During the early months of 2020, businesses began to fear the worst would happen after hearing about the rapid spread and devastating effects of COVID-19 in different parts of the world.
After initial COVID-19 cases started ravaging sectors across the world, business establishments began making radical changes to their business models, including adopting a contactless approach. However, some important sectors struggled more than others to adopt contactless methods.
While there was no single industry that was not affected by the pandemic, there were industries that actually did well for themselves during the pandemic years. However, the pandemic still caused many industries to see big sales and productivity decreases, while others grinded to a halt.
The religious sector was one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing it to close its doors. But, with COVID-19 cases slowly decreasing over time, religious organizations and businesses in the sector re-opened, albeit with services and operations allowed in small capacities.
But, you may wonder how the religious sector (like other sectors such as retail) coped and adapted to survive the devastating coronavirus pandemic. Well, these sectors deployed some effective and creative strategies that helped them cope with the hard times.
Steps Religious Organizations Used to Ride the Pandemic Wave
A store in the religious sector selling religious souvenirs and figurines. Photo: Jerome Dahdah / Flickr
To survive the pandemic, the religious sector migrated to and adapted a digital approach. As e-commerce and digital platforms rose in popularity during the pandemic, it became easier and safer for customers and leads to access religious services, materials, and products online without exposing themselves to potential risks of being infected by the virus.
Today, if you are still wondering what are effective ways to survive a similarly tumultuous crisis, and jumpstart your business amidst increasingly dire global challenges like the deadly wars breaking out all across the world, most experts would say to diversify and digitize your operations.
Strategies Religious Sector Used to Cope With a Global Crisis
Aside from diversifying and digitizing operations, some of the other measures and strategies that religious organizations and businesses in other industries took (and have been using) to cope with global challenges and drive some growth include:
I. Virtual Gatherings
With social distancing in full effect during the pandemic, religious organizations and congregations migrated to digital "social gatherings." Churches held virtual masses on social media platforms, and offered their products and services online.
Moreover, content such as podcasts, webinars, videos, and e-books offered and downloaded online proved very effective in keeping people engaged even while in lockdown. The religious sector also offered free content to inspire and help people get through the trough times, such as prayer books and motivational quotes to provide perspective, hope, and thoughtful insights into life.
II. Content Marketing
Since it's quite easy to pass or broadcast information from one device to another with the help of the internet and its data highways, the religious sector used this medium as a means of catering to the information needs of their audience, while still mitigating risks of COVID transmission.
Content marketing remains an effective way of getting the word out about your advocacy or offering, whether in the religious or business sector. It involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate engagement and interest in an organization's products or services.
Blog posts, videos and articles funnel in views to your website where a conversion can be had. As such, one of the main advantages of implementing content marketing in your organization and having such posts is that it will constantly keep on drawing in more interested and invested views. Of course, you will need to optimize your website for search engines properly for best results.
The religious sector figured out this power of content marketing and used it to draw in converts and congregants. And since the majority of the general population are using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to-date, it's only appropriate that organizations in the religious sector and other sectors optimize their websites for a seamless user experience on mobile devices.
III. Home Deliveries
As people stayed at home and followed government lockdown regulations during the global coronavirus pandemic, individuals confined at home inevitably wanted the products that they bought online from religious organizations and stores delivered right to their doorstep.
Religious organizations and businesses in the sector had to migrate to a digital strategy where their audience could register and order products via e-commerce platforms and social media sites. Once people ordered online, the organizations made sure to provide deliveries to people's homes.
Many business owners operating in religious sector still continue to operate in this way today even after the pandemic. They appreciate the benefits of home delivery services, such as enhancing and boosting customer relationships, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.
Although the religious sector struggled quite a bit during the coronavirus outbreak, they were able to adapt well to the pandemic and to the "New normal" that emerged post-COVID-19.
Many religious organizations, retail businesses in the sector, and churches were able to survive despite things slowing down due to the pandemic by deploying such key strategies as diversifying, digitizing, and enhancing product deliveries to people's homes.
Being agile and adaptable to prevailing market conditions and environments quickly is how all types of businesses and organizations across sectors ensure their survival.