Websites are an integral component of almost every marketing or communications program. They are more important today than ever with the challenges we’re facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Strategic adjustments to your website that offer help, provide timely and relevant information and humanize your brand can help your company survive this time of hardship and be positioned to thrive once we reach the other side.
We’ve put together some questions you can ask yourself about your website(s) to help you identify if any adjustments should be made along with some tips for addressing challenges that COVID-19 brings for marketers and website managers.
Start with the basics. Is all your information accurate?
With all the changes and shuffle the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, it’s a good idea to review all your basic information and make sure it is up-to-date and accurate. Can your customers call the phone number listed on your site and speak to someone? Is someone monitoring and responding to an email listed on your website? Have your hours changed? Have there been changes to upcoming events listed? Is ordering and shipping information accurate? Are there special considerations your customers need to know about policies you’ve activated at your locations? Inaccurate information can lead to confusion and even worse–the perception that your company is insensitive and doesn’t care.
Review content and messaging. Would you say your brand is compassionate?
We covered this topic in more detail last week in the article Covid-19 Marketing Messaging | What Do You Say? but want to bring it up again since it has specific website implications. If a customer comes to your site looking for information and immediately sees a pop up banner with a sales driven message, it’s likely they’re going to be turned off by that and left with a lasting negative impression of your company. Most people do not want to be sold right now–they’re anxious, overwhelmed and in many cases afraid. Consider updating sales-focused messages on your website with messages of compassion, support and inspiration for the time being.
How can you help?
What can you provide to customers on your website right now with no strings attached to help them get through the COVID-19 situation? Are there valuable industry resources available you can link to? Is there news or updates that are relevant to your audience? Are there new FAQ’s you’re receiving that others may find the answers to helpful? Are there things your company is doing to ease the burden of the COVID-19 crisis for your customers?
While many people are confined to their homes to practice social distancing continuing to combat the spread, they are going online seeking information, reassurance and comfort. Brands that take a proactive and compassionate approach to helping their customers endure COVID-19 and all the challenges it brings will be remembered and favored in the future.
Now dig a little deeper.
Today’s websites are literally marketing machines. With automation capabilities, websites can generate leads and take prospective customers through the various stages of the sales funnel. So as you’re making adjustments and updates to your website related to the COVID-19 situation, don’t forget about your forms, drip marketing campaigns and landing pages that may not be accessible through normal site navigation. These materials and messages should also be reviewed and adjusted to make sure they are relevant and sensitive to current events.
In summary, sharing accurate information, compassionate messaging and helpful content through your website can help your brand maintain its relevance through the uncharted territory of COVID-19.
We hope you’ve found this information helpful as you lead your team through these challenging times. We’ll get through this together and will hopefully come away from this stronger than ever. Stay healthy and be safe.