It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world into a crisis. People everywhere have lost social freedom, jobs, and even friends or loved ones. We’ve been told by experts about how to stay healthy, stay in touch with people, and even how to bake your own homemade bread. However, the question that no one seems able to answer is how to market your business in this unprecedented time.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Your business, like so many others, has been presented with an inevitable hurdle. How you make that jump will make all the difference to your current and potential customer base. Since this is something that everyone is experiencing, everything you say or do will be perceived within the context of the ongoing pandemic so you need to cater your content to the “new normal.”
Know Your Audience
This crisis has affected everyone—but to what degree can vary greatly. Recognize if you’ve been fortunate and don’t assume everyone else has it as good. Most people are just focused on their essential needs and uncertainty likely has them paralyzed from making any unnecessary purchases. As a marketer, you should know your target audience in and out. Imagine one of your clients and what they may be experiencing: do you believe your service is a need for them right now?
For an essential business, such as healthcare, banks, pest control, etc., your clients’ need for you likely hasn’t changed and you should continue to make your products/services easily accessible. For everyone else, it may be necessary to reposition yourself in this new climate. The last thing you want to do is ignore the issue—if you offer a luxury product, pretending everything is normal will be perceived as insensitive and could, ultimately, lead to losing customers. At the same time, you don’t want to ignore potential customers who are still looking for your product.
Be There and Be Helpful
Whether you’re considered an essential business or not, the most critical message you need to convey is how you are helping to improve the situation. Everyone has something to offer in the fight against the pandemic—even if it is as simple as a cure for boredom while self-isolating. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Don’t Feed Into The Hype
Each day brings thousands of new updates about COVID-19, so if you create only crisis-related content you will find yourself getting lost in the noise. Leave reporting the facts to news channels and steer your conversation to something a little more proactive while remaining aware of the context it will be received in.
Audit Your Planned Posts
It’s alright to go ahead and post the content that you planned – unless it’s now deemed irrelevant or insensitive. For example, if a company planned to post about discounted travel options for spring break they would obviously want to reconsider now that most states have issued a stay-at-home order.
This rare experience can give you insights on your audience as they are likely having a similar experience as you during this process. Take this as an opportunity to appeal to the pain points you and your customers are currently experiencing. Find a way to show your customers how you can help improve their current situation or make life better for everyone.
Don’t Forget About PR
You may not have a lot to offer to the cause in the form of products but you can always lend your services, earn some good karma, AND improve the perception of your business all at once. Many businesses have aided in the crisis in amazing ways such as by monetary donations, production of much needed supplies, or even offering free services or subscriptions. It could be as simple as offering free content or pushing out an uplifting message – anything to have a positive impact.
The Show Must Go On
Bottom line: you don’t have to stop marketing your business, but you may need to change your approach. In fact, your future success could depend on it. Everyone’s daily routines may look radically different but that doesn’t mean people have put their lives on hold. Remember that your business still has a lot to give and everyone has a role to play as we work towards global recovery, together.
Does your business need more assistance in communicating during a crisis? Go Local can help! Contact us today.