The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed how much people spend, what they buy, how much they leave home and more. Despite those severe societal shakeups, marketing your business is just as important — and arguably even more vital — than ever.
Here are some actionable tips to spread the word about your company during the pandemic while remaining aware of people’s new priorities and concerns.
1. Consider Updating Your Imagery to Reflect New Ways of Life
People regularly don masks and maintain safe distances due to the novel corona virus’s high transmission potential. Think about updating the images used on your website and social media pages or physical marketing materials to show people engaging in these precautions.
The virus disrupted some people’s lives so much that they quickly become sad when reminiscing about the things they used to do without worrying about a public health threat. Those activities might include sharing a plate of nachos placed in the center of the table for everyone to grab while dining out or standing shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers in a concert venue to enjoy a gig.
Using new images for your company’s content can help reinforce that you understand things have changed, and you’ve shifted accordingly. If your schedule does not allow for sourcing new pictures, an alternative is to only use ones showing one person in the shot. That way, people can easily envision that the individual in the photo is following all the recommended steps to stay protected.
2. Promote Low- and No-Contact Options When Applicable
Many businesses began offering new ways for customers to get what they need while minimizing contact with others. Some also reminded people to take advantage of such services that already existed. Doing that helped convince customers it was still safe to do business with brands during the pandemic. If you offer these options, discuss them while marketing your business. If you don’t provide them yet, it’s easy to get started.
For example, consider an arrangement where a customer could place an order with your company online or over the phone, then use a curbside pickup option where a worker goes out to put the item in the car trunk without coming face-to-face with the person. If your business offers deliveries, set them up so that people can get a phone call when the driver arrives, and then leave the goods outside the door.
When informing customers about these options, emphasize the simplicity and safety they offer. Note that you understand why many people do not feel safe shopping now as they once did, but that your business has adapted to these new times. When mentioning these services on social media, think about making a branded infographic that goes through the steps of placing an order and requesting minimal contact.
3. Maintain an Open Dialogue With Customers
COVID-19 causes uncertainty in many people and for good reasons. They worry about becoming infected with the virus, become concerned that loved ones might get it, and ponder whether they’re doing enough to stay safe. Things feel unstable right now. Fortunately, you have an excellent opportunity to remind people that you operate a trustworthy, responsive business that provides much-needed stability.
Explore how you could create places for dialogue between customers and the business. Product review platforms, discussion forums and social media comments give accurate feedback on people’s experiences and problems, letting you understand how you to better meet needs and adjust your services.
Maybe you operate a deli that primarily offers sandwiches, salads and side dishes. If numerous people comment that having to help their kids go to school virtually, or work from home for the first time, results in feeling unmotivated to make dinner, you might start offering freshly prepared, family-size meals. Remember to thank people for their input, and tell them how valuable it is for your business.
4. Publish Videos or Post Pictures That Set Expectations
Many people feel willing to keep supporting your business, but they want the assurance of a safe environment. Using floor decals for social distancing reminders and posting hand sanitizer stations around your space is a great start. You could also program a digital sign to show exactly how many people are inside at a given time. Doing that helps you encourage everyone to uphold capacity restrictions and show understanding about those new arrangements.
Think about creating a short video or a photo gallery to show people what to expect when they come to your business. It’s one thing to describe your actions through words, but people often find it more impactful to see the changes. Videos and pictures help increase your brand recognition, too.
This strategy works in a couple of ways. First, it reinforces that your company takes COVID-19 seriously and follows best practices to keep people safe. It also highlights that consumers should go elsewhere if they plan to come to your business and not follow the rules that exist for everyone’s benefit.
5. Show Customers How Your Offerings Still Make Sense for Their Lives
Statistics collected in the summer of 2020 showed that 61% of United States consumers felt uncertain about their financial outlooks. The good news is that 66% of that segment reported continuing to make non-essential purchases despite such feelings. Since this global health threat put people’s jobs and many entire industries in jeopardy, some consumers shifted their priorities for what to buy and why.
Due to that reality, it’s vital to use messaging that assures people it’s still worthwhile to support your business. Regardless of whether customers reach out to you and mention that they may have to cut back because of financial stresses, examine what you could do so that your company is one that keeps getting their loyalty.
For example, you could discuss things like value for money, reliable services and high-quality items when calling attention to what makes your enterprise stand out from others. If your products or services suit the strategy, think about offering pricing tiers or buy-one-get-one promotions.
6. Create an Effective and Budget-Friendly Strategy
Your financial circumstances may necessitate trimming the marketing budget, but that’s not the same as stopping those expenditures fully. Become and stay familiar with your company’s finances. Doing that allows you to allocate resources accurately. You’ll then streamline your business processes and reduce overall costs.
As you alter budgets for marketing and other areas of the company, refer to any available historical data to see which approaches worked best before. Examine both money spent and overall effectiveness to get a clearer idea of which actions to take.
For example, the data might show that your costliest marketing method got you the most new customers over the last six months. Such an outcome would likely justify your decision to invest in that strategy again.
Show Dependability in Strange Times
Most people have never experienced other events in their lives on the scale of the COVID-19 crisis. As so many individuals wonder what’s ahead, these five tips will help you maintain brand visibility while demonstrating that people can still count on your company to consistently and safely meet their needs.