We didn’t need a worldwide pandemic to highlight the importance of branding and marketing when things go quiet. Yet, here we are. Whether it’s a downturn, off-peak season, recession or even this Coronavirus, you should continue and even build on marketing to your audience. Keep in touch with your customers; it’s an essential part in helping your business survive Covid-19.
So What Just Happened?
Literally overnight, the Australian business landscape changed. Due to the need for ‘social distancing’, thousands of businesses had to close their doors to the public, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without work. Businesses have had no choice but to adapt or die, with different industries finding ways to adopt new ideas and new methods in order to keep their businesses going.
Time to innovate!
Pubs, cafes and restaurants rolled out takeaway and delivery options. Gyms, yoga and martial art clubs cranked up online training sessions. Medical practitioners began offering virtual consultations, distilleries began manufacturing hand sanitises, printers started making medical face masks, networking and education institutions went online. Every industry has had to make changes to the way they run their business. Some are more drastic than others but all have been necessary for the health of the public and the survival of the business.
BUT…..at a time when businesses should be cranking up their marketing and branding, they shy away and reduce or even worse, STOP their campaigns. They are making it too easy to be forgotten.
Welcome to the New Normal!
To be honest, I don’t know if all my suppliers are still operating. Unless I hear from them, I have to assume they’re not. It’s easy for us to make assumptions. Don’t allow your customers to assume anything. Now is the perfect time to market to your audience so you get seen and remembered.
What Do Your Customers Need to Know?
With so much uncertainty right now, it’s imperative you communicate clearly to your audience. Build trust, reassure them and give them the confidence to buy from you.
- Customers want to know you’re still open for business.
- They want assurance you’re adhering to social distancing and offering contactless options when they purchase from you.
- They want to know how to contact you. Face to face is out, so if that was the way you did business before, let your customers how/where you can be reached now.
- Customers want to know when you’re open. You may be now working from home and you may not be as accessible as you once were. 9-5 may no longer be an option. You may have needed to shorten your hours. Or perhaps you’re available more than ever – either way, let them know.
So How Do We Do This?
1. The internet has gone into overdrive this past month. We all head to Google or Facebook to get the latest, so make sure your Google listing, website and all social media accounts have up to date info. Include operating times, pick up or delivery options, best contact details, trading hours.
2. Add a “We are open” banner to your social media pages and share on all business groups that permit you to advertise your business. (check for any group/page rules before you post)
3. Email your database. Thankfully, most of us can access our work emails from home. You can either email them directly or create an email campaign with a CRM such as Mailchimp.
4. Write a blog. Share your experience, tips, ideas, recipes with a blog post. Add images that draw people in, give it a killer heading targeted at your audience and share the link on your email signature.
5. Talking about email signatures, if you don’t already have one, create one. Include a banner letting everyone know you’re still in business and how/where they can reach you. Perhaps you can use the “we are open” banner you created for your social media accounts.
6. Direct mail (snail mail) If you are a B2C, this one is for you! With the major retailers currently cutting back on their print spending due to product restrictions and limitations, our humble letterbox as crying for attention. A simple postcard, flyer or takeaway leaflet can work wonders.
Get in touch!
People have more time on their hands today. But, they may not necessarily want what you have on offer right now. Keep in touch with them. Educate them. Share tips and stories. Show how you have the solution to their problem. All this will help to build credibility, trust and confidence in your brand. And when they’re ready to buy, your business will be in a better position to make the sale.
But Don’t Forget…
Right now, there’s a lot of nervousness, uncertainty and stress in the world. Your customers will be on their own journey, trying to navigate their lives through this time. Always consider your audience, especially when marketing through a crisis such as this. Your marketing and branding should be always be appropriate and relevant. But also be understanding, empathetic, concerned. Your customers may not want to be bombarded right now so consider these things when and how you reach out to them. Create marketing to respect the current climate. And a good sense of humour can always help.
The Government is providing vital support to businesses, sole traders and Not For Profits to withstand the economic impacts of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. See if you’re eligible.