Everything seems uncertain right now during COVID-19, and you’re not alone if fear has occasionally crept in. You may be worried about what will happen to your business. You might feel like you need to pull back or even completely stop your marketing. But if you can press on and maintain a sense of order while engaging in a solid – albeit altered – marketing plan, you’ll be in a much better position when we come through on the other side of this crisis.
Here are five tips for managing your marketing strategy during uncertain times:
Don’t make knee jerk decisions.
The news is changing daily, and you have to be flexible and willing to adjust your business strategy. But that doesn’t mean making rash, last-minute decisions that are out of character for your business or your brand. It’s important to remain consistent and maintain a sense of calm. Others will take notice. Some things to consider include:
- Adjusting your marketing campaigns and content schedules to better reflect the current situation. You might need to rethink topics you already had planned or adjust them slightly so they acknowledge the situation we all currently find ourselves in.
- Review your imagery and language for all communications. While bringing a sense of lightness and hope is good, a lot of humor might land flat right now.
- Focus on informing and communicating as opposed to hitting the panic button. Share information with your audience that is informative, helpful, and positive, all while keeping in context of COVID-19.
Whether you feel like you’re going into a war zone or you suddenly have too much time on your hands, practice agility.
You want your customers to know you care, and you don’t want them to forget about you. Most people are home and devouring any content they can get their hands on, whether in regards to COVID-19 or their personal interests as an escape from the current crisis. Can you provide content to meet their needs right now? Blog articles are a great way to do this, but email marketing is the quickest and most direct way to connect. Remember that email marketing delivers the best ROI for small businesses.
How can you pivot? Now is the time to rethink your marketing strategy and think outside the box. Is there a new service you can offer? Can you meet with clients through video appointments? Can you offer contact-free delivery? Curbside pickup? Maybe there is a new, applicable product you can launch. Now might be the time to take your idea, build it, implement it, and then market it. Some industries can make more obvious adjustments than others and have already shifted to reflect the current social situation. You may not have a clear direction, but if you look hard enough, there’s likely something you can change or reframe in the way you do business during this time.
COVID-19 is a pandemic, not a marketing event. Your marketing needs to present a calm front. You don’t want to be an alarmist in your messaging, and you shouldn’t fall into panic mode. Also, don’t offer a “COVID-19 Special” or use something like “coronavirus” as a coupon code for an online offer. Mind your tone and avoid writing in a tactless or offensive voice. As mentioned, stay connected but avoid bragging or downplaying the situation too much. Emotions are at an all-time high and customers appreciate empathy.
Focus on the road ahead.
We are not running a sprint; this is going to be a marathon. Once the quarantine and social distancing are over, there will be major changes in our economy, lifestyle, and even buying habits. The businesses that will come through this stronger on the other side will be the ones who are able to adapt quickly, while also continuing to be true to their brand, stay connected with customers, and remain focused on their long-term goals.
We hope you’ll consider these ideas to navigate our constantly changing world. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or perhaps directionless, call us. Our team at Riley & You can help you with a marketing strategy that is appropriate and effective during this pandemic.