How to Market in a Crisis
April 21, 2020
Business owners have two choices to make right now: are we going to freeze or are we going to fight? Amidst profound uncertainty, many of us feel like we are groping in the dark, unsure of what to grab hold of to keep our heads above water. Understandably, the implications of the COVID-19 crisis are unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lifetime and many are suffering.
We should do whatever we can to seize the opportunities before us right now and keep things moving forward as we wait and see what the new normal will actually look like. In fact, the small steps and unnoticed actions we take now will be the very decisions that differentiate us from the competition when the world is once again fully open for business.
On the other hand, we understand that some business owners are unsure how to “do marketing” in the current environment and wonder if it’s even appropriate to try to be “selling” during times like these. We are here to help you keep your marketing engines churning with confidence and take intentional steps forward.
Here are four ways you can keep marketing during the coronavirus and make practical investments now that will pay off in the future.
Prioritize Customer Service
A great way to keep business advancing is to invest in customer relationships. Customer service and user experience should be impeccable right now. In a season where everything feels hard, make things as easy as possible for the people already doing business with you. The companies that are doing this now will be the ones people stay loyal to when economic comfort levels begin to rise.
Here a some practical ways to make a positive investment in your client-base:
- Pick up the phone. There is a lot of noise in our inboxes and social media feeds, yet people feel more isolated and alone than ever.
- Lead with empathy. Demonstrate your compassion and commitment to helping them get through this tough time.
- Ask more questions. Focus on active listening. Find out their pain points and ask them about their biggest needs. This will strengthen the relationship and give you ideas of how you may be able to meet a unique demand for specific services.
- Respond to comments online. Engaging customers online is the equivalent of online customer service. Search the web to find any mention of your brand name and reply to any messages you find—negative or positive.
Continue Initiating Conversations
Don’t stop communicating with your clients when times are tough. Open and transparent conversations build trust and demonstrate authenticity, but make sure that you take the time to process how you feel about everything that’s happening. Your customers will know if your heart isn’t in what you’re saying.
Whatever you do, work to ensure that every message you send is clear and helpful. The last thing you want to do right now is add to the noise. Let them know what you’re doing to keep business moving forward and how you can make their lives better.
Here are some ideas of things you can say:
- Acknowledge your customer’s pain points and connect your offer to their biggest concerns
- Position your brand as a guide that can help them navigate the current crisis
- Highlight testimonials of happy customers or people you’re continuing to serve
- Showcase good news or relevant stories of people giving back to the community
- Talk about what you’re doing to keep business moving forward while doing your part to flatten the curve
- Cast vision for the future of your business or organization and what customers can expect from your company when the economy reopens
Tools such as Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign can help you stay consistent and provide useful statistics so you can craft better messages. Let us know if you’d like more information on how email automation could benefit your business.
Create More Content
One thing we can all be doing right now is creating content. This can feel like a heavy investment on the front-end but the more high-quality, on-brand content you create, the more your digital footprint will expand to reach more people.
Here are some ideas for building out your online content:
Amp Up Your Social Media
This is a great time to be more proactive on social media. Beefing up your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages can help you connect with new opportunities you may be missing by not having a stronger social presence. Leverage opportunities for live video broadcasts to have conversations and build more regular connections with your audience. Consider industry partners or other friends you could team up with to offer live video content or maybe now is the time to launch that new podcast you’ve been dreaming about.
If you’re not blogging, now is the time to start. Content marketing boosts your SEO, expands your digital footprint and creates more on-ramps for people searching for your services to find your digital doorstep. If you’re already blogging, focus on updating and expanding content. Current statistics indicate that long-form and cornerstone content is favored more by Google algorithms.
There are several writing services that you can tap into to help you create content if you want to outsource the service, and those copywriters will be grateful for the extra work. You’ll want to make sure your content is optimized for search with the right keywords. This is something we would be glad to help you with.
Start a YouTube Channel
Take your content a step further by creating videos to go with your content. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world so whatever you can do to have a presence on YouTube will increase your digital footprint and brand awareness. There are all kinds of tools and resources online for DIY video content. Or you can hire professionals (like us!) to help with the heavy lifting.
Just Keep Swimming
It’s the same in business as it is in life: you reap what what sow. In the marketing world, we are already seeing innovative brands seizing opportunities to pivot their business and stay in front of their customers (and the competition) despite the current restrictions. While some of these actions won’t have an immediate financial payoff, they are strengthening the bonds of brand loyalty that will heavily influence future consumer spending.
What we want our readers to know is that you are not in this alone. We are ready and willing to brainstorm ideas with you and discover new ways to make powerful impressions on your current and future client base. Schedule a call with us today and let’s keep the ball rolling together.