It’s a difficult time to be in business: the lockdown is making it increasingly difficult for businesses across all sectors to keep trading, and it’s still unclear when life may start returning to normal.
The one thing entrepreneurs and company directors can all do during lockdown, regardless of the service they provide, is attempt to maintain a positive brand presence online – but even this is a difficult balance to strike.
It’s important to remember that this pandemic should not be seen as an opportunity to capitalize on. Instead, your marketing efforts should focus on simply assuring your customers that you’re there for them.
Communicate with your customers
Your customers will only know how affected you are, or aren’t, by the COVID-19 pandemic if you tell them. Err on the side of over-communicating rather than under-communicating but keep it relevant.
Let your customers know of any changes to the way you’re doing business – for example, if customer-facing staff have been furloughed or you’ve moved your business online. Any change in the way you operate that affects your customers should be communicated clearly, and your social platforms are the ideal way to get the message out quickly.
Rethink your marketing plans
There’s never been a time in which stopping and cleaning the slate has been more appropriate. All those Facebook posts you scheduled a month ago? Save them for another time. Anything you might have been intending to post, any competitions you might have been intending to run, will all now seem at best irrelevant, or at worst insensitive, at the current time.
Save your better ideas for a happier time and go back to the drawing board for your marketing plan this year; business goals may change this year – from acquiring new customers to simply retaining old ones, for example – and marketing tactics should change with them.
Offer relevant help
If your company can help the pandemic in any way, do. Whether this means donating products for free – such as online education portal Twinkl, who have offered free use of the site’s resources to the country’s millions of parents now educating their children from home – or donating a percentage of your profits to help the cause.
Reach out on social media and offer what you can. Helping others during this pandemic is not just good marketing, it’s good humanity.
Maintain a presence
Just because you’re not marketing aggressively doesn’t mean you can’t post on social media. You can use online platforms to keep your brand’s online presence active by posting links to relevant industry news and offering sensitive commentary on your sector’s reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.
You can also offer customers free tips and advice on getting through the outbreak – just try to keep it relevant to your brand and your audience.
Your social media strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic should essentially be focused on staying present, but not pushing your own product. Your customers – and your conscience – will thank you for it when life returns to normal.