The world is a markedly different place to the one we left as individuals, families and businesses adjust to the new reality of Covid-19.
Many of us have had to adopt new habits, adapt old ones and change the way we work in order to comply with the safety restrictions in place.
Yet this doesn’t mean the world has to stand still and neither should your business. Entrepreneurial minds are turning their hands to different ways of reaching their customers and generating revenue.
We’ve put our heads together at Dynamize Marketing for ideas on how your company can utilise marketing during the COVID-19 crisis.
Connecting with customers via Social Media.
Everyone is coming to terms with the impact that Covid-19 is having on daily life. Whether it be juggling childcare and working from home or being unable to see family and friends, we’re missing things we once took for granted. Of course, many have also lost loved ones. Whilst it’s important to retain sensitivity during this difficult time, it’s also an opportunity for brands to stand out from the crowd – for the right and wrong reasons.
Maintaining the right level of communication is a big challenge at this time, whether you’re building customer trust or managing established relationships. Displaying empathy across social media channels and helping out where possible is a great way to build brand loyalty. A local firm, Oakland International, recently announced on Twitter that they’re providing visiting hauliers with free food, drink and extended parking facilities during the outbreak. Textbook customer service and an excellent gesture of goodwill, unlike the storm of negativity, whipped up around Sports Direct when they increased prices by as much as 50% at the start of lockdown.
Word spreads fast and with both messaging and social media services seeing a 22% increase worldwide in time spent on their platforms, make sure you position your brand at the front.
Ultimately people remember the actions that a brand takes whether good or bad, and that memory is sure to last when we return to normality. Take positive action, engage directly with your customers and tailor your message accordingly.
Make sure your customers can find you
More people are online than ever, you have a sought-after service and your message is clear, yet it’s not being seen. Why? Your customers can’t find you.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an essential part of any marketing strategy, showcasing your brand on major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. You want to make sure you’re positioned at the top of your page above your competitors. There are a number of reasons as to why you should drive your SEO campaign, especially as the competition pause theirs. It’s free (the only investment being time spent creating and updating content) and proven that 7/10 users click organic content on the first results page ahead of Pay Per Click (PPC) adverts. Having reputable organisations and industry-leaders share links to your site builds market credibility, driving traffic and boosting your position in the rankings. As your rivals stand still, you can jump ahead.
Local SEO Strategies
With a heavy reduction in travel and needing to stay closer to home, more and more customers are seeking convenience. There’s even been a renewed focus on the need to support smaller businesses during this time, with local food stores such as fruit shops and butchers seeing a surge in new customers. So how can you take advantage of this? You can use business profile platforms such as Google My Business, enabling company contact details to appear on Google Search and Maps. Just make sure they’re updated so that your customers can contact you.
How about your current clients? Many people will use a business for the first time based on the word of their peers, so actively encourage satisfied customers to leave a review if they’re pleased with your service. A proactive approach can quickly form a competitive advantage.
If you provide the right service or product in what is a stressful, unprecedented time, it will pay off. Ensure that you can be found in order to do so.
Pay Per Click (PPC) is still important
As home internet usage continues to rise, many companies are cutting costs, including their advertising budget. This presents a fantastic opportunity for a shrewd business to capture market share from dormant competitors, positioning themselves at the front of their niche. For this reason, and at a time when social media algorithms are increasingly difficult for brands to achieve organic exposure, Pay Per Click is a viable option. For the initial cost, the Return on Investment (ROI) could well be worth it.
Business as normal
How will people perceive your business when things eventually return to “the new normal”? Companies have taken different approaches to the pandemic with varying degrees of success, with those who sought to take advantage through price increases quickly held to account by the UK public and media. Those who have seemingly taken a community-minded, long-term approach have put themselves in a position to reap the benefits long into the future. It’s all about building brand loyalty.
Various actions have included leading community initiatives, lending equipment and providing discount codes for key workers. This has been a great way to engage and show that these companies care. Maybe you could create Instagram video content on how you’ve adapted your premises for social distancing, or drive a Facebook campaign covering the equipment you’ve lent being used to positive effect. By conveying your message across social media, tailored to each individual platform, you can be the organisation that was there during times of crisis. People remember that.
Adapting your route to market
The nation’s restaurants, bars and cinemas have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, with many uncertain of when they’ll re-open. Even then, the way they operate may be severely restricted. Thankfully, entrepreneurial business owners have devised new ways of engaging with customers and opening revenue streams.
None more so than some of our favourite local pubs and restaurants, who have re-opened their kitchens and now provide a takeaway delivery service. Some cinemas are even creating a drive-in experience. Social media is an excellent way to instantly communicate any change in your service delivery, notifying your customers that your open for business and how they can access your products or services.
It can even be used to secure customer confidence that your premises are COVID secure with necessary safety measures in place. Why not film a walk around the shop’s one-way system with two-metre markings for your brand’s Instagram story? You can post pictures on Facebook of the new company signage and employee PPE. There’s a whole host of ways in which you can quickly get your business back on it’s feet.
No knee-jerk reactions
When a sudden blow like the pandemic hits the economy, it’s easy to panic and make a knee-jerk reaction. Even more so when competitors do the same. However, this rarely pays off when it comes to marketing. Take your time and analyse the data in front of you before making any decisions. What might have been right for your competitor, may not be right for you.
Finish those to-do lists
Remember those marketing tasks that have been on your daily reminders for the last six months? The ones you close every morning at 08:00am when you’re having a coffee? Now is an ideal time to get them done. With hours saved as a result of no commute and the absence of colleagues asking questions, these tasks can finally be addressed.
Perhaps your website is looking tired and needs a refresh, or you’re struggling for new content for social media. It may also be time to take a step back and review your website functionality, ensuring all call-to-action points are converting leads into customers.
Dynamize Marketing’s team of qualified professionals can help you with any queries or requirements, providing consultative, affordable and dynamic marketing solutions.
We’re here to help.