The year of 2020 has been quite a whirlwind. Coronavirus has ultimately paused our lives and kept our plans on hold for a few months. Many of us are now well aware of aspects such as social distancing measures and washing our hands and these are likely to stay in place for many months.
But in this article the main focus is around how you as a business can be adapting your marketing strategy to reach your audiences and customers during these tough times. Although we may have got through the gulf of the pandemic, there are still many businesses that are having to adapt to these odd times in order to keep their business afloat.
There are constant changes in guidelines and new rules that businesses have to adhere to. Therefore it’s important to adapt your marketing strategies during times of crisis. Let’s see how you can achieve this.
Be honest and open with your customers
It’s said that people tend to show their true colours when they’re in situations of adversity. Businesses can also be judged on this statement too. According to many studies, loyalty and trust are a couple of the main points that customers suggest help them build their relationship with a brand. During a time of a crisis, the best way you can build trust as a business is to be as open and honest with your customers as possible.
There are several ways that you can achieve this through your marketing strategy, either through social media, SMS or email marketing. It’s up to you how your tone of voice projects with your customers, it depends on the character of your brand. Ultimately, the most important aspect is being truthful.
Use your advertising budget wisely
Your first reaction as a business owner when a pandemic hits is to ensure the future of your business. This means protecting any assets you have and saving funds where possible. Although this is understandable, it should also be seen as an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors.
In times of crisis, naturally many users revert to their online devices to keep connected and discover important information, plus finding more uses. Online activity naturally rockets, but this means more new users will be attracted to your websites making it more difficult to convert them into customers. Impressions will also decrease gradually, so rather than focusing on cost per impression channels, revert your marketing strategies to cost per click strategies instead.
Adapt your products/services to current circumstances
For the 2020 crisis of the Coronavirus, demands for items such as hand sanitizer gel and supermarket goods would have gone through the roof. But what about the companies that don’t offer such products? In times like this, it’s important that businesses use their creative thinking to adapt their services to their consumer needs.
This can be particularly relevant to e-commerce businesses who can highlight their product as being a solution to a customer. For example, clothing retailers have struggled to cope as social distancing measures have come into play for shopping centres. However, online clothing companies have adapted their services to extend their returns policy so shoppers have time to try on outfits before deciding whether to keep them.
Promote goodwill special offers
Everyone across the globe is currently experiencing wild times at the moment, not just businesses. This means we’re all in it together and as a business you should show this to bring the community together and showcase goodwill for your customers.
Whilst businesses may not be profiting from selling goods or services at the moment, they can profit from helping customers in difficult times. Many businesses tend to participate regularly in social work and volunteering and there’s no harm in broadcasting these events through your social media channels. Whether you’re providing discounts or extending subscriptions for a period of time, it’s important to let everyone know what you’re doing.
At the same time, be sure that you can cope with the demand of offers and whether it’s financially plausible to consider this strategy. You just need to make sure you find the balance between being there for your customers and taking care of your finances.
Be efficient in your work
Time probably feels at a bit of a standstill at the moment, so it’s important that you utilise it wherever you can. Many businesses have reverted to a work from home policy for their employees, meaning many of them are juggling work, parenting and schooling all at the same time. There are also many changes occurring with regulations and measures. To help better manage your time, here are some tips:
- Think short term with your results during this period
- Be cautious with the messages that you send out as now is not the time to takes risks with your marketing
- Discover opportunities to grow rather than feel negative during these times
- Now is about awareness rather than conversions, so focus on your visibility rather than trying to increase your revenue so that you’re in the minds of consumers when they eventually become comfortable to purchase again
Do what you can on your online channels
The biggest impact of COVID-19 on businesses are the restrictions of close encounter gatherings. Because of this, businesses need to utilise the online presence that they currently hold and reach out to their customers digitally. As you’re unable to meet face-to-face, webinars and video calls are just some of the way you can still sell your services and products to your customers, on top of a responsive website where consumers can purchase.
Ultimately, you need to move whatever face-to-face interactions that worked so well for your business to an online platform. Create avenues to sell goods online, interact with consumers through personal webinars, set up meetings through video calls and anything else that can suit your services.
Author Bio: Jamie Costello is a marketing and design freelance writer based in the UK. He uses his previous education and experience of working closely alongside a design agency to help collate his articles. When he’s not writing, he likes to read and play sports.