The COVID-19 pandemic has a resounding message across the world: times are changing. Every part of life has been affected, from healthcare to the economy. As a start-up and small business, there are many aspects to consider and re-plan, including your marketing efforts. Here are 5 simple ways to position your business to be a smart marketing responder during the pandemic.
Now is the best time to consider your marketing campaigns and what message you’re conveying to your audience. As times shift, so should your marketing initiatives. As you take a deeper look at your marketing calendar and campaigns, reviewing and revising your messaging and imagery is key to being nimble with shifting needs. Is it possible that a campaign you are running (or were planning to run) isn’t quite fitting or empathetic for the current times?
Reviewing your campaigns and messaging will ensure you’re responsibly aligning to what your audience is currently experiencing.
In addition to a responsible marketing approach, you should think smart. Make sure to review your timeline for marketing campaigns and revise it appropriately. Like many big brands across the nation (and world), you should consider revising or stopping marketing campaigns all together that do not address the current political and economic climate at hand. For instance, Ford Motor companies shifted from marketing their annual March Madness advertising to sending a message of empathy and reassurance, promoting their car payment assistance program. This shift is in more alignment with the furloughs, layoffs, and the 17 million unemployment claims nationwide.
Meet customers where they are
Small businesses create another opportunity for customers to trust in brands. In a time of uncertainty with an ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, small businesses can provide a touch of comfort by listening to their audience, and responding in a way that is both factual and positive. Staying in tune with your audience and providing touch points of beneficial communication offers a trusted voice for your consumers to follow.
Support your employees
Your employees are your biggest brand advocates. More importantly, they’re what makes your business thrive. Supporting your employees during this time will speak volumes for not only your consumers but of course your employees, positioning them to succeed in a time of distress and uncertainty. If your company has to furlough or layoff your staff, empathy and a heartfelt response, such as financial support or timely resources, will go a long way for your business and your brand.
Are you able to help local businesses, such as restaurants or other start-ups during the pandemic? Lending a helping hand to other businesses is a sure way to create a network of support and shows your brand’s responsiveness. And honestly, it’s simply nice. There are plenty of ways to donate and give back – just tune in to your local networks to see where you can add value.
There are tons of ways to shift your marketing strategies and the 5 above are a great start. If you find your small business to be at a disadvantage as a result of the pandemic, check out the U.S. Administration for Small Businesses’ COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses.