By Sara Mannix
How on earth do you market your business during uncertain times
I am frequently asked how businesses can market during Covid-19. Although every situation is unique, my advice is, don’t stop marketing, but change how you are doing your marketing.
Your customers have fears and uncertainties. Understanding those fears and how they relate to buying your product or service, will help you do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) that can be used to inform your plan.
Here are 13 ideas to consider when marketing your business now:
1. Think about who you are marketing to. This may seem pretty obvious to you as you already know who your customers are But, I am encouraging you to imagine your customer’s current state of mind. They are isolated in their home, concerned about the future of their business and finances, but also hopeful for the future.
2. Speak to that customer you just imagined. Every word you write should consider their current circumstance: Every time you write an email, make a call, create a social media post or create an ad, modify your marketing message to speak directly to that customer. For example, Visit Great Britain has created amazing marketing campaigns which say “we can’t wait to welcome you back again soon”.
They are respecting that the person can not come and visit now, but are looking forward to the future. They are also staying top of mind to hit the ground running, as they know the rule that it takes at least 7 touches to generate a sales lead.
3. Be helpful. Lanette Akerson of the Plant Doctor normally maintains beautiful indoor plants for local corporate offices, which she can no longer access. She is using her extra time to start a blog for those same corporate business owners who now find themselves at home. Her blog showcases her expertise on plants but is focused on the now—how to plant a garden.
Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Regional Chamber of Commerce, isn’t out asking for memberships, he’s out supporting the members who need it most by tirelessly posting on social media about takeout available at local Saratoga restaurants. How can you help your customers?
4. Be Human. Take a look at Morgan and Co.’s Facebook Page, The chef-owner, Rebecca, is often holding today’s takeout menu or talking directly to us about what she has made for today’s individual specials or family takeout meals.
5. Alleviate your customers’ fears. Know their fear and address it head on. For example, many hotels are writing to their guests about new, more flexible, cancelation policies, posting safety statements and sharing their cleaning protocols.
6. Be old fashioned. Write a letter or email with no other purpose but to encourage. I recently received two of the most beautiful letters from people I work with. The humanity of the personal notes that were sent just to uplift me in this difficult time were so appreciated and meant so much. They will never be forgotten.
7. Update your website. How long has it been since you took a good hard look at your website? Now is the perfect time to look at every page and improve it word by word and photo by photo. Service businesses should focus on industry and service specific case studies.
8. Content is king. For SEO and search engine ranking, if you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, use it to write a blog, create helpful video content or take great photos for your website.
9. Focus on your reputation management. Your clients who may have been too busy before to review you online might now have the time. Google your business name plus the word reviews and see what comes up. That is where you want to ask your happy clients to review you. Pleper tool link.
10. Try something new. Have you always focused on Facebook? Learn about Instagram. Try out TikTok B2B. Post to Linkedin. Are you in a retail business? Market on Pinterest.
11. Sign up for the Facebook Small Business Grants program. Facebook is offering cash grants and ad credits. Sign up now for updates, and apply for the program as soon as it becomes available.
12. Improve your Bing Places and Google My Business Listing. Not sure how? Google it or call your webmaster. You should be working on those listings every week.
13. Paid Search or SEO? If your buyers are buying right now, then there is no better time to jump on paid search. However, if sales have slumped, a better investment is organic search engine optimization as that has long term results and value.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing so you have to follow your gut. Let empathy be your guide but don’t slow down. Dig in your heels, do the marketing planning and execution that you always wanted to but never had the time to do.
I am a firm believer that those that wisely invest their time and or money in marketing during tough times will gain market share and come out ahead.
How on Earth to Market Your Business During Covid-19 ?
Every business is unique, but many make a common mistake when times are tough. They stop marketing, instead of changing how they are marketing. There are missteps to avoid, and opportunities that you don’t want to miss. In this 45 minute webinar, you’ll learn tips and actionable ideas on what you can do now. Whether your business is on-hold or running differently, what you do now will help you hit the ground running when you have the all-clear.
Sara Mannix, CEO of Mannix Marketing
Valleri James, Director of Sales, Mannix Marketing
Jennifer Manz, Director of Digital Marketing
Chris Archibee, Senior Marketing Strategist
When: Apr 15, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting: