Written by Brittany Prats
Edited by Allison Herrera
Natural disasters can be a devastating time for businesses, families, and communities as a whole. In only a few short hours, someone’s whole life can be flipped upside down, due to the destruction of a hurricane or tornado. Marketing your business might be the absolute last thing on your mind when a natural disaster hits, but it should really be something that you focus on.
As most of you know, Uptown Girl Media is based in New Orleans, which was just hit with Hurricane Ida. A lot of our clients went into crisis mode, not knowing what to do about their business or even where to start. That’s why digital marketing is so crucial during a natural disaster. Through digital marketing your business can communicate with your clientele in an easier, more urgent way.
First, email marketing is definitely not a thing of the past. Through a hurricane, most people may be out of power for days to weeks, so how could they possibly get information on what’s going on? Well, even with the power out, you can still still receive email notifications on your phone. Being able to put your main Call to Action in your email heading or even just at the beginning of your message will help those receiving it to get that message instantly. You can simply just say “We’re Open!” to get your point across in a quick, informative way. This way, even if people don’t have WiFi or power, they know you’re open.
Next, let’s talk about Google. When a natural disaster hits and you need a new roof or help getting debris out of your yard, what’s the first thing you do? You search “roofers near me” or “tree removal near me” on Google. With the help of a digital marketing agency, like us, you can use search ads and advanced SEO (search engine optimization) opportunities to use. This then puts your company’s website at the top of the search results. Not only does this increase your brand awareness, but you will receive more clicks and, in turn, more customers. This also builds your trust & credibility among your community – especially during times of disaster and need. Barely anyone will go past the second or third page of search results, so advancing your company at the top will reveal that you are a trustworthy and credible business.
Also, digital marketing, especially in terms of Google, is incredibly important in keeping your customers up to date. We can update your Google Listing to reflect your updated hours of operation, whether you’re open yet or not, and even if you have a limited menu/stock. This ensures that your customers receive the information they are looking for during times they need it most.
Finally, I’m sure your social media strategy is the last thing you want to think about during a natural disaster…but it is extremely important in keeping your customers informed. You have to remember, people receive communication in multiple ways after natural disasters. Social media messaging is also ideal because even if your power is back on, phones can still be down. In times like these, you can rely on keeping communication up with direct messages on social media or even with question stickers on your Instagram story, so customers can remain in touch with you. Social media strategy is also a helpful way in communicating updates with your business. For instance if you’re open, what the procedure is, if there are shortages, etc. Even just using Instagram to check in with your audience can be incredibly helpful and relatable; so, that not only are they informed on your status, but you’re also informed on theirs. Also, social media is a useful tool in promoting relief funds for the natural disaster you are enduring. Especially if you plan on creating a fundraiser of your own, you can easily promote it while also building your brand character at the same time.
Now, here’s the deal. Not every marketing agency is going to know what’s going on in your local community. This is why it is so important to work with local agencies (like us ) during a natural disaster. Being a New Orleans based company, we will always know how to react with our community in terms of dealing with storms, hurricanes, and disasters alike. We are always the first ones to reach out, the first ones to stay back and help you through it, and especially the first ones to communicate with your clientele on the state of your business. We know what you’re going through – more than a national agency, and we especially know how it feels to have your whole livelihood flipped upside down. Digital Marketing is absolutely crucial during a natural disaster, so let us help you through this devastating time. Just give us a call to get started!