Small Business Marketing During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Don't Panic. Stay Focused.

Small Business Marketing During Coronavirus (COVID-19)

1024 768 Meredith Fleig

Should You Continue Marketing During Coronovirus?

Local marketing is the driving force for our local businesses, but with the rise of covid and coronavirus, is it cost-effective to continue marketing during coronavirus?

Local communities and the businesses within them are the foundation of the economy at large, and that can not be ignored.

We are all taking health and safety precautions when it comes to ourselves, our friends and our families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but what about the health and safety of our businesses. We need to take a look at how they are being affected as well, both internally and externally. Small businesses, those on the local front fuel our local economy. So how can we make sure that our very devices that keep up our economy aren’t hurt themselves?

 

marketing during coronavirus pandemic to enhance local economy

Source: https://instagram.com/gets2giveclt

Proactive vs. Reactive

Now more than ever it is important for small businesses to change their strategy from being proactive from reactive. Don’t wait for it to be too late, have a contingency plan in place. Many businesses are starting to take the knee-jerk reaction of halting marketing, but is that really what’s best for your company, and our economy? We still need to have this driving force that is our small businesses maintaining a working and fundamentally stable economy.

 

Where To Begin

The direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 has  already made land across multiple fronts. The health officials and governments are asking people to stay at home and wash their hands, this is resulting in a huge lack of resources in those departments. Cleaning supplies can’t stay on shelves. Work environments are also changing as many companies are moving from in-office to remote work settings. Local restaurants are no longer allowed to seat people in areas, and the travel bans are hitting the tourism and travel industry extremely hard.

This can leave gaping stressors on marketers, but with a concise message that is proactive in looking towards the future instead of reactive and responding to the immediate, we can rise above these challenges.

 

Create A New Digital Marketing Plan

It’s always important to have a marketing plan and budget in place, now is no different, but your budget and objectives are likely to be very different though. Take a look at our marketing budget and plan blog post from last month to help determine your new budget and your new objectives.

 

Adjust Your Strategy

Once you have re-evaluated your budget and objectives, it’s time to adjust your strategy.

For brick-and-mortar businesses, adjusting your strategy may involve adjusting your budget and adjusting your audience. No longer are people dining in, or visiting in -person, but they are buying online, so maybe a change in focus on mediums is in store. 

There are many very small businesses that already have tight annual budgets with little room to adjust. For businesses that fall into that category, search engine optimization is a great focus point during this period, building up online marketing tactics that will grow organically while you work on in-house items like new digital medias and websites.

 

The Importance of Content Marketing

Content marketing can become an effective way for you to remain in touch with your customers and increase pipeline generation during the coronavirus pandemic. While buying may decrease, digital activity from your customers and clients is likely to increase. Great content on places like google searches, social media, and websites where digital media can be viewed is valuable.

With the ever-changing digital landscape, communicating and engaging with your audience can remain uninterrupted, no matter what the situation is – as long as you have the proper content marketing strategies in place:

  • Use this time to increase brand awareness
  • Cut down on CTA’s
  • Highlight your brand, your compassion, and your personality
  • Write blogs, build authority on the areas of your business
  • Send emails. Email marketing allows you to connect personally with your customers and clients, keep them in the loop.
  • Audit your ads: make sure they aren’t tone deaf.
  • Shift your messaging from short-term to long-term

 

Work On Housekeeping

In challenging times and a fast-changing global landscape, communicating brand identity and values remains important. Coronavirus provides a new challenge for marketers that shines a light on the importance of relying on strategies outside of traditional channels.

Instead of focusing on the panic, or the unknown, take this time to learn and pour any extra time you have to do some housekeeping on your business. 

  • Evaluate internal company culture. How are you handling this transitional period with your employees? As scary as it is for businesses right now, it’s also scary for employees. How you handle this can reflect your company culture in the future.
  • Do some market research, how does your brand compare to the competition?
  • Renovate your brand. All those ideas you’ve been throwing around, now’s the time.
  • Rediscover your brand. As certified brand strategists, we can’t tell you enough the importance of doing a brand discovery every couple of years. 
  • Invest in a new company image: website, logo, etc. What a better way to market yourselves when things settle back down than by launching something new. While you’re mitigating through the present, hiring out to do these projects now can propel you ahead of the competition a few weeks/months from now.
  • Setup an online shop. In response to social distancing, foot traffic is decreasing, but digital traffic can ramp up.
  • Work on reputation management. People may not be able to support you as before, but they can certainly support your digital presence and reputation. A good reputation online can skyrocket your search engine optimization rankings.

 

Engagement Marketing

Also known as experiential marketing, will keep your customers engaged. By staying active and in sight on digital platforms that people are rushing more to now, you are able to continuously engage with them. You may need to tweak your content to relate more during these different times, but continuously showing up and giving them something to engage with is always a marketing win.

 

People Are Looking Towards The Future

You will hear a lot of “when this is over” and that signals another very important touch point – people and their shopping habits aren’t shutting down, they’re looking at the future. Everyone is still thinking and focused on what will happen in the future. That’s where they want to find you. In the hope and excitement of what lies ahead.

 

RESOURCES

SBA Business Guidance During Coronavirus – https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

US Chamber of Commerce Resources for Surviving Coronavirus – https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/small-business-resources-for-surviving-coronavirus

CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html