Don't let the Covid-19 stop you in your tracks!
There is every reason for you to stay at home!
But, there is no reason to bring your marketing to a screeching halt.
Yes! The COVID-19 pandemic has given you more one reason to put a hold on reaching out to your customer as often as you used to. Most small businesses around the world have had to take a beating during this global crisis. If you feel cornered, here are a few practical tips to keep your brand afloat and connection with customers alive during the quarantine.
Be calm, stay connected!
Each day that we are survive through this pandemic, is a blessing. We must not let fake news or panic overshadow our sane minds. You can make the best use of this time to develop a few strategies to manage your business now and plan for a post-COVID way forward.
Revisit your marketing channels - I'm sure are reviewing your finances, sales and strategy. Well, it is even more imperative to review how you are reaching out to your customers. Do you need to tweak it, heighten your reach, rethink your message or realign your outreach? Now is the time to revisit.
Reassess your message - No sales pitches, please! Small businesses have an opportunity to be authentic. Words have 'Power', use it wisely. Customers are anxious, there is uncertainty, positive message is what will keep us all together. They want to be informed, inspired and engaged.
Rethink your content - Create long-lasting content. More and more people are now online and the only way for your business to survive through this period of isolation is by pushing more positive and authentic content.
Make most of this downtime!
1. Create a stronger online presence - There is no better moment than now to review the content you have on your site, check your customer journey, find out how many customers have reached out to you - from where have they come, what are their preferences, how long do they stay, and what do they search.
People are spending more time online, a clean and SEO-friendly website will do wonders for you. This is not just a marketing tactic, it is a survival strategy.
If you don't have a website, this is the best time to create one. Simple, easy to use and free tools to choose are Wix, Squarespace and Wordpress. These are tried and tested. You can, however, choose from various website builders depending on your need and ease.
If you already have a website but have not been very active, this is the time to uplift your brand presence online. Read through your landing pages, rewrite content based on most searched keywords and align your message to the current needs of your customers.
2. Content as fresh as a spring bloom - Like the sweet smell of spring, fresh content is like a colourful blossom giving a new meaning to your brand. As business owners and marketing teams will have some more time in hand to think and be creative, give your customers a new flavour or added value they so crave during these lonely times.
Create authentic content that is inspiring, stress-relieving, and something that spreads positivity and hope.
If you have been regularly updating your website and social channels, great going. Make sure you share the latest COVID-19 response and communication your company has planned and is implementing. Customers want to associate with companies that are proactive, sensitive to the safety of their employees and stakeholders, and those that are send out the right messages.
If you don't have a definite content plan, please create one.
Write one blog every week on tips related to your business, share how your employees are connecting, staying safe and helping each other and customers through the isolation.
Create simple videos that convey the brand values best showcased on how you are dealing with the crisis. Be sensitive, be simple, keep it short. Your customers know you, just reassure them.
Post once a day on your social media handles. Most of the people are online and on social media. Engage with them, enquire about their safety, their community, their families. Be connected in times of need.
3. Customer experience has shifted online - COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of meetings. Over the last few weeks, customers have accepted the fact that online interactions too can be productive. With all trade shows, sales meetings, events and exhibitions cancelled, the only way is to connect remotely.
You can use remote networking apps like Zoom, Skype, Teamviewer, etc. Zoom has seen over 200 million daily meeting participants since the COVID #WFH.
Remote networking is no longer a choice. It is the only option until the crisis abates. You need to think of improving digital employee and customer experience working remotely.
If you don't have a remote working setup, ensure you provide secure access to IT and network resources. Identify the right tools to stay connected and create a remote work strategy to be productive.
Remote working relies on digital communications, evaluate which works in your context and use from a plethora of choices - Slack, Workplace, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting.
You need to learn and adapt to work in a decentralized, yet highly coordinated way especially when connections and communications make not be smooth or uninterrupted as usual.
Business owners and team leads must encourage co-workers and customers to cultivate a remote working culture and minds. There exists a lot of disconnect between employees and the business. Leaders have to guide their teams to participate, break some hierarchy barriers, and be patient for their teams to adopt the new norms of working.
It is really time to think different. Don't try to replicate what worked in the office. It is time to experiment with new tools of collaboration, shift your digital work style, and most of all value human connections.
Don't miss the bus, rise in digital content consumption is the silver lining during these gloomy times. Leverage your online presence, focus on connecting, build your social following.
Your overall traffic may reduce, the number of customers may drop, conversions may decline, but incremental efforts during this slow phase will give you the positivity to come out of the pandemic stronger and better prepared.
Small efforts can give you Big results!
What steps are you ready to take today?