March 23rd 2020 update: Businesses to close guidance
This document provides guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures.
Thanks to COVID-19, we find ourselves in exceptional circumstances. Judging by other countries, a lockdown seems imminent.
The digital world will be one of our savings graces during these turbulent times. We can shop online, video call our loved ones and stay in touch with the world via the internet. When we are stuck at home, the internet gives us an avenue to connect. Following the Italian lockdown, internet usage soared by 70%, and we can assume this trend will be mirrored across the globe.
If your business is affected by this situation, seize the opportunity to leverage your online presence, support your customers and community – reach out, keep them entertained, informed, supplied and connected. Show your following that you are there for them when they need you most.
Here are our top tips on how to digitally support your business during the covid-19 lockdown.
LIMITED OFFER: DURING COVID-19 WE ARE OFFERING FREE CONSULTATION, FREE AUDITS, REDUCED RATE ECOMMERCE SYSTEMS
1. Keep Going
First and foremost, keep focussed and keep going. We find ourselves in exceptional times and it’s easy to forget about your marketing. Here are the main reasons why you’d be crazy not to keep going:
- Brand awareness takes a long time to build up, especially online. By continuing and keeping momentum, you’ll be ahead of your competitors when things start up again (and they will).
- Think about your future. Your sales may be affected in the next couple of months, but focus your efforts on summer autumn and winter. Think about what you can do to up your game then to recover lost revenue.
- This unique situation also presents opportunities. When people are stuck at home, their internet usage skyrockets. What better time to give them great content than when they actually have time to read it.
2. Make sure your website is in top condition
If you’ve been meaning to update your website for some time, now is your opportunity to ensure your site looks great, provides the best possible user experience and has fresh, compelling content. People will be spending a lot of time online – researching, browsing and shopping – so make sure your site stands out and really sells your business. Is your site intuitive? Do you have an online shop? Can users find what they need quickly and easily? With restrictions on public interactions, your website is now your main premises, and in the same way you clean your shop and spruce up your shop windows, now’s the time to get your web designer to give your website a polish.
3. Get blog posting
With people stuck at home, they will want something to read – and they’ll actually have time to read it. Take this opportunity to connect with your audience, blog regularly, provide entertainment, offer support and give advice. Now’s a great time to build a long-lasting relationship with your audience. Show them that you’re open for business, knowledgeable and here for help. Blog articles can help boost your search rankings too!
4. Work on your SEO
Similarly to getting your website in order, now is an ideal time to look at boosting your rankings on search engines with effective SEO. With so many people using the internet for shopping, entertainment and future planning, you need to make sure you’re competing in SERP and on that all-important first page. Is your site easy to crawl? Is your content targeted and optimised? Have you done your keyphrase research? We offer a free and a comprehensive SEO audit/website health check which will assess how you’re doing and what can be done to give you a boost.
> Commission a comprehensive SEO audit
5. Use social media to reach out
Reach out to people via social media. Be informative and reliable, look for ways to connect and offer support. When people are isolated, social media will become an even more important avenue for entertainment and even joy – give people something to enjoy, be fun and offer a few laughs, even if it’s at your own expense. It makes you human, and human contact will be sorely missed in the coming weeks. Make sure you use positivity in all your posts!
6. Keep customers up to date
Your customers will have much more time to listen (or read as the case may be). As well as your social media channels, send regular e-communications like newsletters to keep your company at the forefront of people’s minds. Are you still open? What new policies have you put in place? How are you dealing with this crisis? And don’t be afraid to help people focus on the future. People might be scared to commit to things in the future, but it will give them a positive channel for their energy. Give them information to browse, plant seeds of ideas and encourage them to call.
7. Find new ways to connect
If you can’t meet customers face-to-face look for new ways to connect. Offer things like virtual meetings and free consultation calls. Could you do more with video content like virtual tours, interviews, etc? Again, be human. Show you are real people coping with a crisis too. And you can make the most of every lead you get with live chat systems on your website, encouraging people to chat directly with you, straightaway with a chat popup – like Keavy does on the Solve site.
> We have created a virtual meeting setup package so you can do webinars and screen sharing from your website
> Get a chat system intergrated into your website
8. Update your Google My Business profile
If you’re following our local SEO tips, you’ve got a Google My Business profile. If not, now’s the perfect opportunity to get one. Make sure it’s up to date. Are your premises open? Are you allowing the public to visit? Do you deliver? What are your opening hours? It’s time to beef up your profile too – make sure yours stands out and attracts attention. Reach out to past clients for reviews, add some interesting posts and update your images.
9. Buddy up
Connect with your suppliers and partners, how can you help each other? We’re all in this together and everyone is trying to think outside the box to innovate and survive. Share ideas, collaborate and support each other.
10. Reflect and regroup
Take the spare time you have to crunch the numbers. Analyse your sales data, website traffic and rankings report. What have you been doing well? Can you build on this? Where are you struggling? Can you fill the gap? Stay calm, look for opportunities, strategise and draw up a plan. Could you adjust the way you work to keep risk at a minimum and still provide a great service? Again, call on the support of your partners and see if they have any suggestions.
11. Do good
Is there anything your business could offer your local community, like free deliveries? Helping those in need within your neighbourhood will help spread positivity and give people a boost. People will remember your support in better times, and that level of brand recognition doesn’t come from expensive marketing campaigns.
12. And don’t forget about mental health
We all need to look after our mental health during these special times too. Get your news from reputable sources and control your social media time. If your feed is filling up with negativity, take the opportunity to cull those who don’t share your passion and empathy.
Difficult times are an opportunity to grow and grow together as communities. Surround yourself with like-minded people and enlighten others with your kindness.
Offer to help a vulnerable neighbour, and take time to talk to people. For those that are isolated, being able to talk to someone over the phone can make all the difference. Holding out a helping hand will give you purpose and make you feel good. Be the change you wish to see in the world.
We’re here to help
We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but here at Solve, we’re ready for the challenge. We’re here to support you and develop strategies that’ll help you emerge from the chrysalis of Coronavirus as a stronger, wiser, more colourful business that’s ready to fly.
We have made the following free help and reduced cost services during COVID-19. We are all in it together!
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