To say that the business landscape has changed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic is an understatement. Businesses like restaurants and retailers have been forced to rethink the way they conduct business, and companies like hair salons, bakeries, and photographers have been stagnated. For some, though, the crisis has sparked some inspiration and innovation.
Whether your company is continuing to operate remotely or you’re in an industry that has been brought to a standstill, your marketing strategy is surely changing with the times. In this post, we’ll share some helpful tips for leveling-up your marketing during the pandemic.
Evaluate How the COVID-19 Crisis Will Impact Your Business
Before making any changes to your marketing strategy, you should first consider how the pandemic is going to impact your business. If you’re under a mandatory stay-at-home order, for instance, and prohibited from operating a physical business location, does that preclude you from offering any products or services? Is there a way to reshape your delivery model? Here are just a few examples of innovative delivery models born out of the coronavirus pandemic:
- Salons offering curb-side pickup for hair care products like shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, hair gel – and even root touch-up and coloring kits.
- Bakeries offering cookie decorating kits complete with fresh-baked cookies, icing, and other decorations that can be picked up for a fun activity with the kids.
- Restaurants offering new or expanded delivery services to accommodate the community’s needs.
- Restaurants stepping up to offer free meals for school children who typically rely on the meals provided at school.
- Photographers offering front-porch family portraits (from a distance) to capture how families are coping with self-isolation.
Not all of these activities are directly revenue-generating, but they do share one thing in common: great marketing.
Marketing Tactics That Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Aside from innovative delivery models that will raise brand awareness and keep your business top-of-mind when the world returns to business as usual, there are many other marketing tactics that can be effective, even when the world seems upside down. Here’s a look at a few.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’re not able to operate a physical location during the pandemic, your website becomes all the more valuable, serving as the face of your business. Ensuring that your website is well-optimized for search will help more customers discover you, even while everyone is stuck at home. Plus, any improvements you make to boost SEO during the crisis will continue to benefit your visibility long after the world returns to “normal” (whatever that may look like!).
Social Media Marketing
Use social media to keep your fans informed of changes to your products and services or how they’re delivered. For example, many restaurants are modifying their hours of operation or their menus to better accommodate curb-side pickup and delivery. Your Facebook page, Twitter profile, and other social media platforms are a valuable source of the most up-to-date information throughout this crisis.
Don’t be afraid to go live on Instagram or Facebook to give your customers an inside look at how your business is changing operations to continue to serve them the best you can during the pandemic. (While you should get dressed and make an effort, don’t stress about your appearance too much. No one has had their hair cut or colored in a month – unless they happen to live with their hair stylist.)
For service providers, providing video tutorials that can help your customers cope without access to the services they’ve come to rely on from you are often celebrated by customers. For instance, nail technicians might offer do-it-yourself manicure tutorials or tips for maintaining a pedicure without regular salon pedis. Show empathy and focus on being of service and helping your audience solve a problem.
If you’ve made a fantastic video tutorial that’s been well-received by your audience during the pandemic, consider giving it a little extra push by promoting it on social media. Or, if you’re running a curb-side special during the pandemic, run some social media ads to ensure that the community knows what you have to offer. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have sophisticated ad targeting options, making it easy to reach the right audience with your ads.
Sending regular updates to your email marketing list is also crucial during this time. Customers who are working from home during the pandemic may not be active on social media throughout the day, so it’s an effective way to ensure that important announcements reach your audience.
Don’t have an email list yet? Now’s a great time to create one. Invite your social media followers and website visitors to sign up to stay up-to-date on changes to your products or services and receive helpful tips to help them through the crisis. There are many free and low-cost email marketing services that make email marketing easy, even for the uninitiated.
Keep the Content Flowing
You might post regular updates on your blog or on your home page to keep customers informed about what’s happening. Consider running a series of blog posts discussing the changes you’re making to weather the storm and what the experience is like for you and your team. And, don’t forget to install social media share buttons to make it easy for your visitors to share those announcements with their friends and family across social media.
While it may seem counter-intuitive to spend money on marketing when the world is in crisis and you may feel uncertain about the future of your business, keep in mind that whatever efforts you make to stay top-of-mind and provide a service to the community now will have far-reaching benefits long into the future. And, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective – many of the marketing strategies outlined above can be carried out with little to no investment (other than your time and creative energy).
Whatever marketing tactics you employ during the pandemic, you’ll get more traction by making it easy for your loyal customers to help you spread the word. Install our social media share buttons to enable easy, one-click sharing of your pandemic announcements, tutorial videos, blog posts, and other content across all the popular social media networks. They take just minutes to install, and best of all, they’re completely free to use!