Every industry has been impacted by Covid-19 (Coronavirus). And across all industries around the world, businesses have had to tweak, pivot and adopt new operating procedures just to stay open. Some businesses have had no choice but to close their during during the pandemic, but that shouldn’t stop you for keeping in touch with your customers. Let’s look at marketing to your customers during Covid-19.
Businesses cannot afford to be “Out of sight, out of mind” right now.
Marketing during a pandemic, or any crisis, is filled with emotional landmines so you must consider the emotions and lives of your customers before you post, tweet, email or send ANYTHING.
Before we start, you must consider the mindset and lifestyle of your customers. A lot has changed over the past couple of months. Customers are adapting to change quickly. They’re having to. Government restrictions, social distancing, businesses disappearing, schools closing. Right now, we need to reach out, listen to their needs, market accordingly and listen again to gauge the success of those efforts.
Your marketing needs to be:
- Solving your customer’s problems
- Uplifting/cheerful (insert cute puppy dog pic here)
- True to your brand.
People are still looking for trades, take-away food, gift ideas, hairdressers, financial advice! Simply letting people know you’re still open can give you a leg up on your competition without much effort at all.
How Can I Connect With My Customers Right Now?
- Social Media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter to mention the main accounts.
- Videos and Zoom meetings
- Email Marketing such as MailChimp
- Direct Mail – addressed physical postcards or flyers/leaflets to your customers.
What Do My Customers Want To Know?
“We’re Open”. There are many businesses still open yet they have failed to let their customers know. Tell them your business hours, contact details (if they have changed) and that you accept take-away or offer contactless delivery for physical purchases.
How To Order From You – Phone call, SMS, Facebook message, email? Let them know, make it easy for them. Right now, they want convenience more than ever.
Social Distancing is being adhered to. Whether you’re a shopfront, office, home based or mobile business, how have you changed your work practices to consider the safety of your customers and staff?
They want answers. With so much uncertainty, customers want contact. They want answers and they want re-assurance. They do not want to be ignored. Set up automated responses on your Social media and email accounts if you can’t be there to answer in person.
They want fun and escape too. Images & Graphics – your customers LOVE visuals and so does Social Media. Share eye-catching images relevant to your offering. If you’re a cafe/restaurant, who doesn’t love photos of food! A vet or Dog washer? Pics of cute, adorable animals of course.
What’s In It For Them?
They want value. Use your expertise to add value. If you’re unable to open your business at this time, share tips, ideas and credible advice with your customers. e.g. If you’re a Dietician, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Masseuse, share self-care tips your customers can do at home until they’re able to book you again.
You may have introduced new products, services, standards, operating procedures just to stay open. If these new changes benefit your customer directly, let them know what’s in it for them.
Share your purpose. We’re all wanting support and to support others right now. Some businesses are in a position to support NFP groups during this time. A great example of this is Pan Pacific Hotels providing rooms for the homeless and vulnerable during the peak of the virus. If you’re helping the community, helping to make a difference, your customers want to hear about it. Right now we all want to feel better about the situation we’re all in.
What Should I Avoid?
- Inappropriate selling and promotion – Don’t be opportunistic. At the moment, we’re touching base, letting them know we’re still around, we’re here to help and we’re in this together. Let’s drop the sales pitch for now.
- Tone-deafness – Avoid imagery or ideas that depict physical interaction. Whist we’re all doing social distancing and missing out on seeing our loved ones, using images of people giving high fives, hugging, kissing, any physical contact just isn’t appropriate right now. Get creative and if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with puppy pics.
- Being slow to respond. Once you’ve posted on social media or emailed your database, if you receive responses, questions, comments, don’t take too long to react, or worse ignore them completely.
- Being unprepared. Now you’ve let your customers know your hours, be accessible. If you’re offering delivery, make good on the promise. Don’t promote you’re going to do or be something if you don’t have the equipment or procedures in place to make them happen.
Marketing is the process of understanding your customers and building and maintaining relationships with them. It doesn’t mean you need to “sell” to them right now. It means you need to keep in touch.
So much business can be lost by simply ignoring your audience. Connect with your customers and prospects. Keep in touch. Marketing to your customers during covid-19 starts by letting them know you’re here.
For further information regarding the Australian Government’s Novel-Coronavirus Heath Alerts – click here.