4 Marketing Strategies for the COVID-19 Crisis
owe to the Market during the Pandemic
COVID-19 has changed the way that we live, work, and socialize. I feel blessed that my family is safe and healthy. I am trying to find positive opportunities in all of it.
This is why I shared an article entitled “How to Pivot Your Small Business Strategy during the COVID-19 Crisis” on our website.
Many small business owners are also asking me if they should stop marketing during COVID-19. This article outlined how entrepreneurs can market during the pandemic. It also included strategies to help create crisis marketing strategies.
Instead of selling to customers, help them instead
Online events and offers are the focus
Plan for future growth
We continue to self-isolate to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. I want to share some practical ways to ensure your business continues to run smoothly.
Here are four marketing strategies you should consider:
1. Focus on Digital Campaigns
Entrepreneurs are increasingly relying on digital strategies in the wake of many brick-and-mortar businesses being shut down or slowing down. A large part of brand marketing in this crisis and the future will be shifting your small business to the internet.
Mobile Monkey’s Larry Kim wrote that a new customer had closed down their brick-and-mortar locations and discovered that web traffic has increased by +150%.
Klaviyo, an online marketing platform that taps into the insights of over 30,000 businesses, found that 22% of brands are spending more money on advertising. 66% of those brands who spend more on ads also report increased efficiency and lower costs per 1,000 impressions (CPM), as well as a lower cost per click (CPC).
You can market during the pandemic using Facebook Ads and Google Ads or Instagram for Business.
Videos and blogs that are well-researched.
Free shipping on online products
Virtual services that you offer, such as online music lessons or financial counseling
Gift cards that can either be used immediately or in the future
Don’t be afraid, however, to pause campaigns that don’t seem relevant right now or that you feel may turn off your customers.
Brand marketing is about knowing when to pivot and re-strategize, not continuing with a campaign that doesn’t resonate with your target audience.
2. Update Your Google My Business Listing
Customers and potential customers rely on you to provide the most current information about your small business. You must let everyone know if you are closing down your business temporarily.
Google Posts is a great tool to keep people updated on everything, from reduced hours to gift cards purchases. Google has some tips and tricks to help you improve your profile.
Don’t worry about SEO implications if you edit your profile. Google will still show you in search results even if your business is temporarily closed.
Don’t panic if you don’t see the changes you made to your Google My Business profile immediately. Google may consider publishing updates that are not in their best interest before they publish them.
3. Keep posting on social media
You can still be active online, even if your business must close down temporarily. Customers can also look at your Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter channels for the latest news, in addition to Google My Business. It is awful for your social media pages to be cluttered with outdated content or information.
You could also share the following updates:
Your crisis management plan, including steps taken to protect customers and employees (sanitizing workstations, not allowing sick employees to work, making sure employees have gloves on, etc.).
Modifications to hours and business policies (e.g., allowing one person in the store at a given time)
You can accept online orders and/or offer free shipping
Private shopping and curbside pickup are available
Personal messages or quotes that lift you up
One of our clients offers curbside pickup and private shopping appointments. Mary’s, Cloverdale BC, is an example of a small business that’s pivoting through COVID-19 and giving customers a little love.
4. Take care of what you share
Social media is full of misinformation. It can be very dangerous to give customers incorrect advice, which can also be extremely damaging to your reputation.
One example of poor marketing strategies in the COVID-19 crisis is the closing down of a Delta yoga studio, BC, in March after complaints that it wasn’t following social dissenting. They also sent out a newsletter informing people that hot yoga could help them avoid COVID-19.
Before you email your subscribers with a crisis management article or repost something that you liked on Facebook, make sure you have mapped out your strategy. Trusted sources such as the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada can be used to find coronavirus resources.
This list is a good place to start.
READ “Finding Your Purpose during Self-Isolation” here:
Are you stuck at home? It’s a great time to find your purpose. We are all so busy that we seldom have the time to reflect on our lives and see where it has taken us.
Many of us have made the decision to isolate ourselves. Now is a great time to use the quieter environment to see if your valuable resources are being utilized to their full potential.
No matter what your marketing strategies are for the COVID-19 crisis, you can always look to your brand as a guide. As you remain active online, your brand’s mission, vision, and values will be your “North Star.” This will ensure that your customers are aware of your commitment to them.
Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, web development and digital marketing company that has won numerous awards. She is a Social Media Advisor, Web Specialist, Business & Market Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She assists entrepreneurs who lack the knowledge, skills, and support to build their online businesses.
Clients feel secure and relieved that their online marketing is in the hands of trustworthy and caring people so they can concentrate on building their businesses with confidence, knowing that there is a great support system to help them every step of their way.