Keeping Your Business Afloat: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Marketing During COVID-19


Can we say that Singapore is already flattening the curve? The truth is: as cases continue to rise, only time will tell until life in Singapore will return to normal.


Singapore’s circuit breaker measures should end on June 1, 2020, but until then, it’s unsure how the government will lift the home quarantine. The good news is that some establishments, such as bakeries and barber shops, are open to the public. However, for most retail outlets, the guidelines remain the same: stay off the streets and work from home.


The problem is that not all establishments can afford to shut down their operations and work from home without costing a lot of money in the process. That’s why one question remains: How can you keep your business afloat?



How To Keep Your Business Afloat?

With most of the population staying indoors, many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Fortunately, despite the ongoing challenges most establishments are facing these days, there’s one way to continue your operations: digital marketing.


Digital marketing is a great way to keep your business afloat during these difficult times. After all, society is adapting to the “new normal” way of living. For that reason, your business should conform to the changing trends as well. With digital marketing, you can reach your customers who are staying comfortable within the confines of their homes.


For instance, there’s increased usage of social media and digital activities amid the pandemic. If that’s the case, strategies such as social media marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) will help you reach active social media users who could pose as potential customers.


In short, digital marketing is the solution to maintaining relevance today. However, how can it help your business stay afloat?




Part 1: Digital Marketing in Times of Need


The Current State of Digital Marketing in Singapore

Right now, many businesses are closed down due to the circuit breaker measures. That means physical stores should rely on other means to connect with customers. Fortunately, digital marketing is the answer.


Nonetheless, there are many things to consider when it comes to digital marketing, including consumer behaviour. In general, consumer behaviour is the nature of an individual’s traits that affect his or her purchasing decisions. Understanding these traits is the key to attracting potential customers and gaining leads.


In connection with the pandemic, consumer behaviour has changed since Singapore’s circuit breaker measures took place. Most people are locked indoors, which means the only safe way to purchase goods is through online shopping. Of course, grocery shopping in person is still allowed, but for other essential items and products, you can find most of them in online stores.


Another change in consumer behaviour is the increased numbers of social media and Internet users. With so much spare time to spend at home, many people are looking for various forms of entertainment through digital means. As a result, expect to see more active online users surfing the web while the pandemic is still present.


The Importance of Digital Marketing

Even before COVID-19, digital marketing is already a substantial component of marketing that lets businesses utilise various tools and strategies to get ahead of the competition.


However, these days digital marketing is becoming more relevant due to its accessibility and effectiveness. Anyone could utilise digital marketing to improve their business, whether it’s boosting SEO rankings or creating quality content for social media.


Nowadays, consumers are relying on digital channels more than ever to seek entertainment, products, and services. Netflix, Lazada, Facebook—these are just some of the most popular online platforms today, all because COVID-19 is forcing people to scour the Internet for gratification and recreational purposes.


With that said, small businesses and medium-sized enterprises alike should tailor their strategies to the needs of the customers. Part of it is establishing an online presence that will help you reach the right audience. To do so, you should familiarise yourself with the latest trends to gain a deeper understanding of your target market.


Let’s take a look at some of the marketing trends that you should focus on during the pandemic


Marketing Trends To Focus on During The Pandemic


1. Online Shopping is All The Rage

While most retail outlets are taking a break from merchandising, online stores are reaping massive profits due to the increasing number of e-commerce shoppers in Singapore. It’s no surprise to see the e-commerce market grow to a large extent since online shopping is the safest and most convenient form of commerce. More people are buying not just essential healthcare products, but also leisurely items such as gadgets, toys, books, games and many more.


2. Grocery Items and Healthcare Products are in Demand

The fear of COVID-19 has urged people to take precautionary measures by stocking up on food, beverage, and health products. As a result, essential household items are in demand. Stores and retailers that sell such products should expect many customers headed their way.


3. Streaming Services and Entertainment Apps are Enjoying a Short-Term Surge in Sales

Since going outside is prohibited unless you’re grocery shopping, how can people spend their free time?  The answer is simple: go online. With a wide range of entertainment services on the Internet, many people can spend their free time on Netflix, Facebook, Amazon Prime, and many more. Also included are online games on mobile phones, computers, or consoles that allow players to connect with one another.


4. People Gather Information From Reputable Online Sources

In light of the current situation, there are two methods of gathering information: watching the news on TV and surfing the Internet. Of course, the latter choice is much more convenient since you can browse through different channels anytime, anywhere. Not to mention, with more active social media users, expect many people to gain knowledge of the latest trends by using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.


5. Pandemic-Related Queries are Trending on Google

COVID-19 is Google’s number one search query across various countries. Visit Google Trends, and you’ll see that COVID-19 is an established topic of interest worldwide. For example, in Singapore, some of the top queries related to COVID-19 include:





Part 2: The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing

Based on the latest trends, consumers are adjusting to the changes brought by Singapore’s “new normal” policies. More importantly, people are shifting their interests towards digital means of commerce and communication.


Whether it’s online shopping or communicating with loved ones on messenger apps, no doubt the future is becoming more digital than ever. In that case, you should incorporate efficient digital marketing industries to engage with your customers.


However, even though digital marketing will continue to evolve, one key strategy will always remain essential: empathy-based marketing.


Empathy-based or empathetic marketing is a strategy that encourages marketers to get on the same level as their target audience. After all, emotions such as rage, love, and laughter are what captivate humans the most. Incorporating these sentiments in your content marketing campaign is sure to grab your audience’s attention.


Combining empathy in your digital marketing campaigns is a recipe for success, but how so? What are some of the ways that you can boost your business given the current circumstances?


The Do’s of Digital Marketing


1. Be Active on Social Media

The goal of every digital marketing campaign is to follow where your audience is going to be. With that said, there’s no better way to engage with your customers than being present on social media. After all, social media is where many of your customers are present.


By being active on social media, you can interact with your customers by sharing quality blog posts and creating unique visuals. Doing so should help you maintain a stable relationship with your customers along the way.


Source: https://cloudrock.asia/sg/blog/social-media-statistics-singapore/


For instance, you could create a Facebook marketing campaign to send ads and reach your target audience. Here, you have the freedom to share your content for free and share links to your website to boost your SEO rankings. Plus, the best part is that you can interact with potential customers to gain leads if you continue to deliver high-quality content on Facebook.


Consider using other popular networking platforms besides Facebook. Try using Instagram if you’re planning to produce quality images such as visuals and infographics to promote your brand. Perhaps you could advertise your business on LinkedIn if you wish to cater your services to other establishments. In any case, finding the perfect social media platform for your business is key to success, so research every possible option before you decide to choose.


2. Enhance Your SEO

With or without COVID-19, SEO is an integral part of marketing. By enhancing your site’s SEO, you’ll improve your online presence and gain higher rankings on search engines like Google and Bing.


What are some efficient SEO strategies that will help you boost your website’s rankings?



3. Personalise Your Content

Without being invasive, personalising your content is an excellent way to gain leads. Not all potential customers have a habit of returning to your website, which is why content personalisation is at its best when it comes to generating leads.


For example, let’s say a user has visited and left your website with almost no chances of returning. By using paid ads and enabling cookies on your site, you can gather information based on the user. As a result, your ads can appear on the user’s device without them being present on your website.

Content personalisation is a great way to boost conversions and reach out to potential customers. Most importantly, it’s an excellent strategy for understanding your target audience even more.


4. Practise Empathy-based Marketing

Some people are born with empathy, while others are not. Either way, it’s a trait that you can practise.


Learning how to empathise with others can be a life-long journey. When it comes to marketing, however, it’s a skill that you can utilise to connect with your customers.


Empathy, in terms of both individual morality and marketing, is what helps us connect with others during the pandemic. Now more than ever, being empathic with others is essential for earning trust. People are losing their jobs, lives, or hopes of returning to normal. That’s why you must connect with your customers on a deeper level by practising empathy-based marketing.


Here are some tips for empathising with your customers:



The Don’ts of Digital Marketing


1. Don’t Be Insensitive

Before you publish your content, always ask yourself: will this offend anyone? Cultural differences vary depending on the person’s country, upbringing, and beliefs. That’s why being sensitive is crucial, especially with COVID-19 that still poses a massive threat.


To avoid being insensitive, you should research your audience and find out what resonates with their likes and dislikes. As a rule of thumb, avoid sending offensive messages such as racial, homophobic, and sexist remarks.


2. Don’t Stick with One Channel

Just because you’re doing great with one online platform doesn’t mean you should stick to it forever. Experiment with your digital channels by equally diverting your marketing efforts to each one.


For example, if you’re planning to host a campaign on Facebook and Instagram, experiment with your budget by dividing it equally across the two platforms. If one of them is more profitable than the other, then focus on it instead.


Still, you should manage some of your resources on the less profitable campaign so you can produce positive results for both platforms. That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds.


3. Don’t Capitalise on the Crisis

When marketing during a crisis, don’t think of it as a business strategy. Better yet, treat your campaign as a chance to engage with your customers. Practise empathy and treat your customers as if they were your neighbours or relatives.


In short, be conversational. Think of how you can help your customers by providing solutions related to your services. The world is on edge today, no thanks to the virus that’s spreading fast. For that reason, never take advantage of the crisis. Voice out your concerns to your customers so you can converse with them in return to find out what they need from your brand.


4. Don’t Spread Inaccurate Information

Being the first to spread the news is an excellent way to get ahead of the competition. However, it’s also risky since you might be sending inaccurate information all along. Spreading false or misleading info can leave a negative mark on your brand, which is you must avoid this at all costs.


Instead of focusing on timeliness, concentrate on accuracy by gathering your information from reliable sources, such as certified news sites and companies.




Part 3: Returning to Normal: What to Learn from Covid-19?

No one can predict when the virus will vanish off the face of the Earth. Until then, we should adjust to modern society’s changes by being considerate to others and keeping ourselves safe.


In the meantime, there’s a lot to learn from the pandemic when it comes being a person and an entrepreneur. Find out what you can learn from COVID-19 here:


Lessons to Learn from the Pandemic

While the virus has shown us that the world can sometimes be an unforgiving place, there are many lessons to be learned that can help in your future marketing campaigns.


1.Brand Tone is Important

Your brand tone plays a significant role in engaging with your audience. Regardless of a crisis, people appreciate a friendly voice. Sending a positive message can help your business get on the same level with your customers. As a result, you’ll improve your customer base and attract more prospects in return.


2. Empathy Goes a Long Way

The ability to understand a person’s feelings and perspective is a skill every marketer should learn. Not to mention, incorporating empathy in your marketing strategy will help you recognise the needs of the target audience so you can create relevant ads and offers.


Only time will tell until life will return to normal. Until then, we should learn how to be considerate to others and attend to those in need. Overall, empathy is a trait that will not only improve your marketing skills but your ability to connect with people as well.



Empathetic Marketing: Connecting with Your Audience

Similar to storytelling in novels and movies, emotions appeal to people. Whether it’s reading a book or watching a movie, relating to the characters is key to connecting with the viewer. You can apply the same thing to your strategies by implementing empathy-based marketing.


Learn how to connect with your audience by applying empathy in your marketing. Many marketing strategies may come and go, but compassion is a trait that will stand the test of time.


Let emotions drive your ads by creating content from the perspective of your audience. After all, empathy is a powerful tool for marketing if you know how to use it.


Tips for Long-term Marketing

Hopefully, COVID-19 can shed some light on the importance of digital marketing and how it can help businesses in the long run. One question remains, however: what are some of the ways to integrate long-term marketing in your business?


1. Create a Social Media Page

Social media is the future of digital marketing. Nowadays, social media marketing is necessary for businesses that need to gain leads in no time. Find a networking site that will align with your goals.

For instance, Facebook is ideal for running a paid search campaign, while Instagram is perfect for publishing visuals and infographics. Pick one (or both) to fit your marketing campaign so you can achieve your goals.


2. Optimise your Site for SEO

To improve your site’s web visibility, you need to optimise it for SEO. Optimising your site’s SEO will result in a better online presence. As a result, your target audience can reach your website on search engines like Google.


Source: https://www.smartinsights.com/content-management/content-marketing-strategy/essential-content-marketing-statistics/


How should you optimise your website for SEO? For starters, conduct basic keyword research that will help you find terms which most users are searching for on Google. In doing so, you’ll discover keywords which you can use to improve your site’s SEO ranking.


3. Focus on Creating Consistent Content

With basic keyword research comes content marketing, a strategy that focuses on increasing your site’s organic traffic. In this day and age, creating quality content is vital for keeping in touch with your audience on search engines. To do so, you need to regularly publish content.


Blogging is one of the perfect examples of content marketing. By creating a blog page on your website, you can write in-depth articles about your products, services, and anything related to such topics.


However, you should remember that posting poor-written content will have consequences on your SEO. That’s why you should focus on quality instead of quantity when creating content. Publishing daily or weekly content on your blog will increase your organic SEO. Share links to your blog on social media to enhance your efforts and increase your chances of attracting more views.


4. Hire an SEO Company

Building an SEO campaign is time-consuming. If so, then perhaps working with an SEO company will benefit your business in the long run?


Consider outsourcing your digital marketing services to an agency that has the manpower and expertise to provide you with sufficient results. With a team of digital marketers by your side, you can come up with effective SEO strategies to boost your site’s rankings.




Conclusion: A Bright Future Ahead

Today we’re experiencing a worldwide phenomenon that feels like it’s been going on forever. While that may be the case, it’s up to us to make a change by following the rules and being considerate to other people’s safety. The world is looking bleak, but with our collective efforts, we can make the future much brighter and safer.


To citizens around the world, let’s hope for a brighter future ahead. Stay safe and stay at home!


For more information related to digital marketing, OOm is one call away. Contact our SEO company in Singapore to find out how we can help.