What can you do as a business to grow or at the very least hold onto business and stay afloat during the COVID-19 global crisis?
Our local businesses and communities need to keep turning so workers are paid and families are fed. Those wheels are best kept moving by effective marketing.
In an age when marketing success can hinge on a business’s ability to quickly react to and pivot strategy around trends in real-time, the COVID-19 outbreak is changing consumer behavior. Just as CEOs are adjusting business travel policies and IT professionals are preparing networks for an influx of work-from-home traffic, marketing teams and business owners are also preparing for changes.
Crabtree Marketing has prepared some tips to help you navigate this uncertain times.
Update your Google My Business profile.
If your business is affected, Google recommends updating your business hours and description in your Google My Business profile. Aside from letting people know when they can stop by your business, you can also update your description to give more information regarding any additional precautions you are taking or if there are changes in services. These changes will update your business information on Google Search and Maps.
Specifically note if you are providing delivery services, if your locations are closed to the public and how you will be servicing your customers during the closure. This information will display on both your Google My Business page and your Google Maps listing.
Businesses are going to struggle
Even if the virus slows down fast as the numbers have dropped in China, businesses are going to struggle for well over a year because they will have to make up for their losses. But that is no reason to hide in a corner. During an economic turndown, you’ll find that you will have less competition, which means in some cases that it is easier and faster too get results, especially with online advertising.
So when you see your competition closing their doors or slowing down on their marketing, your goal should be to double down. You will not see the biggest return right away, but in the long term, you will.
Don’t be tone-def
We are seeing a lot of ads from the travel industry and retailers offering discounts and they are doing so without acknowledging the global pandemic we are facing, or how people are feeling.
A few retailers, including have sent out messages about how they’re dealing with health and safety in their stores, and encouraging people to shop online if they’re not comfortable coming in. They are trying to inspire confidence in consumers, which is important.
Be helpful and reassuring.
Communicate with balance and champion unity.
The balance of communicating with consumers, but not appearing to be profiteering off of a global pandemic, is a fine one.
Public communication is all about the balance and making sure you have the “right tone and intention”. “The content you put out has to be done sensitively,” but it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom. Microsoft’s tone, for example, has been about providing customers with services and products that they are already asking for right now to keep their businesses running, as opposed to attempting to profiteer. The company has also released a free a crisis communications app which gives customers temporary access to premium product features as they coordinate their COVID-19 responses.
Keep your brand in front of remote workers
COVID-19 has shifted to workplace to remote work like nothing we have ever seen before. Maintain your brand presence by providing antimicrobial custom branded promotional products to your clients, employees and prospects.
Not only is it a thoughtful gift, it is the best way to keep your brand in front of your employees, customers and prospects.