These are uncertain times. We can’t travel, shop, attend church, or go visit the grandparents. Even our children have to approach each day with uncertainty. As I explained to my 10-year old the other day (in terms that she would understand) it’s like Thanos snapped his fingers and paused everything for a few months. When (if?) things return to normal, everyone in their schools will be a little behind but in the same boat. That’s the best case scenario, anyway…
Of concern for us business owners though, is that there is no Iron Man who can similarly snap his fingers and pause our obligations to ship products or maintain the storefronts that we hope will reopen soon. We still have to make insurance payments and maintain equipment. We still have a lot of employees and their families depending on us. A lot of very difficult decisions have had to be made, and we don’t know how much longer this will last.
But here’s what we do know: a lot of business functions can, and should, continue. What you might not know: there’s no reason that your marketing has to stop — in fact, now might be the time to double your marketing efforts. If you’re still conducting business, it’s still okay to market it, but your plan might need a few tweaks.
- There is no need to stop advertising. Your existing customers need to know that you’re still around, still open, and still able to fulfill their needs. Your prospective customers still need to learn about you, and there might be no better time than now to inform them. You might even find that your advertising costs, especially video, have fallen during this crisis. As a result of other advertisers curtailing spending, combined with more people consuming ad-supported streaming video, there is a surplus of cheap digital video impressions to be bought. Here’s the plug: contact us to learn more about buying digital advertising.
- Be sensitive in your marketing. Consider the tone and context of your messaging, and be sensitive to the fact that virtually your entire customer base is in crisis. Your existing ads might be fine, but consider the possibility that they will need some tweaks. This probably isn’t the ideal time to advertise your discounted 2020 gym memberships, but it’s a great time to be talking about your virtual pilates class.
- Address your response to COVID-19. How is it affecting your business operations and, as a consequence, your customers. Will delivery times be slower or some products temporarily unavailable? Have your operating hours changed or some locations shuttered?
- Use social media to connect with your community. People are very concerned about their communities right now, of which your business is a part. There is no better time than now to be visible, especially if your business has something to offer. Use it correctly and genuinely, and you just might acquire and retain more high-value lifetime customers. Need some help understanding how to use social media? We are happy to help you.