Marketing Your Business Through the Effects of Coronavirus
These are some crazy times we’re going through right now. “Unprecedented” is what we’re hearing in the news.
In these unprecedented times, everyone should be thinking about their fellow countrymen as much as they are thinking about their own health, safety and livelihood.
Business owners, hear this: “This is the time to provide as much (no-selling) value as you can to your fellow (wo)man.”
Provide value, assistance, knowledge and / or supplies. Whatever your company does, figure out how you can continue to provide value and / or your services to a population in isolation. Don’t think about “closing” or making a sale, think about what you can do to help others.
14 Business Activities to Help you Survive the Crisis
- Posting on Social Media – this is the top of the list because that’s where everyone is going to be – on their computers, endlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Be real with your customers. If they don’t know the face behind the brand / company, introduce yourself. Connect with your customers by answering questions in groups where your target market hangs out. Send friend requests to people you engage with to continue the conversation and continue providing value by answering any additional questions they may have. Tell people how you’re personally dealing with this lockdown. Start an Ask Me Anything post and encourage your clients to reach out with any questions they have.
- Use Facebook and Google Ads – since everyone is stuck at their computer, you can increase the eyeballs to your posts by implementing a Facebook ad campaign. For Google, take a look at using Gmail ads that get delivered directly into your prospects gmail account. Careful about hard-selling here. The goal is not necessarily to get clients but to keep your company top of mind by providing as much value as you can. These avenues will work well to announce when you’re re-opening.
- Take Pictures / Video of your Products / Shop – if your store or business is closed, look for things that you can do that you’re usually unable to or don’t have time to do. Take pictures of your store, inside and out, and then of your products. Do a video walk-thru of your store. Your goal here is to get as much content as you can for your online properties. Post images / video on your blog, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest and on your Google My Business page.
- Write Blog Posts – content is the one thing that every business owner needs to be putting online but that no business owner has time to do. Now you can. Not a writer? No worries, write what you can and then get someone to edit it. It’s the knowledge that’s in your head that’s important.
- Get More Reviews – one of the biggest challenges business owners have is trying to get their customers to leave reviews for their business. Reasons for this are many but the top two reasons are that your customers are busy and that the process to leave a review is not always that simple. Since many people will be at home during this crisis, it’s a good time to reach out to them to ask for a review. You can explain how important reviews are to local businesses and how they will be helping your business get through these tough times. You can also use this email exchange as a way to find out what you could do to help them.
- Use Email to Stay Connected – social media is not the only place people will be online, they’ll also be checking their emails which gives you a great opportunity to get your stuff read. Give them updates on your business, help them come up with activities / exercises etc that they can do to pass the time and stay healthy. Share a laugh or two. Basically, be a human being and write your emails like you’re talking to one of your favourite customers.
- Learn New Skills – remember how you’ve always wanted to learn how to type but have never had the time? Now you do! Go to https://www.udemy.com/ and search for that skill that you’ve always wanted to learn. Is it advanced Excel strategies? How to use Google or Facebook ads? How to create a Facebook chatbot? These are all courses that you can get for very cheap on Udemy. Or maybe you wanted to learn more about SEO. Well Yoast (the creator of that fantastic WordPress SEO plugin), has released some free training. Go and learn here: https://yoast.com/academy/all-around-seo-training/
- Send Out Hand-Written Notes – this strategy never gets old. In an age where everything is digital, it’s nice to be on the receiving end of a handwritten note or postcard. Make it personal. Show your customers that you’re thinking of them.
- Call Your Customers – some people just want to know everything is going to be ok. Pick up the phone and give your customers a call to see how they are and if there’s anything you could do to help their situation.
- Deliver Your Services Remotely – what ways can you still provide your services to a stay-at-home population? Can you share your services with Facebook Live or create video training or a webinar? Are you able to shoot videos addressing the top questions / fears your target market has?
- Host Virtual Client Meetings – using software such as Zoom, Facetime, Whatsapp or Skype, you can run video conferencing meetings where you can share your screen, show presentations or just connect for a video call.
- Get Prospects / Clients to Use Facetime / Google Duo – is there a way your clients could use video to show you what issues they’re having that your service or product solves? Maybe it’s a broken heat pump, or a walkthrough of a house for a painting quote or a video of their yard that they’re looking to have landscaped.
- Gift Certificates / Vouchers – people want to buy local and support their communities throughout this crisis so make it as easy as possible for them to do that. Add the ability to purchase GCs to your website, send out an email telling your clients that this is a way they can help your business survive. Set up a Paypal link if you need an easy way to take payment.
- Utilize Google My Business – the first place people are going to search for information while they’re stuck at home is Google. So make sure that your business information on your Google My Business page is up-to-date (you can log in via https://business.google.com). Better still, make sure that you’re posting updates on your GMB page to keep your clients up-to-date. If you’re one of the businesses still open, make sure that info is on your GMB page. Likewise if you’re closed.
Think of the above strategies as planting seeds that will keep your company top of mind and eventually lead to more business once the economy roars back to life. Look at these circumstances as a rare time to be innovative and out-smart your competitors, while connecting with your customers on a deeper level.
It’s crazy times indeed but those business owners who take action today will be the ones standing once the coronavirus haze lifts and everything is back to normal.