March 2020 will forever be a time remembered for quarantines and mass panic because of the COVID-19 outbreak occurring globally, and now businesses around the world are left with empty storefronts and mass communications on how they are managing the issues at hand. As a marketer, small business or influencer, you may see an impact to your bottom line as people pull back from excessive spending or public time, so it’s important to change your marketing strategy to address the shift in culture. With a few simple steps, you can continue to engage your audience to rebound your business once the crisis is complete.
When people are panicking and locking themselves indoors, you have to find your way into their home. Digital technology is essential to get in front of their face. This is a period where you will want to transition your marketing money into digital, like search pay-per-click, social media advertising, and website updates because you’ll want people to continue to find your business and engage in product purchases. Take time to finesse your strategies and content to really reach your audience during this period. People may be purchasing less due to stock market or job stability concerns, so be conscious about the messaging you communicate.
Slashing prices is a way to protect your business by offloading excess inventory, while also improving revenue by encouraging purchases with good sales. As travel restrictions are increasing, airlines are slashing their prices in an attempt to fill future flights while also gaining revenue in a very low period of cash flow. This strategy may not work for everyone, because for some businesses may operate better by not slashing prices, but many product-based brands will see that offloading inventory will be beneficial is the economy takes s big hit from the crisis.
If you’re not already doing so, begin collecting an email list with past customers and find a way to collect interested subscribers (like through a website pop-up or social media form) so that you can continue to communicate and market for future conversions. We all get annoyed by spam emails in our inbox, but email marketing is the easiest way to reach into their digital technology and really engage homebody consumers. Send a weekly recap of your customer’s favorite products, offer insight as to how your products help your customer during this period of time, or simply share a “we’re here for you when you’re ready” message to your audience.
Engagement is the core to connecting with your audience, and now is the time to show you’re still here for them. Social media is essential for that because you’ll want to continue or increase comments you make on audience posts, as well as make your content more personable and relatable. Posting multiple posts about selling products will get really old fast for people who are tight financially, so focus your attention away from that and more on leaving positive, encouraging messages for others. Give your brand a human touch and connect with people on a more personable level.
We all have lists A, B and C of tasks to market our business, and C lists often end up on the back burner. Now’s the time to address the C list, such as website SEO, CRM organization, subscriber lists, and much more. These items are essential to marketing but are often not the highest priority when it comes to making the business run. With the possibility you will soon have more downtime as a business, begin revisiting this lit and see what else you can do to reach your audience better. Clean out your systems, pre-schedule social media posts, write blogs, revisit your collateral content and designs, ensure your brand is up to date, and review your website data to ensure your customers are getting everything they need from your site.