Tag Archive for: coronavirus

Reopening Post Shut Down: Is it Worth it?

As a business owner, you’ve likely been wondering what it would look like for you post COVID-19. While it’s not post COVID-19, states are starting to reopen and allowing businesses to reopen as well. Despite this, polls indicate the majority of consumers remain nervous about the virus. This raises the question for many business owners – is reopening worth it? 

Are Consumers Ready? 

A recent survey by the Washington Post found that while 56% of consumers are comfortable shopping in a grocery store, 67% are not comfortable with the idea of going into a retail store, and 78% would not go into a restaurant for a sit-down meal. Another survey by Fluent found that only 34% of respondents were comfortable with governors lifting stay-at-home orders. Despite those results, the survey also found that 60% of the audience feels “calm and collected or neutral” about COVID-19, while 38% are “nervous or very nervous.” 

These results are contradicting and confusing for owners trying to make critical decisions. This is probably due to consumers being confused themselves. People want to return to “normal” activities, but are concerned whether it’s really safe to do so.

Where Consumers Feel Safe

A survey from First Insights revealed how comfortable consumers are with going to different types of stores. Respondents were asked in which types of stores they would feel safe or very safe. These were the results:

  • Grocery stores: 54%
  • Drug stores: 50%
  • Big box retailers: 45%
  • Warehouse clubs: 43%
  • Local small businesses: 43%
  • Department stores: 37%
  • Shopping malls: 33%

Another contradiction was found when looking at smartphone location data. When Georgia reopened, location data showed more than 60,000 people came from neighboring states, to visit stores, restaurants, gyms, salons, etc. These data points suggest that even though majority of consumers claim they’re apprehensive about going to stores, there’s a sufficient amount of people that would still turn out for reopenings.  

E-commerce Continues to Surge 

There have been many surveys and other data indicating e-commerce will continue to grow even after reopening. E-commerce order volume has increased by 50% compared to 2019. Not only that, but 57% of consumers are shopping online more than before. And 65% prefer to do that shopping on a smartphone, rather than PC or tablet. New safety protocols on stores that do reopen may also cause enough inconvenience for consumers to find going to stores not worth it. For example, many stores are requiring shoppers to wear masks, some even requiring temperature checks, and some are only allowing shopping by appointment. While this is all for the safety of shoppers and employees, it may require too much effort for what it’s worth. 

Tips for Reopening 

No matter what, people will be going back into stores. Possibly in large numbers in those states that do open over the next month. Even with the regulations, details are complex and not always clear. Business owners will have to problem-solve and make their own plans on how they will keep their employees and customers safe. Here are some tips on reopening your business, including advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


  • Keep social distancing guidelines in place. Social distancing, meaning keeping 6 feet of distance between people, can be difficult in the workplace. But this will likely be the new norm, for a while at least, and it’s important for keeping employees and customers safe. Consider these efforts to ensure your business can properly social distance:


      • Rethink desks, displays, and workspaces to create proper distance. 
      • Consider staggering work hours to limit the number of employees there at a time. 
      • Limit the number of seats in common areas. 
      • Use tape to mark 6ft intervals where people wait in lines. 
      • Post signs in or around the building that promote social distancing and advise those who aren’t healthy to please not enter.


  • Encourage employees and customers to wash hands and use sanitizer frequently. By now, we’re all well-aware of the efforts that are necessary to help prevent the spread of the virus. Washing and sanitizing hands is crucial. Consider installing signs around the workplace that encourage employees and customers to wash/sanitize their hands:


      • When they get to work/enter the building 
      • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing their nose
      • Before and after eating 
      • Before and after touching their eyes, nose, and mouth
      • After interacting with coworkers and customers 
      • After touching displays and other equipment 
      • After visiting the restroom 


  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces multiple times a day. This not only keeps employees and customers safe, but it can help customers breathe easier knowing anything that they touch has been cleaned thoroughly moments before. This includes doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, tables, desks, keyboards, remote controls, elevator buttons, toilets (including handles), faucets, sinks, cash registers/point of sale (POS), displays, business equipment, phone etc.


  • Provide PPE to employees and create a policy that addresses guidelines and proper usage. Depending on the state where your business is located, you may be required to supply your employees with gloves, masks, etc. Even if your state doesn’t have requirements, it may be in your best interest to provide your employees with them anyways.



Final Thoughts 

The decision to stay closed or to reopen is ultimately up to you. At this time, it’s difficult to know when to do anything. You know your business and your customers best. If you believe they’re eager and ready to get back outside, reopening may be a smart business decision. If you can see that the majority of your customer base is still very apprehensive and nervous about the current state of things, staying closed may be the better option. When you do choose to reopen, make sure you take the time to prepare and protect yourself, your employees, and your business. Rushing things will not help your chances of doing well as we all face the next steps. 

More from Onimod Global 

Onimod Global releases the latest digital marketing news and essential marketing tips every Tuesday and Thursday! To catch up on the top digital marketing news and trends, click here. To find out more about who we are and what we do, click here.

Google To Provide Free Shopping Listings

Google Shopping is responding to the coronavirus crisis by taking steps to make it easier for more merchants to sell via the platform free-of-charge. The Google Shopping tab results “will consist primarily of free product listings” starting next week, the company announced Tuesday.

This major shift, after 8 years of Google’s shopping results platform, comes after many brick and mortar retailers have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. E-commerce has inevitably boomed, and everyone is quickly catching up to speed on how to best service store owners. This change, while COVID-19 was the motivation, was a planned initiative and will be permanent. Free shopping listings fits into the longer-term vision for the company’s role in digital commerce.

Bill Ready said in a blog post that he expects the change to take effect in the U.S. by the end of April, with the aim of expanding it worldwide by year-end. Ready clarified the win-win of the shopping listings free-of-charge: Retailers gain free exposure to millions of people who search via Google Shopping every day, while shoppers discover more products from more stories. While Google is packaging the change as a gesture to help retailers during an economic crisis, there’s no doubt Google is also seizing the strategic opportunity to expand its role in e-commerce in the midst of this worldwide uncertainty.

Millions of people are stuck at home with almost no options for shopping in brick and mortar stores. Online and e-commerce has and will continue to see a huge rise. So what does this mean for retailers and advertisers?

“For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings.”

Why does this matter? This is actually where Google first began, then named Froogle. It became an entirely paid platform in 2012, and in those 8 years 2 things have drastically changed the e-commerce game: data quality and Amazon. Google’s ability to ensure that the information in a product feed matches the data on the site has advanced significantly since this time. In addition to limiting the products available on Google shopping results to retailers willing to pay, their search power was at a major disadvantage.

Another exciting development to the platform is a recent partnership with PayPal. Merchants using PayPal will be able to link those accounts to Google Merchant Center, which will allow Google to pull in seller details faster and to verify trusted merchants. Google also partners with e-commerce platforms, including Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce to make it easier for merchants to manage inventory and products.

As Ready concluded, “Solutions during this crisis will not be fast or easy, but we hope to provide a measure of relief for businesses and lay the groundwork for a healthier retail ecosystem in the future.”

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Tips for Making Your Content Stand Out

Right now, everyone is shifting the focus of their content to COVID-19. Rightfully so, as it’s impacting everyone and everything around the world. People are looking for answers and businesses feel compelled to respond. This creates a new dilemma, however. The “market” of coronavirus content is now heavily saturated. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with new articles and updates around the situation everyday. From this arises the question for many marketers: Should I continue to create content around the same thing everyone else is?

This is a difficult issue and there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all answer. We do know that content is still essential for long-term SEO success and in a time like this, you don’t want to fall silent. The key is finding a balance between creating relevant content but also standing out among the masses. Here are some tips for doing that: 

1. Focus on your audience’s current and most pressing needs. 

Content marketing is really just about helping your audience solve their problems. Currently, everyone is facing unprecedented challenges. There are no pre-existing rules or guidelines for businesses in this situation, so we have all been continually adapting and shifting our strategies accordingly. Marketers need to closely monitor their audience members, what they’re asking, and what they need. 

Your main focus should ultimately be creating content that helps your current and potential customers. Every time you publish a piece of content, ask yourself “is this helping my customers?” If the answer is no, and you’re just putting out content for the purpose of putting out content, it’s not worth it. 

2. Incorporate reliable research and accurate data. 

There is always massive amounts of inaccurate information circulating around the internet. When sharing or creating content, make sure it’s based on real research. Users want science and data to help them make the best decision, especially during times like these. Having solid evidence that supports your claim is extremely important. 

3. Don’t ask for anything in return. 

The biggest mistake a brand can make right now is appearing like they are trying to capitalize on the pandemic. Strive to deliver value without asking for anything in return. Instead of focusing on promoting your products or services, your main priority should be bringing value to users. 

4. Continue to publish regular content. 

Businesses are concerned that posting regular content will make them come across as insensitive or tone-deaf. While you should be careful with what you’re posting, continuing with regularly scheduled content is important for multiple reasons. The first is that, during this stressful and chaotic time, it’s nice to have tid bits of normalcy or light-heartedness. As long as the content is still sensitive to the current situation, it’s more than ok if it’s not addressing or focusing on the pandemic. The second reason being that SEO is still extremely important, and content is key for SEO success. If you delay or stop altogether publishing content, you’re only hurting yourself. 

Final Thoughts 

Right now, times are strange. Everyone is constantly searching for answers, but comfort as well. Making yourself stand out in an extremely saturated market is difficult, but not impossible. The key is finding balance between relevancy and uniqueness, while still providing value to users. Accomplishing this isn’t easy, but we can help. At Onimod Global we’re experts in social media, SEO, and content marketing. We help brands connect with their customers where and when they need them the most. Take a look at how we’ve helped other companies, and learn more about what we can do for you

Improving Your SEO Strategy During COVID-19

A recent survey by Conductor revealed that due to COVID-19 and the extension of the social distancing guidelines, many marketers anticipate a decrease in their annual marketing budget, but still expect goals to remain the same. How are they expecting to reach their goals with a smaller budget? Shifting their focus to SEO. 

Regardless of the status of the economy, people are still going to be making purchases, and more people are shopping online than ever before. Why wouldn’t you want your brand top of mind when users are making buying decisions? 

Here are 4 tips to improve your SEO strategy during this uncertain time. 

1. Build Trust with Your Content 

Many brands are offering deals and promotions to customers once the pandemic has passed and the world starts to go back to normal. Forrester released a report that found that consumers are doubtful that companies will follow through on the promises they make during this time. In a time of crisis, trust is more important than ever. With so much false information and uncertainty circulating, it’s essential to separate yourself as a brand that’s reputable. 

Another Conductor study reported that consumers find brands that deliver educational content are much more trustworthy than those that don’t. Right now, consumers are looking for answers to their questions from brands they trust. This isn’t the time for salesy content. Focus on creating content that brings real value to your audience. 

2. Make Necessary Changes to Current Campaigns 

If you had any campaigns active before the situation of the world changed, make sure to perform an audit on it and make any necessary changes. Be sure to review any social posts or content pieces you had scheduled out ahead of time as well. You don’t want to come across as insensitive or tone-deaf to the situation. 

SEO is much more than just technical efforts, and this is one of them. You want to be the voice of different customers across the organization. During times like these marketers need to have a heightened awareness of customer sensitivity. Even though it’s difficult to suspend a campaign that a lot of time and resources went into creating, it could be more harmful to your brand in the long run if you keep it running. For example, Corona received harsh backlash via social media when they went through with launching their Coming Ashore Soon campaign for its new seltzer line. 

3. Constantly Manage Your Reputation 

Managing your web presence during times of crisis is another crucial element of gaining and maintaining the trust of customers. Dated or inaccurate information can confuse or even hurt your audience, making you look bad in the process. Here are some tips for managing your online reputation during this time: 


  • Update any online listings or hours. Review your listings on all search engines, social media, review sites, and any other platform you may be on. Make sure your listings are updated with any changed hours, service suspensions, or revised contact information for any departments or location.
  • Monitor the status of COVID-19 and respond with empathy. Even in times of crisis, consumers are talking about business online. If you don’t already have one in place, it’s crucial to implement a comprehensive review and response strategy. Adjust your response technique as needed, remembering to be as sensitive and transparent as possible during this time. Ignoring comments and reviews puts your credibility and brand trust at great risk during a time of crisis.
  • Engage with customers across all platforms. Businesses are receiving an influx of questions on all levels across all platforms. Prepare to answer these questions on Google My Business, social, and any other platform with timely and accurate information. You might even want to consider setting up a FAQ on your website or third-party directories if you’re getting many similar inquiries. 
  • Monitor the Google Search Console. Web traffic, especially organic, is a big indicator of where demand for your product or services has shifted. Spikes or declines in traffic may show you what information is most important to your audience and help you decide your response strategy. 


Improve Your Security Efforts 

Hackers are trying to take advantage of the current situation and those that are in need. Many are using malicious malware to promote discounts, giveaways, etc. Some hackers are even using branding of trusted companies for phishing attacks, including the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now that many people are working from home, the threat becomes even greater. From a business perspective, here’s what you can do to ensure your website’s security: 

  • Monitor log files for crawl errors. 
  • Implement Single Sign On. 
  • Implement HTTPS. 
  • Update any plugins or apps being used. 

Final Thoughts 

Everyone is looking for answers right now. If you can position yourself at the top of a Google SERP with credible information, it can have endless benefits, even after the pandemic is over. Trust is what consumers want and need right now. SEO is a needed investment to build that trust. 

At Onimod Global we understand how vital SEO can be. Search engine optimization is our core attribute and a pillar of our strategy. We develop  organic search engine optimization campaigns that deliver increases in organic traffic through an increase in natural rankings on major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. We are a trusted Google Partner and continually excel with their products. If you need assistance with SEO, or in any area of digital marketing, contact us today. 

Tips for Successfully Going Local with Digital Marketing

With the current situation of the world, not many are traveling outside of their residing neighborhoods, or even have the ability to. Being able to market your business locally and digitally is now more important than ever. Even not in times of global pandemics local digital marketing is essential. It can increase your customer base, revenue, and overall competitive advantage. Here are 5 tips for successfully going local with your digital marketing strategy. 

1. Optimize Your Site for Mobile 

Today, this is important for any business, but for local businesses it’s even more essential. Users looking for local service or products are much more likely to do a search on a mobile device over a desktop. Having a mobile-optimized website ensures users won’t leave due to inconveniences. Google has even updated their mobile algorithm so that sites that aren’t mobile-friendly may not even fire in the search results. Some tips for optimizing your site include:

  • Simplifying your content and number of pages 
  • Choose a reliable web host
  • Avoid java and flash 
  • Ensure your page load time is low 
  • Redesign or eliminate pop-ups 
  • Utilizing Google Ad extensions 

2. Create Local Business Pages 

Create business pages on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, and Maps. These are the types of results that rank best when local searches are performed. They’re also the types of pages users will look for and trust when searching. It’s important to remember to consistently keep these accounts updated. You don’t want to just create these pages and forget them. Inactive pages can make users weary that you’re unreliable or even out of business. 

3. Encourage Reviews from Local Customers 

Once you have these pages created, you want to start driving reviews, recommendations, and ratings. Besides word-of-mouth recommendations, social proof is one of the most persuasive elements you can leverage when promoting your business. Rarely do customers leave reviews on their own, so you have to get proactive and ask. Some strategies to drive reviews include:

  • Send follow up emails: Following someone receiving your product or service, send an email inquiring if they would be willing to leave a review on your Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, etc. 
  • Include a note in the package you send your products in: Today, a handwritten note can mean a lot. Including one in your package that thanks the customer for their business and asks for a review is an effective way to get positive responses.
  • Remind followers on social media: Remind your followers to review your products or service. You only want to do this every so often because you don’t want to be overbearing or annoying. You don’t need to offer any incentives, just explain why reviews matter and why you’re asking for their help.

4. Utilize Locally Optimized Keywords 

To identify which keywords are successful, it takes some time and research. You have to test different keywords and combinations to determine which people use when searching for local businesses. Make sure you add the city or region names to your industry-relevant terms. This is an established method to generate localized search phrases. If you’re using paid search ads, you should use geo-targeting. This will limit where your ads are displayed to specified areas.

5. Connect with Other Local Businesses 

It can also be helpful to associate with other local and trusted businesses. Reach out to other businesses in your area that would find your relationship mutually beneficial. Explain that you can share each other’s business on social media, leave positive reviews for each other, and utilize backlinks. Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website, and can be very beneficial from an SEO perspective. This can be accomplished through more than just other business’s sites. Consider  joining your local Chamber of Commerce and get listed on their online directories which include a link to your website. Another area of interest and value are .gov and .org. If your city’s website lists businesses by sector or service type make sure your business is listed. This will give your website added value. One thing to keep in mind is that you only want to utilize reliable sites for this. If you try to just get as many backlinks as possible, it can be detected and possibly get your site restricted. The key is gradually accumulating quality links. 

More from Onimod Global

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Tips on How to Be Productive While Working from Home

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, many companies are transitioning to working remote. While working from home is a dream for many, there are many challenges that can come with it. We don’t know how long this situation will last, so it’s important to learn how to be as productive as possible while working from home. 

If you’re new to the WFH life, here are some tips on how to do it successfully. 

Create a schedule. 

Working from home presents a different set of challenges than working in an office. It’s much easier to get distracted and feel restless with having nowhere to go. Establishing a routine that replicates a normal work day, and sticking to it, can be very beneficial. Set goals for the day. What tasks do you need to complete? What needs to get started? It’s also helpful to set aside specific hours for answering emails, making calls, taking lunch, coffee breaks etc. When you have a full to-do list and stay productive, it will make the day go by much faster. The next thing you know it’s 5pm and the work day is over. 

Have a designated workspace. 

If you don’t have a home office already, try as much as possible to create a separated and designated workspace. When it comes to working at home, you want to create a boundary between work and leisure. You don’t want to turn your bed or couch into the office. It could be as simple as moving a nightstand and upright chair to the corner of a room. This can also help to create boundaries with others in your home. Whether it be roommates, partners, or children, having a designated workspace signals to others you’re ‘at work.’ This all helps you to stay concentrated and productive. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate. 

Whether temporary or permanent, the keys to successfully working from home is clear communication with your boss and colleagues, and being aware of what’s expected from you. When you’re used to being in close proximity with your manager, communication is effortless. If you’re new to working remotely, this is now very different. Your boss might not be used to managing people virtually, so you need to find ways to break down that new communication barrier. Suggest starting the day with a phone call just so everyone is on the same page and knows what their expectations are. This doesn’t just have to be with your supervisor, either. If you’re working closely with another colleague on something make sure you both consistently communicate with one another. Whether this be done via email, phone call, or video chat, it’s important to stay in contact. 

Beware of feeling isolated. 

Loneliness can be a huge and serious issue, especially when you’re so used to talking face-to-face with a number of people a day. With the current situation, we don’t know how long companies will have to stay remote, which presents many additional problems. Usually remote workers still have the opportunity to go to public places or attend social events. Restaurants, cafes, bars etc. are open, which allows those remote workers to still have face-to-face interactions. With the COVID-19 outbreak, these opportunities aren’t there. Prolonged isolation could potentially start to impact morale and productivity. Those remote worker experts suggest trying to sustain a semblance of normalcy in unconventional ways. Consider having a virtual happy hour or dinner party. It can help everyone feel that they’re in this together and lift spirits during this difficult time. 

Take breaks. 

When you live where you work, it’s important to get out of your workspace at times during the day. You might feel pressured to overextend yourself to prove to your team you’re actually working, it’s critical to carve out break time. You’re going to get quickly burnt out if all you do is pace back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. 

Final Thoughts 

Initially, working from home can be challenging, but during this time, it’s in everyone’s best interest. Until the outbreak is under control, the benefits of working from home, outweigh the inconveniences. Remember to cut yourself some slack during this time. It’s inevitable to get distracted and off-task every once in a while. There is a lot going on and new information to take in everyday. While it is difficult, try to stay positive. We’re all in this together. 

More from Onimod Global

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Brand Communication Tips in Times of Crisis

Every company is dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and with the status of countries ever-changing, finding the right response is difficult. This is not a “marketing opportunity” for brands to capitalize on. It’s a serious situation affecting the well-being of people across the globe. However, communication is essential during difficult times. It’s important to provide clear, beneficial information to your audiences, while also working to navigate the rising disruption caused by the outbreak. 

Here are some tips on deciding what’s appropriate and how to clearly communicate your brand in times of crisis. 

Be honest, thoughtful, and open. 

Now is not the time to be silent. You should start by immediately communicating how you’re handling the situation. Even if you don’t have all the answers, rapid and regular communication can help alleviate some concern and confusion. When it comes to public health and safety, customers like to know that’s a priority to you. 

It’s also important to be thoughtful of your tone of voice. Brands need to adjust their tone to fit the situation and context. Now may not be the best time to use humor or sarcasm. Empathy, understanding, and being supportive goes a long way. The best way to decide the appropriate tone is by listening to what your audience is saying and how they’re saying it, and reflecting that in your own message. 

Utilize accurate and reliable information. 

There is always tremendous amounts of inaccurate and misinformation that circulate around the internet. People always want accurate information, but during times of crisis it’s even more critical. For brands, it’s important to only share information that you know is reliable and factual. 

If you do have information that might help people navigate uncertainty, or help keep people calm, you should share it. If you have information that affects your company, employees, customers, etc. you may want to share that as well. When fact-checking yourself, it’s best to turn to the CDC and the World Health Organization, who provide the most accurate and timeliest information.

Use a variety of communication vehicles. 

Some brands have a tendency to over-rely on email when sharing information with customers. While email is an inexpensive and effective form of communication, it shouldn’t be the only vehicle used. Consumers’ inboxes can get bombarded with spam and marketing messages. To ensure you reach your entire audience with important information, utilize a variety of media channels. Post updates across all social media platforms, your website, and even through paid mediums. 

Anticipate change and act accordingly. 

With the situation ever-changing, it’s important to stay updated and informed. It’s also important to anticipate change in your customers and respond appropriately. As people are shifting to working from home, self-isolating, among other behavioral shifts, elements of all businesses will be impacted. Whether that be needing to change policies or cancel events, brands should make responsible and timely decisions. 

Final Thoughts 

During this time, consideration is most important. Everyone needs to keep in mind the ways in which people are being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. All people are affected by this and there are varying levels of anxiety and concerns in different areas. Provide help in any way possible, whether that be sharing positive stories, helpful initiatives, or educational information. As a brand it’s important to create a communication strategy during a crisis that informs, supports, and provides reassurance to your audiences. 

More from Onimod Global 

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Marketing and Coronavirus: 5 Tips for Travel and Hospitality Brands

Coronavirus is something that can no longer be ignored by marketers, as much as they might want to. Industries around the globe are starting to feel the effects, but none are getting hit as hard as one in particular: the travel and hospitality industry. 

With coronavirus recently reaching a pandemic status, travel and hospitality brands have no ability to control or avoid the situation. But they do have the ability to control how they respond, which can strongly impact their losses and how well they recover after the crisis is over. 

Here are 5 marketing tips for travel and hospitality brands during the coronavirus. 

Moderately Adjust Ad Budgets 

The crisis is forcing companies to reevaluate many aspects of their financial plans, especially those operating in B2C spaces. After all, does it make sense to buy traffic if consumers aren’t going to travel? Actually, Craig Paddock, director of search and travel at MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing firm, says data indicates that consumers are still buying travel. He says their clients are only moderately reducing paid search budgets, with the exception of international paid search efforts for United States-based clients. With the recent European travel ban, it only makes sense to pause international ad campaigns all together. In terms of national travel Paddock says, “If you were to read the front page of the newspaper today you would think absolutely nobody is booking hotel rooms. We are not seeing that yet. 

It’s also important to continue to keep brand safety in mind. While marketers don’t need to pause ads completely, they should monitor ad placement. You don’t want to be spending money on ads placed on sites dealing with the outbreak. 

Implement “Staycation” Promotions 

One audience that could continue to be business opportunities for hotel marketers are those within driving distance. Flying may no longer be appealing to those looking to take a vacation, but a trip in driving range may be. Consider creating appealing offers targeting those searching for travel opportunities locally. Paddock at MMGY Global says they have been creating “staycation” landing pages for clients that didn’t already have them.  

That being said, you don’t want to go overboard with promotional marketing. Brands must be careful that they don’t push their fantastic deals too aggressively to consumers who are not interested in traveling at the current time. 

Be Proactive and Communicate Clearly About Efforts 

As we said, it has become impossible to travel without being aware of the coronavirus. Companies should communicate proactively about the situation and precautions they’re taking to protect customers and employees. Brands obviously cannot market peoples’ concerns away, but they can market on a foundation that they’re taking meaningful action. Examples include: 

  • Creating and publishing policies related to coronavirus. 
  • Implementing new cleaning and hygienic protocol. 
  • Supplying customers with supplies and information that can help them protect themselves. 
  • Suspending any flights, services, activities, etc. that may increase customer and employee health risks. 

Be Flexible and Generous 

All companies want to minimize losses, but with this being a crisis that threatens the health of customers, brands should put people before profit. This is a factor that can strongly impact how well you recover following the outbreak. If a customer had a bad experience during this time of crisis and felt that the company only cared about maintaining revenue, the likelihood of them returning is slim. On the other hand, if they had a good experience, and felt that the company genuinely cared about their wellbeing, they could become a long-term loyal customer. 

Even if not legally required, it’s in a company’s long-term best interest to be flexible and generous. Airlines, hotels, and tour operators, when reasonable, should consider allowing customers to cancel bookings and receive full refunds, even if originally they were not refundable. If issuing a full refund isn’t possible or appropriate, customers should be given the opportunity to cancel for a full service credit when the crisis is over.  

Actively Monitor the Situation and Manage Campaigns 

The status of coronavirus and the world is constantly changing, which means campaigns need to be managed accordingly. For example, if a city or country emerges as an epicenter of an outbreak or becomes subject of new travel restrictions, brands have to react immediately. If there are paid search efforts being targeted there, marketers have to appropriately modify or deactivate them. Because ultimately, there is nothing to be gained from marketing travel to areas that aren’t safe, or to audiences that no longer have the opportunity to travel. These efforts can help travel and hospitality brands minimize waste, while protecting customers and employees. 

Final Thoughts 

What’s best for your brand is ultimately up to you and your company. We have no way of controlling what happens globally, only how we respond. Not everyone sees budget-cutting as the answer, but it’s in any companies’ best interest to reconsider marketing strategies, especially those in the travel and hospitality industry. 

More From Onimod Global 

To catch up on the latest digital marketing news and trends, click here. To find out more about who we are and what we do, click here.