In the current environment, with how coronavirus is impacting large and small businesses, putting a focus on communication is absolutely essential.

I've been in the startup world since 2015 (when I started freelancing from my dining room office), so I'm a huge believer.

But at this point, the beans have been spilled. I can't imagine anybody not recognizing the power and scale of online content. This is a severe event on many levels that's happening right now. If it still wakes up a business that would have been inevitably put out of business by not taking this seriously, then I hope that the owner or founder understands what's happening here. I hope more companies have finally figured out how it is essential if you want to be visible in today's world.

Here are my two cents on how the COVID19 is changing how we communicate with customers, and what retailers and businesses need to consider as they move from one way of communicating to another.

THE SHORT TERM VS LONG TERM IMPACT ON COMMUNICATION

Short-Term, companies are being pushed online in droves. I mean the Mom & Pop shop down the street, to your cousin's restaurant downtown. Not all businesses are the same, but most people are in a contention-type business (i.e., grocery stores, supermarkets, etc.), have seen their numbers skyrocket.

I think the long-term impact on the industry centers around people changing their buying behaviors. For example, many people who wouldn't otherwise buy groceries online are now starting to shop online and have them delivered.

According to Rakuten Intelligence, order volume for online grocery retailers surged 210% from March 12th – 15th of 2020, compared to the same dates a year ago.

LEVERAGE CONTENT TO BUILD AN LOCAL ONLINE BUSINESS

No matter what you do -- no matter what industry you're in, no matter what product you sell, you are in the media business.

This is a quote from Gary Vaynerchuck, and it sticks with me. As an early observer of this in 2015, the power of media from then until now is undeniable. The majority of people on the internet, just like IRL, are consumers. I'll say it a different way; in real life, a majority of people are consumers; they like to buy things for buying sake. Now, transplant that onto the internet, where there's unlimited free.

People not only consume by buying, but they also consume by reading, watching, and listening. And they can do this when they want and how they want. And that's the kicker. Your audience needs to choose you in a sea of other choices.

It's about putting out content not necessarily about your specific niche, but content that would interest the people that you're trying to court.

It could be a series reviewing the best products in your space that gets distributed across social in audio, video, pictures, and written form. It could be a content series of storytelling around how you make your products or how you got started.

The best way to compete with other businesses that are bigger than you and can throw money against things like Google ads is by becoming a content authority in your space in some capacity.

The ideas and strategies around this might depend on what industry you're in, what your brand is, and what you're comfortable with, but starting the process of building content pillars in your world is a crucial strategy for any business building out an online presence.

ARMED WITH THIS KNOWLEDGE

I challenge you to document, plan, create, and execute the above. I know I am. And this is just the beginning.