Let’s face it. We are living in an unbelievably strange time. The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, divisive politics, and an economy and workforce that is constantly adjusting and adapting to all of these changes means that a small business also must adapt and adjust its marketing approaches. How you market your small business during this time is critical. Since we are all experiencing this and the end date is uncertain, you can’t just send an email blast that says we care about you.
Instead it’s vital that your small business has a marketing plan that addresses customer or client needs directly.
Step Back and Make a Plan
Take a little time to prepare. Your goal is to create a marketing plan that will help you generate business but also ensure the safety of your customers and meet their needs and concerns.
1. Evaluate Existing Content and Graphics
Look at your website and any outward-facing materials or content that your customers, clients, or patients interact with. What message do they convey to site visitors? Is anything inconsistent with our new pandemic reality? Basically you don’t want the images and graphics you use on your website to be insensitive to what your audience is facing. The same concept applies to the specific phrasing you use in the copy on your website or internet presence.
2. Consider Offering Payment Plans
If your products or services are expensive, consider offering payment plans. You may be able to preserve your conversion rate by offering payment plans. Even if you have a service-based business, payment plans can help keep cash flowing toward your company. Once the crisis is over, customers you showed empathy to by offering a payment plan will remember that and may be more loyal to you and your services.
3. Be Sensitive in Your Messaging
Any messaging you put on your website needs to reflect your customers’ needs. The last thing you want to do is to appear insensitive or greedy. Make sure you show compassion. Don’t leave photos of an international vacation on your homepage or show people eating maskless in restaurants. Make sure that your graphics and messaging reflects the current COVID-19 reality. Being straightforward and compassionate will get you much farther with your customers than any sort of clever marketing plan.
4. Post More On Social Media
Social media posts are even more important in times of crisis. Since most people are stuck working from home, posting to social media is a way to interact and engage with clients. People are spending more time online so it’s critical that your company has a prominent presence.
5. Give More If You Can
If your business is booming right now, consider giving away more for free right now or offering discounts. Sometimes when you give away more, you actually get more sign-ups and more customers. And as a plus, there’s a marketing karma related to helping out in hard times. By giving more if you can, you will add to your company’s good reputation.
6. Take Advantage Of Lower Paid Advertising Rates
The COVID pandemic has hit businesses hard. As a result, big businesses are advertising online less. This results in an opportunity for small businesses as paid advertising rates are much cheaper than they were pre-COVID.
Now Is Not The Time To Sit Back In Silence
While marketing your business during the COVID pandemic might feel like it’s in poor taste, your approach to marketing is the difference between poor taste and truly effective marketing. Be thoughtful in your messaging and images. Consider offering payment plans. Utilize social media. Advertise. Make sure you and your company are remembered for what you did during the pandemic.