Seven Ways to Market Your Business Through a Global Pandemic
Are you struggling with knowing what to post throughout a global pandemic? This pandemic has turned the entire world upside and it is very Important to continue to market your business throughout this global pandemic, but how do you make sure you are properly marketing to your audience. There are key ideas you must keep in mind while marketing your business in a pandemic. These key ideas include updating your customers on changes, not cutting back on marketing, show that you care for your customers, offer protection and safety for your customers, listen to your audiences concerns, continue to plan your content and make a schedule ahead of time, and finally explain to your customers how your business is pivoting during the global pandemic. The world is constantly changing and adapting, and everyone is adjusting to the new normal of our country.
1. Update Customers on Changes
According to Atomic Design & Consulting it is important to update your customers on any changes in your business. This includes any of the following:
- Changes in hours
- Extra services such as delivery or curbside pick-up
- Safety protocols
- Operation updates
Be sure as you make any of those changes to update your customers on every platform you use. Remember to update your website, email subscription list, all social media accounts, online directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc, and most importantly post updates to your Google my business listing. If you fail to update your customers on all platforms there is the potential of losing some customers and you want to avoid that as much as possible especially in a global pandemic.
2. Do Not Cut Back on Marketing
Many small businesses may make the mistake of cutting back on marketing to save cost, this can be the most detrimental mistake a business can make. You may consider cutting back on unnecessary marketing formats. According to Automatic Design & Consulting many businesses are redirecting their marketing budgets to social media and search from:
- Trade shows
- Reduced office space rent
- Reduced workforce (although hope to avoid this one)
- Radio (less travel time in cars so fewer are listening)
Keep in mind people are spending even more time on social media now more than ever. It would be resourceful to spend more time, energy, and money on social media marketing than other formats and even consider expanding to new social media if you have not already. Use social media to engage your customers and keep them interested in your business.
3. Care for Your Customers
It is important to care for your customers and you may be thinking “Well I do care for my customers” but it is very important to show you care during a global pandemic. As Forbes says this new caring through marketing starts with empathy. Before you put out any new marketing posts be sure to fully understand how your customers are feeling and be sure to show them you care.
One way to show you care for your customers is to create and include them in a rewards program or another exclusive program so they can truly feel as though they are a part of the family. You could also put out some form of live meeting to reach out to your customers and answer any questions you may be missing and catch them up on anything new. The most important thing to remember is: Empathy isn’t about messaging; it’s about caring, and your customers will recognize the difference.
4. Offer Protection and Safety for Customers
Along with caring for your customers emotionally it is important to show you care for their health and safety as well. According to Entrepreneur if you are going to open up to any form of in person interactions it is important to market your products and services available in the safest way possible, therefore protecting your customers health. Some businesses have implemented new contactless shopping or to-go windows to reduce exposure and protect their customers.
On top of providing new contactless services or minimal contact, a business should also provide PPE or Personal Protective Equipment. This includes providing and requiring things such as masks, potentially having employees wear gloves. You could even put up plexiglass in between registers and customers and in between registers and other registers. Every business is going to look different but it is important you find what works best for you and your customers.
5. Listen to Your Audience
As a business owner it is always important to listen to your audience and customers. According to the U.S Chamber of Commerce businesses can avoid “tone-deaf” messaging by listening to what their customers are saying. An important thing to remember is that social media is a two-way street so before you begin marketing a posting again be sure to share essential information and focus on what your customers need.
In order to find out what your customers need pay attention to changes in keyword research and hashtags through social media. Update your businesses changes regularly and adapt to what your customers need. If you don’t use social media properly and listen to your customers you have the potential to lose your customers quickly.
6. Plant a Content Schedule Ahead of Time
No one knows what the future holds but it is still important to plan your content and adapt to changes quickly. Now, more than ever, it is important to spend the time one your social media marketing. As Hayes states “Now is the time to share and communicate quality messages more than you may have done in the past.”
It is suggested to outline your content for the next 30, 60, and 90 days. Remember this is just an outline or schedule for your content, you do not need specifics until at least 30 days before. The world is constantly changing throughout a global pandemic and it is important to remember that as you plan your content.
7. Explain How Your Business is Pivoting
Make sure your customers know what you are doing as a business throughout the global pandemic and explain in detail the specifics on what you are doing. As said by the U.S Chamber of Commerce it is better to over-communicate information with your customers, in other words be sure your customers know exactly what you are doing and leave no room for questions.
For example make sure your customers know if you anticipate any shipping delays or changes in your typical hours of operation. Make sure your information is relevant and update your customers on changes as quickly and efficiently as possible to allow them to adjust. Keep in mind although the world is changing, the core of your business should remain the same. It is important to continue to adapt to your customers concerns and be there for your customers through everything.