Coronavirus and Advertising: What should businesses do?


We have learned a lot in the past few weeks about how the public is reacting to the coronavirus. We’re learning how they are changing their behaviors and how we, as advertisers, can reach them and focus on building a brand and solidifying long term relationships. Chad Webb and Jason Heflin recorded a quick podcast with EIGHT TIPS on how to get through these uncertain times with your business intact! 


#1 Scaling Back

Consider your essential services but don’t halt services if possible. Many businesses (healthcare, banks, food supply) are all essential and people need to know your plan – continually. Update them daily, reassure them you are still there for them. But, let them know what a scale back looks like – they will appreciate it. 


#2 Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is born in tough times. If you show clients that you are part of the community and that you are willing to work with them, they may reward you with a lifetime value you could never have imagined a customer could bring you. 


#3 Test and Play with Content

Now is the time to play and test stuff. How can you provide value in these tough times?  Perfect is the enemy of good. Post-production may be tough just get it out. Or look at outsourcing it.


Content Ideas:

        • Manage client calls through Skype/Google Hangouts to limit exposure while still getting important information out.
        • Consider creating relevant blog posts.
        • Get that business podcast up and running!
        • Test new social media channels! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe even TikTok.
        • Start a YouTube channel for your business. Orm, if you have one, keep it updated. 


#4 Laying Off

This one is tough to talk about, but necessary. If you are or will have to lay off employees, and they need to go on unemployment, we are willing to act as an outsourced temporary solution with no contract required. We can help you facilitate communication with your consumer base on social media, through website updates, and through a Google Ad campaign. 


#5 Pivoting

What services do you offer that can be put online or done without physical contact? This new temporary economy will be digitally focused. Advertising will shift to digital or television (at least temporarily) and internet usage will spike. What can you do?


        • STOP your current strategy and rethink it. We keep seeing posts and emails come through from companies that were obviously crafted a month ago and they don’t make sense with what is going on now. 
        • Increase your website’s bandwidth through your hosting company (if possible) to account for the possible surge in visitors.
        • Use your social media channels – use advertising dollars behind posts to push your posts to the forefront
        • Focus on products and services customers can buy or use at home
        • Be helpful and compassionate – Think through things you can do as a business to help other businesses and to help the people who are worried about income. Dig deep and offer to help through discounts, free delivery, delaying payment, etc. This will also help build brand loyalty with the average consumer.


#6 Communication

Do not stop communicating. We don’t know when this will end but we do know it will end. You should aim to be top-of-mind when consumers do regain their ability to spend. This is why brand loyalty is so important! When they think of the product, they need to immediately think of you. 


#7 Advertise

Be frugal and smart about it – we are digital marketing evangelists – this is the time to shift to digital platforms for budgetary purposes. Think of where people are and how to get in front of them – social media channels, Google Ads, pop-ups on your website, etc. 


#8 Be Ready for the Bounce Back

Formulate your plan for the “come back.” Whether that’s a fresh new brand, a new perspective on business, or for businesses that have shut down, what does a re-launch campaign look like? It will be easy to get lost in the clutter of advertising when things reboot. 



Our Facebook representative mentioned in a call yesterday that they are seeing much higher impressions on advertising right now with everyone staying updated on their devices and computers.


This is what we have learned by testing messaging and types of advertising methods this last week and using data to find out what is working. Our biggest piece of advice is to to use this time to build brand loyalty and continue to advertise (but on the platforms that people are on right now). People are at home or constantly checking their phones for updates. Now is the time to get in front of them – wisely and compassionately. If you need any help through this uncertain time, please reach out to us and we will help in whatever way we can! 


By Jason Heflin

Jason Heflin is one of CrowdSouth’s owning Partners and brings years of marketing experience from his past lives as a corporate marketing manager, writer, and freelancer. He also plays the ukulele for fun, which is cool.

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