STRATEGY

10 Things a Business Can Do During the Covid-19 Lockdown.

Emmet McEvoy

Emmet McEvoy

Search & Content Executive

31st March 2020Strategy

Businesses are still coming to terms with the Covid-19 lockdown.

The dramatic impact of the coronavirus means most aspects of everyday life have moved online out of necessity to try and slow its spread. Companies are still adapting to this new normal.

With that in mind, we’ve looked at 10 things a business can do now to hit the ground running in a post-virus society.

1. Stay Calm

Everyone is in the same boat. No one is to blame for Covid-19 but we’re all affected.

Companies in every sector are facing interruptions to business. It’s important to stay calm. If you have a contingency plan in place, implement it. Speak to friends, family and other businesses.

Then draw up a logical strategy to get through this difficult period.

2. Communicate

Communicate with your staff, customers and clients. They want to hear from you.

Think of who you’re talking to. Use email and social media to reach customers. WhatsApp and communication software like Slack allows you to stay in touch with employees. Carry out client meetings digitally on Zoom or Hangouts.

Consider your message and strike the right tone. This isn’t the time for hard selling. People are worried and want reassurance. Contemplate ways to offer help and practical support to put their minds at ease.

Let’s look at Tesco as an example. People are concerned about stockpiling, social distancing and the lack of delivery slots. So, Tesco’s CEO Dave Lewis sent an email to customers. It outlined their 3-items-per-customer policy, in-store safety measures and plans to introduce more delivery slots. The tone was empathetic and reassuring and came from a voice of authority.

It’s the perfect example of how to communicate in the current climate.

3. Reflect

In all the hustle and bustle of running a business, opportunities to stop and reflect are rare.

Lockdown gives you the chance to evaluate how you do things.

Fix SEO issues. Use analytics to evaluate your content and see what your audience engages with. Find out what works and what doesn’t.

Then fine tune your strategy. Ensure everything you produce is relevant for your audience and your business.

We’re living through a difficult situation but, like previous pandemics, Covid-19 will pass. It’s how you prepare that will determine how well your company recovers.

4. Create

create content during covid-19

The lockdown also provides an opportunity to create content that positions your brand as a reputable source that people turn to for answers.

Use a tool like Search Console to see what your audience is asking. Carry out some keyword research. With so much uncertainty, people want support and guidance. Give it to them.

Show your expertise and strike the right tone. The groundwork you do now will enhance your reputation and strengthen your company’s position once this all blows over.

5. Provide a Service

Continue to provide your service if possible. Uncertainty is the theme of the month and people are craving normality.

Of course, it’s not business as usual. Aggressive selling could be a PR disaster, but on the flip side, companies that don’t acknowledge Covid-19 will be seen as disingenuous. It’s a bit of a tightrope.

You may need to reposition your product or service to meet changing demand in the current climate.

But striking the right tone with your messaging and providing people with a sense of normality will be well-received.

At Origin we’re fortunate that we’re in a position to adapt. The digital sphere is our area of expertise and we’re able work remotely and provide help and support to clients concerned by the challenges ahead.

6. Upskill

Every day is a school day. But most people don’t normally have time.

Use this downtime to pick up new skills. Gain knowledge and expertise and apply those skills to position your company as a voice of authority to your audience.

7. Go the extra mile

In a Covid-19 environment, small gestures can make a big difference. It’s not about selling, but providing support and reassurance.

Iceland was the first food outlet to open early specifically for elderly and vulnerable customers.

Other grocers and even some banks quickly followed suit. But in terms of media coverage and public perception, Iceland was at the front of the queue.

iceland elderly customers priority (credit: PA)
Elderly shoppers are given priority at Iceland in Belfast (credit: PA)

8. Learn from the past

It’s worth remembering that society has been here before.

Like the economic crash in 2008, this will pass. It’s important to learn from that crash to guide your short-term decision making and avoid making the same mistakes.

As tempting as it may be, drastically reducing costs may not be the best way forward.

Maintaining marketing visibility (with the right message) is important to keep your company in front of your audience. It helps you avoid losing customers to competitors and puts your business in a strong position to recover.

It also helps identify new opportunities…

9. Identify new opportunities

Winston Churchill once said, “an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

There’s no doubt this is a difficult situation, but opportunities do exist.

For example, if you use PPC ads, you might find that the cost-per-click on many keywords is below average. Adapt your tactics to take advantage of opportunities and you can grab a share of the market that might have been out of reach a few weeks ago.

10. Empathise

Empathy is key in the current climate.

People are worried about health, job losses and the financial pressures that come hand in hand. Maybe one of your customers cancelled a subscription or membership. Or maybe a client backed out of a contract.

It’s important to welcome them back with open arms when this is over. Be empathetic; everyone’s situation is different but, as a society, we’re fighting the same enemy.

Come out stronger

There are difficult times ahead. But the current situation will pass, and lockdown affords businesses an opportunity to learn, reflect and plan for the future.

Companies that take action now are more likely to come out of this stronger.

Change starts here

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