There are few things that cause business owners more anxiety than uncertainty, which Covid-19 has brought to us in spades. Despite the radical changes that are happening almost daily, now is not the time to stop your marketing – but it is the time to adapt it. Here are some practical marketing tips for companies to market during COVID-19.
1. Take Care of Your Customers
Nature abhors a vacuum. In the absence of information, fear, panic, and rumors take over. Get in front of your customers as much as possible proactively letting them know what’s going on and what impacts the crisis will have on your engagement with them. Highlight (again and again) that you’re available to help them in any way possible, and be specific on what you’re able to do to help (general platitudes like “we’re here for you” are already wearing thin in today’s climate).
To the extent you’re able, roll up your sleeves and get creative to provide extra value to your customers, even if those services are unconventional or not your norm. It’s a nerve-wracking time for everyone; showing solidarity will strengthen your relationship. When we’ve all made it out of this, clients will remember how your firm handled the situation and how you demonstrated a true partnership mentality during this time of uncertainty.
2. Ride the Tailwinds – Don’t Fight the Headwinds
Mandated shutdowns, supply chain interruptions, and social distancing are impacting every industry differently. Don’t fight harder against changing market forces; adapt your marketing approach by riding tailwinds: seeking out industries that are expanding quickly in this climate (telemedicine and at-home fitness, for example). Once you’ve identified these verticals you can service, adapt your marketing accordingly. At TribalVision, this means developing new email campaigns and ad creative that highlight how our services can help these industries during this period of growth to capture opportunities. Find your tailwinds and adapt your marketing accordingly.
3. Find the Right Messaging
First and foremost – I’m not suggesting that you change your identity as a company or mislead prospects into believing you’re something you’re not. However, it is a good idea to adjust your messaging so that you’re highlighting the value propositions that will resonate most at this time. For example, at TribalVision, we’re now describing ourselves as a remote marketing resource for hire, emphasizing an aspect of our business model that is highly relevant for the current climate. Yes, we’ve been a remote resource for our clients who are outside of New England for years but now is the right time to underscore that differentiator of our business model. What aspects of your business should you be bringing to the forefront in the age of COVID-19? Make sure you highlight those throughout your messaging.
4. Leverage Your Existing Eco-system
It’s unfortunate but inevitable; some clients will probably leave due to financial constraints. To make up the shortfall, bolster your funnel quickly by revisiting your lapsed clients list for business opportunities. You already know their business and they already know you, so you can be up and running in a short period of time. Again, be mindful of your messaging and be sure you’re offering specific, tangible benefits in keeping with the climate.
5. Use Free Marketing Platforms Where Possible
While these are most certainly times to tighten your purse strings, your marketing efforts cannot stop. So, make a point to look for free alternatives to the resources you require. If you are active on social media, leverage Canva, a free graphic design solution, to develop your social media graphics. If you need stock photography for a marketing asset, before you buy a stock image, check Unsplash for a free version. Likewise, Vidyard, a platform that enables you to better connect with businesses through interactive and personalized videos, has a free version and is a great alternative to a quick screenshot or a Zoom recording.
It’s a time of uncertainty for everyone, but by exploring new avenues for business, reframing your value propositions to highlight prospects’ greatest pain points, and communicating frequently and authentically, you’ll be setting up your business to weather the storm. Good luck and stay safe.