Treat the Economic Symptoms of Coronavirus with Proactive Brand Management

Around the world, brands are bracing for the impact coronavirus will have on their business and workforce. As it continues to spread, your business is probably focused on limiting contagion in the workplace, creating contingency plans, evaluating sick leave policies, and forecasting the economic impact on your industry. In the midst of this uncertainty, your business’s online visibility probably isn’t top of mind—rightfully so. 

Nevertheless, communication is key to your brand management strategy in times like these. It’s important to make your customers aware of any changes in your business operations. Below are three tactics you can use to bolster your brand management as the coronavirus sends shockwaves through the global economy.

Location data management 

Location data management (LDM) is the practice of completely updating your business information on search engines and directories across the web. There are more than 100 different sites that your business may have a profile on, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, and Facebook. If your business’s hours are affected by coronavirus, it’s important that you update your business listings to reflect the changes so customers don’t visit while you’re closed and become frustrated by inaccurate information online. Or, if your employees are working remotely, be sure to provide an updated phone number that customers can use to reach your business.

Updating your location data is simple, especially with modern LDM tools, which allow channel marketers to update each of their business’s profiles on all search engines and directories across the web in a single click. Moreover, having accurate location data is a best practice that can improve your online visibility in local searches and drive more traffic to your business’s website and physical location. 

Communicate your brand’s message at scale 

With many people beginning to scale back on activities outside the home, it’s a good idea to communicate to your customers and stakeholders about whether it is safe and compliant with evolving regulations to visit your business. Use customized email journeys, blog articles, or social media posts to share what steps your business is taking to mitigate risk, such as keeping up with CDC recommendations and reinforcing good hygiene practices. If your business has multiple locations, consider using marketing technology software to easily communicate these vital messages at scale and tailor them to individual locations. 

Re-allocate some of your marketing budget to digital tactics

Concerns of sluggish sales plague businesses in times of economic uncertainty, and many take cost-cutting measures preemptively—especially to their marketing budgets. Rather than cutting back on marketing immediately, pay extra attention to measuring its impact. You may be surprised to learn that there are actually opportunities to make your campaigns more effective despite the chaos of the coronavirus. 

For example, digital marketing tactics will likely provide an increased ROI as a result of more users being online and working from home under quarantine measures. Meanwhile, tactics that require people to be outside or in groups—such as billboard advertising and event sponsorships—will be less effective (or entirely impossible) while the world faces restrictions on mass gatherings. Therefore, re-allocating some of your marketing budget to digital advertisements, social media marketing, SEO, and content creation could be a strategic move for your brand. 

Initiating a proactive brand management strategy will help your business maintain its relationship with customers and weather the impact of coronavirus. Even when the dust settles and the health of our community improves, these measures will have a lasting effect on your business’s overall marketing strategy and online visibility. 

Jason Tabeling is executive vice president of product at BrandMuscle.

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