We were all hoping that this pandemic would be over by now, or at least trending down, but as we know, this isn’t happening. We have created strategic plans to continue to build strong client relationships and market our products and services. COVID-19 has caused companies to alter their marketing plans.
Here are six tips to help you market during COVID-19:
1. Tell your customers what you are doing and don’t capitalize on the crisis. Be sure that you’ve updated your website and Google Maps so people know if you have new hours or if your business is only working online.
If you have a physical presence, let your customers know if they need to wear a mask into your business. Post signage about your requirements and your cleaning practices between clients. This information should be on your door ,in your window, on your website and any place your customer goes to find out information about your business.
Keep people informed without being alarming. Be mindful of your language and images. Consider a spirit of humility because many people have lost their jobs and health insurance. Use empathy when communicating with customers.
2. If you’re not already online, you should be now. If you are online, this is a time to focus on strengthening your relationship with your customers. Post about how you can work through this pandemic together. Focus on digital campaigns and remember to share information through social media. Spend time working on your story and your website. Review keywords because these may have changed due to the pandemic. Update content based on how COVID-19 changed how you do business.
3. Be authentic and refocus on your values. You need to make sure that you’re not taking advantage of the situation or potential customers.
It is important to lean into your company values, purpose and vision. Tell human interest stories that accentuate your values and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. These are difficult times for most of us, be personable and hopeful. It’s okay to talk about how things will change when the pandemic ends. It is also a good time to start talking about how things might permanently change. You may no longer have a physical office or elbow bumps might be the new hello for your business.
4. Adjust your marketing campaigns and timing. We don’t all have huge marketing budgets and staff that can quickly change your campaigns. You should begin with an audit of everything that you currently have in the marketplace and what is in the pipeline.
Pause anything that is no longer relevant or could be construed as inappropriate because of the situation. Small changes might make some campaigns relevant by talking about how we’re all in this together.
This is also a time that you can start preparing for post-COVID marketing efforts. Keep an eye out for what your competitors and other businesses in your region are doing. The pandemic is affecting different cities and regions differently.
5. Evaluate your images, language and tone. Avoid pictures of crowds because this is no longer the norm. Replace work and social setting pictures to better reflect the current times. Progressive Insurance has done a good job with this because their advertisements maintain their traditional comedy, but the setting is in Zoom meetings.
You should also look at your language and tone. You don’t want to encourage people to be getting together or shaking hands. This is a time to carefully scrutinize your language because the past may no longer work for the current reality.
6. Keep your communications positive, but don’t be ignorant to the situation. You don’t want to be considered a Pollyanna. This may be a time to involve more of your employees in the communication process. Find out what worries them and how they would like to see things handled.
Along with not being ignorant is being realistic. Don’t make promises you can’t keep or that you have no control over. Be sure you have all the facts and then put your best spin on the information. Your customers know it’s not business as usual. They want to know that you’re taking positive steps to help them with the products or services they need.
If you’d like help with your marketing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re here to help. You can contact Outlook Business Solutions and we’ll help you update your marketing efforts strategy, communicate with customers and grow your brand.