Beat the Coronavirus: Rapidly Move Your Business Online Right Now

by | Mar 27, 2020

3,280,000 unemployment claims (source).

Yes, that’s correct.

The coronavirus has impacted travel, retail, service, and business so significantly that last week unemployment filings shattered the previous record set in 1982 of 695,000.  It’s also 3M more than just the previous week!

US jobless claims from coronavirus

Even if you aren’t directly unemployed, that slowdown in the economy will undoubtedly impact nearly everyone.  And the scary part is, we still aren’t at the peak of this thing.

So you can either sit on your couch, hope for a government check, and wait for things to blow over…

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Or you take MASSIVE action in finding ways to serve your customers online.

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If you are physically able and well, it is your duty as a rugged American to get yourself working safely from home and providing incredible value for others (namely you customers!) who still need you – while keeping your own business going strong.

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So let’s get right into it, here’s what I’m going to lay out for you right now:

  • Idea for Shifting More of your Business Online
  • Building a Website that Converts to Leads and Sales
  • Using Google Ads to Immediately Activate Search Traffic
  • Reaching Your Target Customer with Social Media Ads
  • Other Resources

The idea for Shifting More of your Business Online

Okay, so you used to provide services in-person and now you can’t.

Bummer.

But can you provide some version of that service online?

Offer Online Events

Conferences, seminars, and coaching can be done remotely through webinars these days.  Using Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or MeetFox many events hosted in-person can be done online.

One of our clients holds group cooking classes in cities across the country.  Due to social distances, they have to pause those classes but instead are now offering online classes.  It forced them to create this new offering to serve their homebound and bored customers, and didn’t require much more than putting an iPhone on a tripod in the chef’s kitchen as a subscription to Zoom Webinar.

The extra exciting thing about this is that even after the coronavirus outbreak has passed, their online class option can still be a service they can offer to those who wish to cook remotely.

Our clients TalkDesk and InfluxData have moved their conferences completely online with specialized virtual conference platforms that make it easy.

Deidre Begley from Communique says that “One silver lining with virtual events is the ability to tap into the tremendous data they generate. This can reveal much more about the interests and intentions of audience members than a physical event might provide. When you take an event to digital you have the ability to understand the digital body language in the room – the ability to capture behaviors and capture interests and signals. You are not just showing who has attended and who hasn’t, you are understanding collateral and content they consume during that experience. You are understanding the engagement, questions and answers they received, responses to the polls, direct feedback through surveys, calls-to-action, and what they are tweeting on Twitter.

This data can be directly integrated into scoring models and nurture programs and used to direct attendees down curated follow-up paths after the event. Furthermore, the content of a virtual event can live on well after the event and repurposed into snackable content, both video and online.”

Promote Ecommerce

If you sell physical products, then you should already be offering e-commerce, but if not then this is a great time to start.  With tools like Brandbass and Stacks it has never been easier. It’s also a great time to offer more of the personal service you were able to provide in-store, online.

That can mean adding live chat, live video selling (think QVC!), scheduling time with customers to be a personal shopper, and other ways to provide great customer service that few brands offer — certainly not Amazon!

Promote Gift Cards

Ok, so if you’re a fine dining restaurant, video arcade, or massage therapist, this is going to be difficult.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take the opportunity to sell gift cards for future use.  Free Play is a video arcade chain in Dallas, TX that has been forced to close all locations temporarily.  They are offering gift cards as a way to keep revenue coming in even while their customers cannot. If you are in the hospitality business a tool like HotelTreats will even do the work for you when it comes to creating vouchers and saving your business.

Subscription Boxes & Services

Continuity programs are an incredible sales channel that too few businesses take advantage of.  A subscription service ensures you have months or years of automated recurring billing and customers don’t even have to think to buy from you.

The subscription service can start after the quarantine period ends if you cannot provide service remotely or if you can, start mailing products out right away!  Platforms like Recurly and Stripe make recurring payments simple to execute.

Building a Website that Converts to Leads and Sales

Now that you have some ideas of what to sell, let’s get into how to sell it.

First off, before you start driving paid traffic to your online store, you need to make sure your website is going to turn those visitors into buyers.  Just like hosting a house party, you need to get your place in order before the guests arrive.

This is where conversion rate optimization and user experience come into play.  If you need to get something up quickly, I highly recommend using a single landing page on a platform like Unbounce which our agency uses extensively for clients.  We find that our Unbounce landing pages convert at nearly 2X compared to standard website pages.