For most of us right now, our lives have been turned upside down and we are living in a world of constant change and uncertainty.
It’s a scary time for small businesses during this COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the coronavirus, many businesses have been forced to close, many others have lost a significant percentage of customers and revenue, have had to reduce service offerings, modify working team environments and more.
Oh, and don’t forget also having to deal with the kids at home during this interesting time…
See below some quick tips to help your business to survive and thrive during the COVID-19:
Ensure you are operating safely
The health and safety of your team, customers and the community are your top priority and the most important factor to consider. Depending on your industry, you should have a set of guidelines and regulations that are in place during COVID-19 that needs to be followed stringently.
Communicate the precautions you are taking and any changes in operation
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Now more than ever keeping your customers up to date on a regular basis is key. Let them know of the additional precautions you are taking so that your customers feel comfortable and reassured and thus remain loyal. Also inform them of any modifications you have made to business operations. At the moment, the frequency of messaging is significant as things are changing rapidly so choose the most effective channels of communications e.g. email campaign, social media, website to enable you to keep agile when it comes to updating messaging.
Work with what you have and be innovative
The playing field has changed and now is the time to adapt. For dentists in Australia for example they have been forced to operate under Level 3 restrictions which means they can only perform emergency dental treatment. Our client, Central Coast dental practice group, comprising of Avoca Beach Dental, Saratoga Dental, Empire Bay Dental, Bonnells Bay Dental and Warnervale Dental took this opportunity to step up and come together to introduce a crucial initiative for the local community, Central Coast Dental Emergency Service.
Find out more here
Decide what should be paused immediately
Push timelines back on major campaigns that will likely be eclipsed or pause entirely if you’re not sure if the content is appropriate. Just because a campaign has some elements that aren’t appropriate right now doesn’t mean it needs to be scrapped altogether; it’s likely that many things will be fine once the outbreak subsides.
Consider what to prioritise or pivot
You may want to move some things up in the interim or look for ways to successfully pivot some messaging. For example, a campaign centred on the theme of “Get closer to your customers” can pivot to “Support your customers” or “Customer relationships matter.”
Reassess & reallocate your marketing budget
Clearly, trade shows and conferences are simply not an option with the COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you were planning to invest $X into trade shows or other in-person events, then now is to time to divert that budget into other channels, such as digital marketing.
Evaluate your imagery and language
Visual communication is powerful, as are the words we use, so it’s important to think about the messages your brand is sending. Avoid visuals of crowds or people touching. This includes people working in offices or at social gatherings out of the house.
Adjust your delivery method
If you have a brick-and-mortar business where you’re no longer able to see customers/patients in-person, then investigate if you’re able to generate revenue or generate leads or set appointments through other means. Our allied health clients, for example leading local nutritionists, Eatsense and popular Wyong physios at Physio Connex Performance Clinic have recently introduced telehealth consultations.
Capitalise on having a captive audience
Most people are on their mobile devices constantly and are checking social media updates all the time. This also presents an opportunity to convey your brand and what you can do to help and support people during this fragile time.
Be empathetic, supportive and relevant
Be personable and positive. Create helpful content and messaging that is relevant to your audience during this unique and challenging time. Even if your product or service doesn’t directly help people deal with the quarantine, your brand can still provide value to people. How can you educate, entertain, or inspire people stuck at home all day?
Focus on your existing customers
This is really Marketing 101. However, this pandemic is a good reminder that it’s much easier and less costly to market to existing customers versus acquiring new customers.
The key question here is, “What else can you do to help your existing customers?” Can you offer additional products or services? Can you speed up your delivery for an additional fee? Can you sell more with a bulk discount? Can you partner with another business to enhance your product or service?
Utilise any extra time wisely
Now if your business hours have reduced or changed, why not take this opportunity to get ahead. Work on finishing content for the future you had planned, get on top of your admin, refine your social media pages etc. Use the extra time wisely and productively.
It’s a unique time in history and it’s worth taking a moment to soak it all in. Chances are you and your business will be just fine. In the meantime, stay safe and keep well.
If you need any support with your marketing strategy and implementation, Reality Marketing is here to help. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0423 361 093.