Marketers and business owners everywhere are up-in-arms as they try to navigate this “new normal” that originally started as just a couple week situation and has now been roughly 7 months.
Marketing is hard enough during NORMAL times, especially when you have a large amount of competition (which most businesses do), but add in a pandemic where people are hesitant about their finances, and people are generally unsure of a lot of things, and marketing just gets downright difficult.
So how exactly do you market a business during times such as these?
That’s a really good question.
Here are some tips that we’ve found are working for others and that we “experts” think are the best steps to take.
- Start with a psychological need – This is a good practice for non-pandemic times, but it’s even more important where people are unsure, fearful, and clutching their wallets pretty tightly. You can’t just sell them a product or service, because they’ll usually choose to wait on it until things are steadier. You CAN, however, sell them a feeling. If you are a hair stylist, you’re selling confidence and composure in a time when there is very little of it; if you are a baker, you sell happy times and the best way to bring people together (safely, from the proper 6-foot distance): cake. Appeal to the feeling, and you’ll appeal to the part of them that actually need to make this purchase.
- Get online – If you don’t have a strong online presence already, now’s the time to get on top of it and strengthen it. This is absolutely the most critical time to have an internet presence for your business. If you can sell your product online and ship or deliver it, do it. If you need people to pick it up instead, offer that. Limit human contact, and limit the need for people to go out and find you driving down the street (people really aren’t just popping into stores right now), and you’ll find it much easier to reach your audience. Get on social media, boost your website, and even rebrand and get some new graphics if yours are outdated.
- Communicate any changes clearly – If you have shipping delays or hour changes, make sure you clearly communicate this with your customers. If they have to guess when something will arrive, or even worse think it will arrive sooner than it actually does because of shipping delays, you’re going to struggle getting return sales. Therefore, it’s important for your social media and website, plus any emails you may send to customers, to clearly communicate these changes.
- Optimize to multiple channels – People are spending more time online now than ever, so it’s important to get in front of them as often as possible. This means being wherever they are: email, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn—wherever your target audience is hanging out, you want to be there, and you want your presence to be strong. This means strong content and graphics and a good, quality brand. Make sure your logo and business name stand out and people know exactly who you are when they look at it, and have your content speak to them and the specific questions they may be asking about your product or service right now.
Whatever marketing efforts you decide to use, make sure you’re in the right places with them and that you’re giving an overall positive message to your prospective customers. People don’t need more fear and negativity right now, so show them how your product or service can help them with that.