With COVID-19 restricting people’s physical movements, consumers are now turning to online channels more than ever. With this comes the opportunity for your brand to connect with your target audience in a meaningful and effective way, while keeping them engaged and entertained. So what’s the best way to do this?

1. What elements of your physical offering can you transfer online?

Whether you are a gym, store or leisure facility, people are now unable to visit you physically to experience your service or product. This means they will be turning to your online offering to engage, experience and consume. Facebook reported that in many of the countries impacted by the virus, total messaging increased more than 50% over the past month, whilst calls more than doubled on Messenger and WhatsApp.

Based on this amplification of online usage, consider how you can pivot your business model to an online product or service. For instance, if you are a gym offering group training workouts, consider launching an at-home training program where people can participate.

Snap Fitness On Demand *Example of Snap Fitness offering their members a 28 day at-home challenge *

2. Consider using Live Video to engage with consumers.

Facebook and Instagram have Live streaming options, where consumers can engage with you, respond, leave comments and chat with other consumers. Facebook recently reported that the use of Live Video on Messenger alone had increased by 70% during the COVID-19 outbreak period.

With this in mind, consider running a live at-home workout video featuring one of your trainers. This can build on your brand awareness, develop a positive sense of community and allow you to reach your target audience in a fun and engaging way. CorePlus Live At Home Workout Example of pilates studio Love Athletica turning to Instagram Stories - Live.

3. Use Polls and Quiz Stickers

Find out what your consumers are thinking and feeling with Instagram polls and quiz stickers. This can be a fun, interactive way to engage your target audience and also understand their needs and wants better. Workout Quiz Insta Poll Example of a workout quiz - asking consumers to answer a workout related question.

4. Create a Facebook Group

This can further build a sense of community and encourage consumers to stay involved with your brand. It also allows you to communicate key messages in an effective manner, whilst simultaneously learning about your target audience and what resonates with them. Facebook Group Example Example of Core Plus pilates studio’s Online Community group launched during the COVID-19 crisis, which now has over 6,500 members.

5. Use the Question and Answer feature on Instagram.

Open up the floor to your audience and get them to ask questions on Instagram. Film your responses and post them so everyone can learn your answers. This can build your transparency, engagement and brand awareness. Instagram question & answer feature *Example from Keep It Cleaner’s Instagram Story *

In times like these, your online presence and digital actions are more important than ever before. Your social channels are a powerful tool to reach, engage and expand your audience. By incorporating these suggestions into your marketing strategy, you will be able to achieve this in fun and exciting ways.

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