Marketing During a Pandemic
Marketing during a pandemic is like treading in uncharted waters. Here are a few ways you and your business can prepare.
The signs of an impending recession are closer than we may think. The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading like wildfire, causing businesses to shut down or completely change their workflow. Malls across the nation are closing, restaurants closed or shut down their dining rooms and began selling takeout or curbside service, and grocery store shelves are bare of the essentials. During this time, there are ways to market and advertise your business to survive and even thrive.
Who Are Your Customers?
You should already know the answer to this, but that answer may change when your customers are seeking your service or products during this time. Let’s say you own a moving company. Instead of continuing your in-home consultations, offer to do it virtually. Most of your clients will probably have access to FaceTime, Skype, or a similar platform that would allow a virtual estimate to work just fine. So, turn off your ads about free boxes and create ones about your virtual options. The customers that were originally interested in those boxes probably still are, but they’re more concerned about how they’ll get their consultation safely.
Continue to Spend on Marketing
Many see marketing as a luxury expense that is easy to cut out of the budget. However, marketing is primarily strategy, sometimes even the only strategy for growth when it comes to times like these. Studies show brands that continue to advertise through a recession come out on top in the end and stand out as their competitors scramble to piece their marketing plan back together again. By continuing your marketing needs, you’re not only using advertising to tell your community that you’re still there and still thinking about them, but you’ll continue to gain tips, knowledge, and experience through a hard time. With the increase of employees working from home, now is the best time to advertise online, whether it is on social media or simple newsletters. You’ll essentially be getting more for your advertising dollars through this increased exposure and therefore, increased market share. Your marketing agency is your life vest right now. They’ll create the content, newsletters, and social media posts that you need to keep your business relevant and on top.
In light of what is going on, it’s best to change up your content to a softer tone. Posting an entire calendar’s worth of social media posts and not mentioning the pandemic once is a little alarming. You want to make sure you’re showing that your business understands what is going on and are there to help where you can. Even if it’s just posting motivational, inspirational quotes. Any positivity goes a long way, especially when we’re dealing with something life-threatening and business threatening. Try to calm your community’s storm.
Step Back and Analyze Your Brand
Now is a good time to take a step back and analyze your brand. Is it ready and positioned for the challenges ahead? Before jumping into new ideas, be sure to audit your brand and see where you are in the scope of your competitors. How is your social presence and following compared to theirs? Do you appear to have more clients/customers or do they? After you’ve done this, you’ll figure out your next step. The problem is, both your business and consumers are going to be worried at this time, so it is your job to come up with a unique marketing plan that will address consumers in a smart, manageable way.
Why Are You Different?
What makes you unique? How do you stand out among your competitors? What do you offer that they don’t? Or, is it that you offer similar services but in a different way? Focus on what makes you unique and why you do what you do so well. Still with me? There’s a reason why you have long-time, loyal clients as well as new ones. They see something in your brand that they can’t see in others. Maybe you produce creative video content that is edited in a way that others in your industry are not doing. Maybe your brand speaks to consumers in a way that is much more personal and down to earth. There are unique reasons that make up your brand. Focus on those and use them to your best ability, especially now.
Scope Out New Opportunities
One of the smartest ways to minimize revenue loss during a recession is to keep an eye out for new opportunities. It’s also important to understand what is causing the recession to better narrow your scope.
This is also a great time to think about launching a new brand or a sub-brand of some type. Focus on your best-selling or essential offers that are least impacted by the recession and put your advertising spend on that product or service. Here is an opportunity for your new program or “sub-brand” to step in.
A looming recession can be scary and worrisome. However, if you plan long-term, keep positive, and keep looking ahead, everything will eventually be ok. This is a time for all of us as a world, a nation, and community to come together, work together, and stay strong both personally and professionally. Don’t let this drown your business, look for those loopholes, opportunities, and adjustments and buckle up. Your business and others will be booming again soon.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic with a negative impact on economies around the world. Register for our webinar on April 2, 2020 at 11:00 am EST to learn how you can best prepare to market your business through a recession.