic, and so can your small local business. Make sure to use sensitive language and appeal to your audience’s emotions. If you are selling new products that satisfy new demands (like masks or immune-boosting nutritional supplements) be aware that you have to word your ads carefully.

Quarantine marketing is here to stay. Even when we re-open our doors to customers, small businesses need to be aware and prepared for this to happen again in the future. Your business can still thrive, you just need to make sure your online presence is primed and the right infrastructure is in place to function smoothly when in-person isn’t an option. If you need help, feel free to reach out to us! We’ve been a remote company since day one, and we can explain how we win customers through SEO and other strategic digital marketing. Until then, stay safe out there!