When news first broke of a mysterious illness affecting individuals in China, there were few of us in the West who predicted the tremendous impact this would have across the world. Now, COVID-19 has affected every part of our lives, from our ability to go out and eat at our favorite restaurants to being able to find toilet paper on supermarket shelves. (Can I just get a roll of Charmin, please!)
If you own a business, you’ve certainly felt the impact, and in more ways than one. For the vast majority of businesses, even those offering primarily online services, sales are down. A great number of employees have shifted to working entirely from home. And the biggest hurdle to overcome is simply not knowing how long the COVID-19 crisis will last. Bearing all that in mind, your current marketing strategy may not be ideal for the times we’re currently living in.
So, how do you market your business when you’re in the middle of a pandemic?
First of All – Don’t Panic!
I get why you’re anxious. I am too. There’s a lot going on right now, and there’s a lot to think about. But the last thing you want to do is panic. If you panic, you’re likely to make marketing missteps it may be difficult to recover from when the dust clears. Instead, take a deep breath. And remember, while the situation may not be ideal, you do have one resource available to you – time. So use it.
Whether that means developing new strategies, improving existing ones or simply making the best possible use of the system you already have in place, there is a lot you (or the content writing service you work with) can do to make sure you come out of this situation on top.
Keep Your Message Relevant
People aren’t known for their patience when dealing with a crisis. That’s why when developing your content marketing, social media marketing or any other messaging you’re going to be delivering to customers, it’s in your best interests to stop thinking about what it is you need and, instead, address their needs and concerns.
Simply pick something related to what you do and how it can benefit customers. An indie bookstore can advertise its shipping service and point out that there’s no better way to spend all that free time you have now than curled up with a good book or twelve. (I just finished Stephen Hawking’s “The Grand Design”.)
Just as an aside – remember that you don’t have to make every blog post or Tweet about COVID-19. In fact, it’s best to avoid that – people are already stressed about this situation, and bombarding them with pandemic-related content is only going to make them unsubscribe from your feed or your email list. Even when you’re offering them something you think they might “need” during the crisis, sometimes it might be best to keep it subtle, lest people begin to feel overwhelmed or – even worse – begin to think you’re capitalizing on a crisis.
Rebudget and Restrategize
You know that marketing project you “never have time for”? The one you’ve kept on the back burner for years? Whether it’s because you’ve kept your content writers or your web designer on other tasks because of deadlines or for budget reasons, now might just be the time to dust off that project and finally give it the attention it deserves.
You want to be prepared when the panic begins to die down and things begin to get back to normal. Updating your web design, rebranding your content marketing if needed, or launching a new social media marketing strategy can get you ready for marketing success once that happens.
Maximize Your Online Potential
Getting out and shaking hands isn’t an option right now. That can be discouraging for business owners who’ve often relied on workshops, seminars and other events to make marketing connections. But all hope isn’t lost. It just means that now is the perfect time to begin offering even more in the way of online services.
Online services are always a great way to draw in potential leads, as well as help retain existing clients and customers. Examples include webinars and live videos as a part of your social media marketing. You can even produce and post regular videos – as an added bonus, these will stay up long after COVID-19 ends and continue to benefit your business.
If you have any questions about the marketing strategies mentioned here, or if you’d like to hire the team at iwebcontent to help with your content marketing strategy, contact us today to get your project started!