In a world decimated by a pandemic and a global economic shutdown, marketing your business is probably the last thing on your mind. Marketing is often the first thing people cut when they’re trying to save money in their business. But is this the wisest move for your long term viability? Being conservative feels like a safe choice when there’s uncertainly about how long the crisis will last. But by choosing to focus on marketing, you are choosing to invest in the very thing that will help your business thrive once all this is over – your clients.
In fact, according to the latest consumer and advertising surveys, the right approach during economic uncertainty is to increase, not decrease, your marketing spend. It not only keeps your clients engaged and informed, but it means when the economy starts to improve, you’re on the front foot with audience retention and brand awareness.
Why keep marketing?
Now is the perfect time to look beyond marketing as a chance to sell, sell, sell, and realise it’s a chance to communicate with your clients and customers. Sharing experiences and keeping your customers informed is not only a viable marketing strategy, but it adds a human element to your brand – rather than a sales focus. By focusing on your brand and communicating what is important to your business, you can get your message across, without looking like you are trying to capitalise off a disaster.
Marketing and talking directly to your customers is your chance to connect, to tell people what you’ve been up to and keep you and your business present in their everyday lives. It’s your chance to show them what you are doing and what you can do to help them. Communicating with your customers is an essential step to retaining them.
How to keep marketing
In the current environment, it’s social media’s time to shine. By utilising these free platforms that are driven by content stories, you can connect directly to so many different people all at once. It allows you to be human and put a face to your business. But what to talk about…? There are so many different ways to utilise the direct line of communication social media provides. Try giving a shout-out to other small businesses in your area – even if it’s the local coffee shop or local bookshop. Making connections with your community outside of your ‘lane’ is great business marketing, as it connects you to other locals who may utilise your services in the future.
You could also offer educational based training. If you have skills that could help other small businesses, then why not look at putting something together that could advise them. It provides a service, keeps you working (and allows you to brush up on some skills, like PowerPoint, presenting skills or video editing) all while ‘marketing’ to your customers and staying connected. But remember not everyone is on social media and some people have needed to switch off. So make sure you still utilise your emails, the phone, and even old fashioned snail mail to spread your message.
Being agile is the new normal, but no one will know how you’ve pivoted if you don’t tell them. Take the ‘sell’ out of marketing, and start a conversation with your clients, create a community, introduce people over email or zoom who might benefit from each others expertise. Marketing during COVID times is more than a strategic business decision, it’s a chance to build the business and the community you’ve always wanted.