As with any crisis, how a business responds is key. Are you calm and taking action, or panicked and paralyzed?

Two things people should not be doing right now: hoarding toilet paper and hoarding marketing budget!

How a business treats marketing can make or break them. The answer in these times is to not stop marketing. For many though, it may be a good idea to reallocate the existing marketing budget (like the budget for events) to different digital channels.

Here are 10 things businesses should consider when faced with the current situation or future situations like it.

1. Know search trends.

To be more relevant for short-term SEO and PPC campaigns, be aware of what’s being searched for now.

2. Create timely and relevant content.

What does your audience or consumer want to know from you right now? Take this opportunity to communicate and give branded, unique insights on the situation. Make sure you have a good mix of content that’s both “business as usual” and relevant to the crisis so that you don’t look tone-deaf.

3. Ramp up your digital content.

Consider setting up your business now to produce more digital content like podcasts and webinars in both the short and long term.

4. Shift offline to online or modify.

If you are a local business or retailer, you’re going to have to think long term. Is it possible to shift a portion of your business online or change your business model? Can you shift in-store experiences to virtual or in-store shopping to delivery? Our team are experts at e-commerce websites.

5. Optimize your content.

If you are creating content about the coronavirus or anything that’s trending, you want to ramp up your optimization efforts so that it can be found in the search results.

6. Use search marketing for branding and crisis communications.

Even if the sale of your products and services is slowing down, you can use search engine marketing for branding purposes. For example, ads could point to landing pages with key information on them.

7. Use search marketing for reputation management and trust.

Corona beer, for example, may need to do this based on people’s perception of its relation to the coronavirus. You also should monitor how online sentiment may be impacting your trust signals during this time.

8. Stay ahead of your competition.

If you pause your search marketing campaigns, and your competition doesn’t, who will be set up for success when this whole thing passes? Which brands will people follow through all of this — those that stay in contact, or those that shut down?

9. Remember that SEO is a long-term strategy.

Unless it’s critical, you should not divert your marketing budget. You should keep calm and carry on because Google’s algorithms are not taking a break during a crisis. In fact, this slower period may be just the opportunity you need to do the back-burner projects (such as new content creation or server improvements) that can position you for SEO wins down the road.

10. Don’t buy cheap marketing services.

When budgets are tight, the tendency might be to go with cheaper SEO or marketing programs or buy bundled marketing services instead of using experts that specialize. In times like these, companies cannot afford to implement anything less than expert marketing. After the dust settles, they will be dealing with another crisis: no rankings, no targeted traffic, and possibly Google penalties.

Our team are here to help - get in touch today hello@xadigital.com or call us on 01293 852777