During these difficult times, many businesses are struggling to do business in the same way. This is the time to become creative and find different ways to communicate and ultimately sell to your customers.
Here are our top tips for marketing during the COVID-19 outbreak:
1. Don’t stop all marketing!
This has to be the most important thing. There’s a temptation to cut all costs, but please think long-term. Marketing strategies such as SEO take time to implement and produce results. Stopping these activities now will slow your recovery when the initial COVID-19 lockdown is over. There may also be other ways to promote your organisation and even generate new business.
2. Take stock
This is an opportunity to look at your business in a new light. Take stock of where you are, where you want to be and how your business can. or in some cases, needs to adapt to the current situation.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Keep your customers and suppliers informed of what’s happening. Are you working reduced hours, closing premises, working remotely? If your delivery times are affected, or you’re running on a skeleton staff, keep customers informed as accurately as possible. Give them alternative ways to contact you if necessary. The most important thing is to keep them ‘in the loop’ – it will make both yours and their experiences far more enjoyable.
4. How else can you provide a service to your clients?
If you can’t provide physical products or services currently, can you provide other information? How about advice on products, ‘how to’ guides or FAQs that you regularly receive by phone or email. Interesting quality content on your website not only helps clients, but can also help your SEO strategy by updating your website.
5. Plan ahead, but stay relevant
By all means, write content in advance, but check that it is still relevant before publishing. The coronavirus situation and related government advice is constantly changing, so make sure that your messages are still correct when you press ‘go live’.
6. Are you making use of technology?
Think about how you can deliver the same service but virtually. Bring your products to the customer if they can’t get to you. Webinars and video can be utilised to demonstrate products and services, or deliver information and advice ‘in person’ via video conference.
7. Can you diversify your business?
Are there other services that you can provide during this time? Can you provide help to community groups or key workers at this time? These activities may not produce a profit, but is great for PR, will boost public opinion of your organisation and goes towards your CSR (corporate social responsibility).
8. Delay press releases and product launches
Unfortunately, any news about your business will just get lost in the monumental amount of media that we’re all being subjected to at the moment. Unless you have news that simply cannot wait or is relevant to the coronavirus outbreak, delay it until the situation has changed.
9. Work on those marketing projects you’ve been delaying
Dig out those projects you’ve been putting on the back burner. Have you been meaning to update your brand, change the website or develop a new marketing strategy? Now is the time to do it. It may even be that the recent outbreak has made you realise that something in your marketing strategy doesn’t work and needs to be changed. Take this time to reflect on your business and how it can better serve your customers in future.
10. Utilise social media
With people out of their usual routine, you may be noticing a drop in website traffic. There is however, a great deal of social media usage at this time. Is your business utilising these channels? Become creative with your message, consider video use or live streaming if you have something that you think is important, useful, or might just brighten people’s day. It doesn’t all have to be about business either; perhaps your staff are finding interesting ways to cope with social isolation, or you’ve been doing something different. Encourage engagement too, so ask questions of your followers, or set a challenge for people to get involved with.
11. Consider other forms of marketing
If your advertising relies on passing traffic or public interaction, have you considered other forms of advertising? Pay per click (PPC) prices have dropped recently, with advertising prices for some industries at 50% of the usual cost, and most companies that have a Google Ads account have been given a voucher. Also, more people are online at the moment, so consider promoting your business on social media. Make the most of your budget by clearly defining customer demographics
12. Plan for growth after the pandemic
Look ahead to when things get back to normal. Can your business ramp up quickly? Have marketing plans ready to implement, plan ahead by writing social posts, content and emails in advance.
If you need any advice or help during this period, Smash Marketing are more than happy to help! We can provide advice via phone, email or Zoom call, or support your business with SEO, PPC, social media, and website content. Please get in touch today!