5 Marketing Tasks You Should Be Doing For Your Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Let's face it. Everyone is worried. Most individuals and business owners are looking at the bottom line and finding what expenses they can cut in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, and all for good reason.
Here's one thing you think is dispensable but is probably the most important part of your toolkit as a small business owner during these times, MARKETING.
If sales and traffic are slow or non-existent, the LAST thing you should be doing is ignoring the one tool that's going to help boost sales outside of your traditional sales model.
Focus on these five things and you'll lessen the negative impact of COVID-19 on your sales, and help your customers in the process.
1. Your Business Needs to Have a Strong Brand Narrative
Do you know who your customer is? What are their fears? What do they need or want during this time? Do you know what makes them feel secure?
If you are trying to capture everyone with your brand message, you're missing out on the people who will actually become your customers. They call it "target audience" for a reason. You can't be and do everything for everyone. It's just not possible, and I'm sure it would be exhausting.
If your restaurant or store is closed, there's no better time than now to really work on your brand message. Refine and focus your offerings, products or services. How do they relate to your customers? Ask yourself, Why would my customer come to me? How can I make his/her life better, especially during these difficult times?
To help, make sure you download HALCON's Fall in Love with Branding worksheet, which includes key questions you should be asking yourself as you build your brand.
If there's one thing we can control in this chaos, it is our message.
2. Revamp and Revise Your Website
There are only so many Netflix shows you can watch in 24 hours. Chances are most people are surfing the web. Make sure your website includes all the new messaging you've crafted in step 1, so your customers don't have to wrack their brains trying to figure out what you do and how you can help them.
Additionally, if you're a brick and mortar store, is your website updated with all your products, especially the ones that are currently in your closed storefront? Do you have a way for customers to purchase gift cards online?
If you haven't been updating your website with your full inventory on a consistent basis, use this time at home to make the necessary updates. Make it a point to add "updating your website" to your weekly or even daily agenda once things are back to normal (and I am optimistic and believe we will get through this and it will be business as usual soon).
If you're a restaurant or service-based industry, do you have new processes in place to accommodate a lack of traffic through your doors?
Unfortunately, during these times when social distancing is recommended, the only way we can communicate with our potential customers is through digital mediums, so you need to make sure your main source of communication, your website, is clear and informative.
3. Implement a Digital Ad Strategy
I highly recommend partnering with a marketing team to craft and implement a digital ad strategy to reach new customers and keep your business top-of-mind.
Since most of your customers are turning online for a majority of their needs, now is the time to reach them through artfully crafted Facebook or Google Ads. If you've ever looked at the Facebook Ads Manager or Google Ads interface, it can get a bit overwhelming, so I highly recommend working with a marketing expert who can implement the strategy for you.
You definitely do not want to experiment or "test it out" and have your dollars lead to zero results. I hope you can agree that it definitely does not make sense to spend money "just to see" if you can do it on your own, especially during these times of uncertainty.
4. Be in Constant Communication with your Customer Through Content
#4 sure does come with a lot of C's doesn't it? During this time of uncertainty when people are grasping at a sense of normalcy, don't fade into the background.
You need to be churning out great content for your customers and keeping them constantly updated on what your business is doing during this time and how you anticipate and can serve your customer's needs.
Tell your customers how you've adjusted to this national emergency and have crafted new or different ways for them to enjoy your products and services. Is your shop still open? Do you deliver? Can customers shop online?
Keep your social media posts constant and consistent. Keep sending out those e-blasts and writing those blogs. Don't inundate your social media or blogs with consistently sad or somber posts. There's enough fear out there already, so give your customers great content that can distract them, even for just a little while.
5. As Small Businesses, Let's All Stick Together
As the saying goes, "two is better than one." As small business owners, I included, we are all incredibly nervous about how this Coronavirus outbreak will affect our businesses. In addition to urging customers to #ShopLocal, we should also be banding together through partnerships and promotions to reach customers, especially on the local level.
Cross-promotions are key as multiple sets of audiences are better than one. Team up with a store you admire and offer customers something cool. If you're a local spa, maybe partner with a local wine store for a girls' night package filled with spa goodies and wine.
As I mentioned above, there are only so many hours you can spend binge-watching. Spend this time away from the day-to-day of your business to elevate your business. You might feel powerless at this time, but there's actually more you can control than you think.
Stay safe & stay healthy, my friends.