Marketing during a pandemic?
Permission to adapt and proceed.
They need to know if you’re still operational, what services you’re now offering, how you’re adjusting (it’s okay to be human), and how you can help. They need to be reassured that if they interact with your company or employees, appropriate cautions are in place.
What you CAN & SHOULD do:
Update customers on changes in your operations.
- Your website
- Email lists
- Social media accounts
- Post updates to your Google My Business listing! (VERY important)
- Online directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc.
Don’t cut back on marketing.
Many small businesses are making the mistake of cutting their marketing budget to the bone or eliminating it entirely. This is good news for you, the savvy marketer, as your marketing dollars will go MUCH further as ad rates decline and there is less clutter in the market. Lean times are exactly when a business needs marketing. Consumers are restless and rapidly making changes in buying decisions. So, don’t quit marketing. We thought this Plucker’s restaurant campaign was a great example of stepping it up and adapting.
Customers are spending much more time on social media!!
Many clients are redirecting marketing budgets to social media & search from expenses like:
- Trade shows
- Reduced office space rent
- Reduced work force (although hopefully we can all avoid this one)
- Radio (less travel time in the cars so fewer listeners)
Focus on current customers.
Happy clients act as ambassadors for your business and share their experience with other potential customers. Right now, you need advocates to support local businesses. Your customers have a lot of time right now to help your business.
- Ask for reviews & testimonials
- Update (as of March 23) – Google My Business has stated that new reviews, updates to profiles, and comments may not be seen as they have limited availability to review them internally as well. We would recommend focusing your current review efforts on Yelp and Facebook and then asking for Google reviews once their system is back to normal.
- Share company updates on social
- Have a loyalty program? Double it and offer rewards. No? Perhaps this is the time to start one.
- Pre-sell gift cards? Create incentives to buy now with additional perks (ie. buy a $50 card get a free $10 card).
- Call clients where applicable and ask what you can do to assist their businesses – there may be some non-traditional ways that you can continue to serve them.
- Create virtual consults or offers
- I’ve been on many Zoom video conference calls this week doing consultations and account reviews. Zoom has a free version and is easy to get going with! (we love this service)
- Ask for reviews & testimonials
Uncover missed revenue streams.
Incorporating things like affiliate marketing, digital and physical products for online ordering, a monthly/recurring membership group, ad revenue, and sponsored content helps. You don’t want to be caught with all your eggs in one basket, unable to make a shift or pivot. We’ve even seen businesses taking current employees and giving them new roles such as delivering products, creating new products, or taking on new tasks to keep them employed and busy during slow downs.
Tools we use while working remote.
- Zoom Video Conferencing – Allows us to see live video (can record as well) and talk to our team, clients, and vendors. For some great tips and advanced integrations check out these blogs:
- Slack: Perfect for quick chats with the team or engaged clients. We create a channel for each client
- Wrike – Online Project Management portal. Establish due dates, assign tasks, reporting, and time tracking.
- Google Drive & Dropbox for large file sharing
- Loom – Quickly record videos and website sessions and get a link to share via email, text, or whatever