As the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus begins to show its true colors, businesses and marketers are needing to shift their strategy.
COVID-19 has brought forth an unprecedented situation unlike any other, and today we’re going to be reviewing options you can explore as a business to overcome the pandemic.
Below we will review actionable steps you can take to bolster your business amidst uncertainty, as well as suggestions to keep yourself safe.
Following procedure has never mattered more
We’re businesses. That means we’re used to processes. Undoubtedly, the most important thing we can do at this difficult time is to abide by the rules.
Take a step back from the business and remind yourself that it is made up of real people who can be young, old, or maybe vulnerable.
As a recap to what you have read/heard:
- Make it a habit to wash your hands often. Follow the procedure of thorough scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you cover all areas.
- Keep on top of disinfecting. This means cleaning counter-tops, work surfaces, device screens; anything you touch often.
- Use hand sanitizer; as strong as you can handle.
- Be sensible. Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing, and stay home/away from others if you’re feeling unwell.
Keep up to date, but don’t let it consume you
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) launched an initiative to tackle misinformation amongst the chaos of the coronavirus.
As well-rounded humans first (and business owners second), we need to ensure we are using reputable sources to stay in-the-know.
At MakeUseOf, the team published an article counting down the most reputable sources that we as citizens can mine our information from. Examples include the BBC, Associated Press and The Economist. Practice laser-focus on reputable sources you know are there to inform, rather than rile.
Take advantage of free resources (education & aid)
The economic downturn means businesses are suffering. Some large corporations understand this and some have even released resources to aid other companies, both big and small, to cope during the lockdown.
Facebook launched an intuitive Resources Hub that allows for businesses to self-educate and implement strategies. Their Small Business Grants initiative has received wide acclaim; many praising the company for its attentiveness for small businesses.
In the same light Google has launched Grow with Google; providing resources for small businesses about scheduling and collaboration in the new working climate.
Customers should be a priority
At Frontline Local, we encourage all business owners to leverage their resources and reach to aid their customers as best as they can. Whilst revenue may be paused; whilst traffic through the door may be minimal – the people who have supported you need you more than ever.
You can start by publishing relevant, encouraging content for your audience and let them know they have your support.
Keeping your customers at arm’s length ensures that when things are back to normal, you’ll have built even better relationships with your community. In a curious way, these measures serve as some fantastic brand awareness, too. Though this shouldn’t be our intention, it never hurts to care about your customers. You can leverage reach on social media; create interactive content and tell stories about your business during this time. This will resonate with your audience.
An example of effective marketing is Ikea. Their recent #YoMeQuedoEnCasa (#I’mStayingHome) campaign by their Spanish marketing team encouraged isolation and participation with government orders. While we may not have the resources behind us as Ikea do, it’s important we consider ways that we can serve those closest to us to build awareness and encourage cooperation.
Review your email marketing strategy
Email remains one of the tried and true channels for reaching customers. You may have noticed a pattern here. One of the most important shifts you can make in your digital marketing strategy is to target the customer relationship.
You can leverage email to provide a multitude of services to your audience. You can raise awareness for online alternatives to your service (should you have them), or direct email subscribers to useful resources you may have on your website.
Most importantly, you need to read the room. Reassure people and tailor your outreach language to the situation. Now is not the time for bizarre humor or silly tricks. Positivity, as opposed to humor, is paramount.
Make smart changes to your budget
Individual business revenue in the United States has been rattled by immense pressure: 35% of businesses with revenues exceeding $50 million reported lower demand for their services amidst the pandemic.
What this indicates is the unfortunate truth that, with a tectonic shift in customer values and consumer behavior, it’s time we prepared our boats for taking on water.
Remember that your outbound budget cannot scale with your business’s diminished revenue. Not only should you be reassessing your budget; you should be revising your presence on each platform, especially PPC campaigns on Facebook & Google AdWords.
This can include an alteration to existing marketing campaigns, rewiring approaches and making use of content as a means of reaching your customers, as opposed to paid outreach. This way, you can focus on serving your community without hindering relationships. Now more than ever, people are finding it difficult to respond to advertisements. Amend your strategy accordingly. We hope this has provided insight into how you can adapt to the new commercial landscape. If you have any questions at all, be sure to get in touch with Frontline Local.