Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve while the entire world adapts to new variants and coping mechanisms to prevent contracting the virus, several industries rebuild their strategies to gain back what was lost.
The State of Businesses in a Nutshell
Across industries in the global setting, around 2% of businesses were closed down permanently, while 41.3% reported that they only temporarily closed due to the pandemic. On the other hand, 55.5% of businesses still said that they were operational throughout the first waves of lockdowns and variants. A small number claimed they temporarily closed due to other reasons.
And while many businesses were not able to survive, other, albeit smaller entrepreneurs started a business during the pandemic. In the US alone, 4.4 million new businesses started in 2020, and 500,000 small businesses started in January 2021 alone.2 This is mainly because of more access to technologies, a more educated and creative public and individuals having a digital-first mindset.
Naturally, digital companies were quick to adapt to this new trend and began to enhance their features to help small businesses improve their online visibility. These are what some big tech companies did as a response to COVID-19
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
Several businesses across the globe received huge marketing budget cuts, so they had to resort to looking for free or affordable means to communicate with their audiences.
Google went ahead and ramped up their free Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Firstly, businesses can now update additional hours of operation, in addition to their permanent set of business hours, to let their audiences know if they’re open during certain days or not, or if they adjusted their opening and closing times for whatever reason.
Second of all, they added new health and safety attributes to let audiences know that they are following health protocols mandated by their respective governments. Google Business Profile also added a COVID-19 updates category in their Posts so that businesses can announce any changes to their operations due to the pandemic.
And more recently, small businesses with single locations can access their Google Business Profile manage through the search engine results page itself, without having to login the GBP Manager. This makes it easier and faster for location managers and owners to tweak anything in their profile.
Google had stressed that updating and keeping your information accurate and complete on all your Google Business Profiles are important as more people are looking to search engines to find details about businesses nearby. With the new and improved Google Business Profile, small businesses and companies with multiple locations can continue engaging with their customers and let them know that they’re open for business.
The realm of social media has become both a haven for connecting with loved ones despite the pandemic and a cesspool of sharing misinformation that one might need to be a veteran in discerning what is true and what is false.
Social media giants like Facebook (now Meta), Twitter, Instagram and TikTok have been suspending fake accounts and Fan Pages spreading misinformation about COVID left and right, especially during the first few months of the pandemic. However, WHO recently surveyed adults aged 18-40 and while more than half of respondents are aware of fake news about the pandemic, 35.1% simply ignore the content instead of actively countering it.
Scientific content is still seen as shareworthy, though, with the survey tallying 43.9% of responses that would most likely share science content on social media. Around 30% of it would be articles, while almost a fourth of content would either be videos or images.
Businesses are also shedding the light on their own operations. Increased online activity means more people looking to social media for entertainment, education and e-commerce. Mini-entrepreneurs would regularly host live streams on Facebook, for example, to show their wares, with clothes, shoes and accessories being purchased the most on several social platforms in 2020. Satisfied customers like and share their content, giving them more reach and, hopefully, more conversions.
On the other hand, dissatisfied customers are more confident in talking about what frustrates them about a business or company, and often leave irate comments, private messages and elaborate video reviews. This pushes companies to think strongly about empathy in their digital marketing strategies, especially now in times of crisis.
Digital marketing professionals continue to re-evaluate their strategies to maintain a healthy online presence and engagement with their audiences. Through several enhancements done by the world’s largest search engine and leading social media platforms, it’s becoming easier for businesses relying on digital marketing to stay on top of everyone’s mind despite the pandemic.
Grow your business with digital marketing, despite the pandemic and other crises that may come your way. Dygiq will work with your to keep your business running throughout any situation. Want to amp up your digital marketing game with some of the best in the biz? Contact us today for a free quote!