For marketers, quickly adapting campaigns to the context of the COVID-19 crisis has been an extraordinary challenge. Businesses of all sizes are hurting across the country and there is a lot of confusion about what small businesses should do during these unprecedented times. When times are tough and revenue slows down, marketing efforts are often the first to fall down the list of priorities for a small business. JSK Marketing has compiled this resource to discuss why it’s more important now than ever to maintain a presence for the sake of your business, your clients, and your community.
Is Now an Appropriate Time to Market Your Business?
The current circumstance of mandatory in-home orders can be devastating for small businesses, as consumers are unable to venture outside of their homes and generate spending income. However, this doesn’t mean businesses should stop marketing. Consumers across the globe are looking at products and brands through a new lens. People are on their devices now more than ever, which means digital delivery has become a necessity for most customers who are confined at home. Digital-led experiences will continue to grow in popularity once COVID-19 is over, and businesses that act quickly and innovate in their delivery model to help consumers navigate the pandemic safely and effectively will establish a strong advantage. Consumers are looking to support their favorite local brands in different ways, so being innovative in your marketing strategy is key during a crisis. Branding efforts need to remain strong, so customers will recognize, remember and consider your products or services amidst your competitors when they are ready to spend. When the crisis subsides and people are wiling to spend more time in public, people are likely to visit businesses who had the most effective and thoughtful marketing throughout the pandemic.
Changing Your Marketing Strategy
Businesses will need to accommodate customers’ shifting needs and priorities, and you will need to know how to alter your marketing strategy while offering real value. There’s no denying that a crisis, such as the current COVID-19 crisis, requires an immediate shift in how businesses are showing up on social media. With the right tone, intention and approach, maintaining a social media presence during a crisis can not only prove to be appropriate but essential for bringing communities together and helping businesses persevere through difficult times. For pre-scheduled social media posts, you need to ask yourself “Do they match the tone of the current environment?” If they don’t take into account the crisis and people’s current and evolving needs, push them to a later date. When creating new content, take the time to think through what your followers need from you right now.
One thing this pandemic is teaching people is how to do even more online, and it’s sure to continue even when the crisis is over. Keeping your website up-to-date with new content, products and services while being mobile-friendly and secure is a great way to market during a crisis. Creating an online presence includes writing consistent blogs, video tutorials and hosting Q&A sessions to keep your consumers engaged and to seize the interest of prospects. A well developed online presence will help organically boost your search engine optimization (SEO) status with Google and other search engines.
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to get your brand and message in front of your audience, when it’s done right. Your emails should be full of valuable and helpful information at all times, but especially during a crisis. This will help promote a positive impression of your brand to your audience, which they’ll remember in the future. Keep your messages empathetic, concise and helpful. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your prospect list and you may be tempted to reach out even more during a public health crisis. You’ve got to resist this urge. People on your list will appreciate it if you only reach out when there is important news to share that adds value to them or their business.
Connection & Community
It’s important to show how your business is providing resources, education and support to your employees, customers and community amidst a crisis. Put together a program to get testimonials from your customers and ask for their referrals. Referrals are a great way to boost any business and it’s smart to incentivize the referral process. Examples are: giving away tickets to a local event (when they start happening again) or an Amazon gift card (this one you can purchase online).
Marketing during a crisis, even one as pervasive as COVID-19, still provides opportunity. An effective plan will depend on your particular business, industry and customer expectations. Things are unlikely to return to how they were before COVID-19, so you must start adapting now. When the new normal reveals itself (yes, we also dislike the term the “new norm”), marketing will come under increasing pressure to deliver measurable results ASAP.
If your business is looking to maintain or even create marketing leverage and traction during a crisis period, such as the one we are facing today, contact JSK Marketing today. Visit our website.