Business as Usual: Marketing During Uncertain times
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
By Carol Sours
Our new reality is evolving by the moment in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
While much has changed in how we conduct business, one key function remains strong: communication. In-person interactions are halted, but we are fortunate to have a bevy of digital resources at our fingertips to keep things moving along. Maintaining regular communications with not only your team, but also your customers and prospects is critical.
First, consider your message.
Now is not the time to shrink away from marketing your business, but you should consider if the tone of your message is appropriate in light of our current situation. For instance, for Treo’s clients in the tourism industry, we are shifting messages from “come visit, shop, dine and play” to branded, reassuring messages of support such as “We’re in this together. When this passes, we’ll be here for you. Take this time to research and plan for your stay in the future.” If it makes sense, we also tout amenities where social distancing is easily achievable and does not put anyone in harm's way for virus exposure, such as hiking trails or wide-open nature parks where one can enjoy fresh air and maintain compliance. No matter your industry, your marketing message should take into account the way your customer interacts with you and encourage best practices for protecting the health and safety of customers and employees.
Stay top of mind to keep sales flowing.
Understandably, consumers are being more cautious with their dollars, but they are still shopping from home and patronizing “essential business” retail stores, curbside meal and service providers, and businesses with home delivery. By staying in front of your customers and prospects, you are letting them know you are in this with them and open for business. Digital impressions are skyrocketing with people searching the internet, perusing social media, watching videos, and streaming content around the clock. Now is a great time to ramp up your efforts for SEO, email marketing, social media and content strategy. Establish a schedule to ensure regular email sends and social posting with consistent messaging to achieve the most impact.
What if your business is considered “non-essential” and/or is at a standstill and unable to operate because of isolation orders?
Look for opportunities to “digitally optimize” your offering and create or grow an online revenue stream. Leveraging website plug-ins like Shopify may be a way for brick and mortar shops to move products online. Do you have training expertise in any field you could package and sell as an online subscription-based course? Building a page on Pinterest or other social media outlet that you may not be using, but is relevant to your market, could help reach new audiences and drive more sales. There are multiple options to optimize business for online sales, depending on your industry and business model. If shifting your business online is not viable, consider taking this time to scale up your email and social media efforts to stay connected with your customer base. Keep the conversation flowing with your customers to build and maintain loyalty. Customers who feel connected will be there for you when the storm passes, and may even offer ideas to help keep your business moving during the shutdown.
We are all truly in this together. If you have a question or could use some pointers for marketing your business during this time, contact Alli at Treo Marketing at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk!