While your customers may be on self-quarantine, that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected and continue providing the service and products they are accustomed to receiving from you.

Over the last few weeks, the public has grown increasingly concerned about COVID-19. Store shelves are depleted of products such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Schools are closed, offices are urging employees to work from home, and businesses that rely on street traffic are seeing their sales take a hit.

If you’ve noticed a drop in customers, you’re not alone. According to the NFIB Research Center, nearly one-quarter of small business owners say the outbreak is negatively impacting their businesses with slower sales (42%), supply chain disruptions (39%), and sick employees (4%).

However, in our digital world, there are ways to stay connected to your customers through this pandemic and keep your business above water. Here are a few strategies for businesses looking to keep their audience engaged and in the loop, even if they’re self-quarantined or avoiding public places.

Let customers know what you’re doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Send an email to your customers and post signage in your store to assure them that you’re doing everything you can to protect their health when they visit your store. Share any increased cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene protocols you’re following, and let them know that you are enforcing self-quarantine among any employees who might be experiencing symptoms. If you are altering your hours or closing your store for a deep-clean, you should let your customers know that, too.

Increase your Social Media presence

Your customers are already on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, but these days, they are likely checking in much more frequently to get the latest updates on the virus. Whether you’re posting about online products or trying to offer light, positive content to help take people’s minds off the panic, it can be helpful to increase paid social campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn to ensure you are showing up in their news feeds. Learn more about Paid Social Media.

Offer online deals through Display and Programmatic Ad Campaigns

If your business already has an online component, remind customers that they can still shop for their favorite items online. Offering a coupon or discount to encourage online shopping while your customers are staying home anyway is a way to boost business. If you operate a service-based business, you may want to consider offering online sales of gift certificates. Encourage your customers to buy a certificate now, so they can treat themselves and redeem it when the virus outbreak has slowed and their self-quarantine period is over. This can help maintain sales for you while giving your customers something fun and exciting to look forward to. Learn more about Display Advertising.

Create awareness through Google Ads

The key to a successful Search Marketing strategy is to understand how to capture, understand, and influence the intent of your target audience. We can make sure the right people make their way to your site, now more than ever.  A strategically plan Google Ad or YouTube campaign can create awareness and keep your brand top of mind during this outbreak.  Learn more about Search Ad Campaigns.

If this virus continues for months, rather than weeks, we will need to learn to operate in a virtual and digital world now more than ever. While screens can’t replace handshakes, they can provide a means for continued business success.

Virginia Media is here to look out for our customers to do what we can to keep everyone going. Our sales reps are available via phone, email, video chat or even in person. We’ll just make sure everyone washes their hands afterward.

More digital services