If you’re unsure how to approach your marketing strategies amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. It can be challenging to find a balance between effective yet mindful communication with your customers and community. Many are scrambling to pick up the professional and personal pieces of the crisis. The RPS marketing team has compiled a list of five tips to help you confidently market through the pandemic.
Reassess Your Marketing Strategy
It can be tricky to differentiate which marketing campaigns should be pushed or paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it’s essential to stay connected with your customers, it’s also time to take a step back and reevaluate what planned strategies could come off as insensitive or offensive; be sure to take the time to review your scheduled content, including visuals. Also, avoid capitalizing on the pandemic, such as pushing non-essential product launches.
A helpful perspective activity is to adopt your consumers’ mindset; ask yourself how you would feel if you were in their position, receiving your proposed message. Are your eyes rolling, or are you smiling? Do you feel bombarded or empowered?
Foster Clear Communication
It’s paramount to communicate in a time of uncertainty. The words you choose and the words you don’t use can make a big difference. If you are shut down for COVID-19, we suggest making sure you communicate that you are temporarily shut down (not closed for good!). Also, expressly confirm that you look forward to resuming operations once it is safe to do so.
Adding a form to your website for people to “sign up” to be notified when you re-open is a great way to keep customers engaged and instill confidence that your business will be back in action once this all passes. If you aren’t closed but have limited hours or service during this time, be clear about that too. This messaging applies to your website as well as your social media and email outreach. Don’t leave anything to interpretation. Be clear and instill confidence in both your customers and your team by communicating regularly and positively.
Keep Your Customers Up to Date with Google Business
Organizations of all sizes can benefit from utilizing Google Business. If your business doesn’t currently have a digital presence, an excellent way to retain customers is by creating and maintaining a Google Business account. Many consumers aren’t sure which businesses are open, and if their hours and services have changed.
Through Google Business you have the capability to update your business hours and availability. As a restaurant owner, this tool is critical. Google Business allows you to share if your restaurant’s dining room is closed as well as if you are still open for carryout or delivery orders. Listing this information is essential for any business, and promotes clear communication with your customers. If your business information is up to date, customers will be encouraged to continue using your services.
Brainstorm Alternative Ways to Generate Business
If you’ve had to close your doors or stop production due to COVID-19, seek creative ways to cultivate revenue growth. Stay-at-home orders have pushed consumers to spend more time online. It’s beneficial for your organization to promote your services online via virtual conference tools such as Facebook Live and Zoom.
Many gyms, yoga studios, museums, zoos, and even art studios are hosting interactive virtual events. You may be surprised how many of your customers would be thrilled to experience your services remotely; however, if your services aren’t web-friendly, you’re not at a loss. Consider allowing customers to pay deposits for future services at a discounted rate.
Strengthen Social Media Presence
During COVID-19 setbacks, social media serves as an impactful marketing tool. During this time, people are turning more frequently to social media channels to stay connected. Your approach to social media marketing determines whether your online presence will strengthen or weaken. It’s invaluable to keep in touch with your audience but with a genuine approach; apply a human touch to each post and avoid corporate jargon.
For instance, instead of pushing your product, teach your audience a DIY version of the product. In doing so, viewers won’t feel pressured to leave their homes or order your product online. As every consumer’s screen is filled with dreadful news, design your platform to be an uplifting outlet to anyone who visits your social media accounts. Routinely check-in with your customers and ask them what kind of content they would like to see.