How to Market Your Business through a global Pandemic
During a viral outbreak like the coronavirus, people will be spending more time at home, which means fewer customers walking in your door. If you’re a small business that relies heavily on word of mouth or networking events, your business may slow to a crawl due to social distancing. We’re seeing all types of conferences and events being cancelled or postponed until the unforeseen future. So what can you do to still be seen by your audience while everyone is working from home?
The core component of events for most businesses is the distribution of some form of content. It’s usually information about new products, a new business strategy or a chance to build thought leadership. The wave of event cancellations is leading some businesses to reevaluate how they currently distribute digital content and consider emulating the personalized experiences provided by online platforms.
Increasing Your Online Content Efforts
Leverage e-commerce technology to meet the demand for digital sales, and get strategic with your advertising budget to minimize the economic impacts on your business. Utilize SEO techniques that keep your brand in customer feeds and build organic reach with fresh content. Your clients will be looking for shopping, informational and entertainment outlets online, so think creatively about providing new media like blogs or videos, and offer new services whenever possible to meet the needs of those stuck in quarantine. It could be the perfect opportunity to boost your online marketing tactics and refine your targeted audiences with your online advertising budget. After all, the businesses that cut back on digital marketing during this time will suffer the most from the coronavirus outbreak, and maybe even go under.
With many people confined at home under quarantine, video apps, streaming and platforms have hit new download volumes.
How can you tap into this? By creating branded apps, and videos.
Specific industries such as the health and fitness industry can create relevant content to engage customers. Think about creating videos of how to do simple exercises or make healthy meals at home to help them combat virus. Other industries should start off by creating FAQ videos and How To/Instructional Videos.
What Should You Do Right Now?
1) Be helpful – Now is an ideal time for brands to show they care about more than just their bottomline. Donating time, resources and/or money to help fight this pandemic will generate goodwill towards your brand and will also potentially provide valuable PR opportunities. It’s also the right thing to do.
2) Be understanding – You’re going to start seeing a lot of late payments, stalled payments or cancellations all together. Penalizing people for cancelling reservations or being unable to return products during a predetermined time frame will most likely create major backlash that will cost your business more in the long run. Marketing which features revised policies that your company has adopted during this time can reinforce brand loyalty and also attract new customers.
3) Be strategic – More and more people are staying home instead of going out. This means information and entertainment devices that people use within their home are going to see major traffic increases. Now is the time to review your digital and broadcast marketing efforts to ensure your brand is reaching this audience and that your messaging is appropriate for today’s environment.
How long will this last?
If the recovery from coronavirus is similar to SARS, it is predicted that retail will be back to normal by June. However, with the market as it is right now, make sure you show support to your customers, keep lines of communication open with them, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Successful businesses are always adapting to social and economic shifts. This latest crisis is just another time when the message needs to match the mood of your audience.
Whatever you do, try to stay positive. Your employees, clients, customers, and everyone around you have frazzled nerves.
With the increase of people working from home and in front of their screens, how are you staying relevant and reaching them?