The coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc on the world. Businesses forced to close their doors, schools shut down, and people quarantined in their homes to stop the spread.
It is an uncertain time, but it does not have to mean your business is closing forever. Yes, it is going to get worse before it gets better, but this will not last forever.
It is important to keep your marketing strategies going during this time for future progress when this has all ended.
Historically, businesses that don’t cut marketing and advertising will generate more leads and sales in the better times.
A Harvard Business Review study of 4,700 public companies analyzed three years before, during and after recessions. The study showed that businesses opting to scale back and cut costs did not flourish and ended up having lower profitability. Businesses that took a more aggressive focus and continued to push forward, pulled ahead of the businesses that did not and did better in the end.
While it is daunting to see money leaving the coffers, it is important to keep marketing and advertising, whether you are an essential business or not. Businesses that remain active and in front of their customers and audience will likely fare better when we are all back to normal.
Here are 7 things businesses can do now for a more progressive approach to this economic slowdown:
1. Maintain Your Online Visibility
With over 40% of the U.S. population, in 17 states (at the time of this writing) in quarantine, these people are home and while some are working, a lot of them are online. They are on Social Media, checking phones for updates, reading email. They are passing the time online. It’s the perfect time to make sure they see your business.
Update your blog, post daily updates to Social Media, send an email, use as many optimization strategies you can so that your business is seen and not forgotten.
2. Start/Continue Advertising Campaign
Many other businesses are closed or may have scaled down (or turned off) their advertising campaigns. Again, with everyone home and using the internet and Social Media, it is a great time to get your campaigns out and in front of people. Additionally, because of fewer advertisers, cost-per-click for your campaigns may go down in price. So, you get more bang for your buck!
3. Use Social Media to Connect with Customers
So many people stuck at home, whether they are alone or with others, feel very isolated. Our social life has been cut off completely, and we can go out to the stores to shop, we can’t see movies, we can’t eat out at a restaurant. Simply letting people know you are there is a comfort. Without pushing your products or services on people, it is a great time to use Social to connect with your audience and let them know there is still someone out there. It matters!
4. Become a Source of Information
Along with interacting with your audience on Social Media, your accounts are a great platform to become a source of information, either locally or nationally. Sharing local store hours for groceries, sharing businesses in the area that are essential for people, sharing tips to stay active or to help people stay in good spirits. It doesn’t need to be about selling or your business at t his time, it is smart to make your business about helping others in any way possible.
5. Provide Special Offers
If you are still selling products, you are listed as an essential business, or even if you are preparing for the “return-to-normal,” offering a special for your customers is wise. Essential businesses (i.e. HVAC, laundromats, plumbers, handymen, etc.) should offer a discount on services during the quarantine. With families worried about their finances it is a welcome relief to save money on services they need.
6. Improve/Maintain Local SEO
Local SEO is more relevant now than it ever has been. People are confined to their homes; they are not traveling, and they are shopping close to home. If they are leaving their homes, they are looking for providers that are nearby. Make sure you are still using your SEO strategies with all your online activities. It’s also smart to focus on the term “near me.” People are going to be looking for services “near me” more than ever before.
7. Update & Optimize Your Online Profiles
If you are a non-essential business and you aren’t doing much, it’s a great time to update your website, start a blog, optimize your Social profiles. Maybe freshen up your logo and other branded materials.
Keep Calm and Don’t Panic
This can be a scary time for many of us. How are we going to support ourselves and our families when we aren’t working, how are people going to know you are still in business, how are you going to keep your sanity while working at home, will your business survive.
Take a deep breath and push forward. Ignore the tendency to panic and focus on continuing your marketing strategies and get ready for life when it finally does return to normal.