There’s no question that the current pandemic is having a detrimental impact on businesses around the world. Restrictions and lock downs have hurt a number of industries in particular. Unless you’re in the business of hand sanitiser or toilet paper, it’s probably safe to say you’ve been affected in some way. Even just the shift to remote working may have taken its toll.

With shopfront businesses closed for months on end, many business owners have collectively shrugged their shoulders, put up the ‘closed’ sign and settled in to wait it out. However, COVID-19 is actually one of the greatest marketing opportunities and the ideal time to be developing new campaigns for your audience.

While on the one hand it makes perfect sense for a closed business to stop marketing (after all, how you can market without a budget? More on that later…), on the other hand, if you’re advertising during a time when other people aren’t, you’re increasing your chance of exposure significantly. It’s estimated that Facebook and Google between them could lose over $44 billion in advertising revenue because of coronavirus. And yet, statistics also tell us that the overall usage on Facebook’s platform has increased during this time and more people are shopping online. So currently you’ve got yourself less competition with more eyes—a win win marketing opportunity. On top of this, you’re probably going to get more bang for your buck, as competition drives advertising price hikes as well.

The online space helps to shake up consumer habits

When you walk into the supermarket, you know exactly where everything is. And, as a result, you probably end up buying the same brands and the same products that you always do. However, moving to online shopping forces you to shake up this habit. You may instead find yourself hunting around for the best deal or exploring new brands — perhaps ones that have better reviews (if you’re not using testimonial marketing, you should be).  This is a marketing opportunity you could capitalise on. If you have a budget for it, even just a small one, get yourself in people’s faces in the online spaces they are frequenting!

But, what about if you have zero budget? How do you market then?

If your business has had to close down, it’s entirely possible all of your revenue has dried up. And, if this is the case, you’re probably reading this going “there’s no way I can take advantage of this, marketing opportunity or not”. That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything — or that you should give up. It just means you have to get creative. Literally. The other thing that people have more of during this crisis is time. While restrictions arebeginning to ease up, it will still be some time before things go back to ‘normal’. And until everything is back up and running, usual routines will be compromised. This makes COVID-19 the ideal time for content marketing and innovative social media campaigns. People are looking for stuff to fill the gaps in their schedules — and you can help them with that. So create some content and offer it for free. While it might feel like you’re doing work for no return, what you’re actually getting is exposure — and in this current climate that’s worth its weight in gold. If you want some digital content marketing ideas, check out our blog here.