As we live through the COVID-19 pandemic day-by-day, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees — but this crisis will end, and that is a powerfully positive fact. Use your business now to plan for the aftermath so you can emerge in a vital, strong position in terms of your brand's messaging.

So, what are the right steps? Use these guidelines to help you cover all your planning needs.

Use the correct timetable.

According to data from Thrive, the results of what you do now in terms of working on a SEO campaign will show on your search traffic in two months' time. You should be looking ahead no further than 2-3 months in terms of when you will implement a new marketing plan.

You can move that timeline as events warrant but starting off by planning for 8-12 weeks ahead as a start launch date gives you a sufficiently generous time frame.

Reach out to your audience.

Keep communicating with your customer base. Check in and show them you are thinking about them and that you care about how they are doing. Ask them what they would like to see from you in terms of changes or adjustments to your products and services and integrate that into your planning.

You can do this through direct email and surveys, but you don’t want to overwhelm them at this time. Limit those communications to once every week or two so you don't appear to be capitalizing during this tough time. The right way to stay in touch in a broader sense is through daily messages on your social platforms that are positive and lets your audience know you're there for them. Your team can blog regularly, too.

Budget wisely.

Search Engine Journal reports that you should reserve $7,000 in marketing and advertising spend for every $100,000 of gross income your brand earns annually. Those numbers may or may not be doable now, but you can adjust your scale accordingly when you understand the basic math that will ultimately prove most effective.

Apply for the financial assistance you deserve and need.

Keep abreast of news briefings from the federal government regarding relief, loans and programs for businesses both large and small. Also, make a point of watching your state governor's daily COVID-19 briefings, which often contain crucial guidance about the availability of additional financial aid on a local level.

Shore up your supply chain.

EMarketer suggests supply chain issues from China may mean companies in other parts of the world will reduce ad spending. This reduction may make sense for you now to keep product availability flowing, so you have the resources you need later. Make sure you have the precise data you need for operational purposes and keep your customers abreast of stock info.

Plan for a surge or not.

When this crisis is over, one of two things is going to happen for your business: either your customers will flood back to you and buy up the services or all the physical stock you've had in reserve, or you'll hear crickets. Neither situation will define your future success or failure, so don't celebrate or panic no matter what happens.

Be conservative in your approach, but don't overbuy until you get a lay of the land down the line. And resolve to be patient — it will take everyone a bit of time to get back to normal footing in the future, so allow things to shake out and go with the flow when the time comes.


Think of this time as a reset — a time to examine what you've been doing right, and what you really need to improve in terms of your digital and social media outreach. Then, focus on the details of making those changes while you don't have your normal level of operational pressure.