Welcome to digital marketing in the age of the coronavirus. When responding to this pandemic, you are likely asking yourself should we: a) Carry on with digital marketing as usual? b) Tailor our digital marketing to respond to the coronavirus? c) Halt digital marketing altogether? Today, let’s discuss three reasons why it is critical to keep marketing during the coronavirus and how to do it tastefully.
- Customers Crave Normalcy – First and foremost, customers need to understand whether your business routines, policies, staffing, etc. have changed to accommodate safety and social distancing. Information about changes should be the first thing you communicate. Beyond that, keep your digital marketing routine as close to normal as possible. People are creatures of habit, and your community is craving an anchor of normalcy as we attempt to flatten the curve and minimize the spread of this virus. Believe it or not, your marketing routine may be just the bright spot they need when all other routines have been altered.
- Customers Want to Understand How You Fit In – Behavior has been radically altered during the coronavirus, but people still need and want to consume products and services. Digital engagement is at an all time high. Are there trends about your market they need to understand? Perhaps you’re a realtor and you can explain how the coronavirus may impact their timing to buy or sell. At Countryside Publications, we teach people how to live more self-reliantly. For us, marketing in the age of the coronavirus means illuminating how people can get back to the basics and explore lost skills that can be accessed during times of crisis. Here’s a tasteful email from Gaia, letting members know they have a complete library of healing videos, available to stream now (the perfect time, since many out-of-the-home activities have been canceled).
- Customers Need You to Tread Lightly – A word of caution: Tread lightly. People are stressed; people are worried. Humor can be a tricky angle right now. It’s best avoided by most brands, unless being cheeky is your thing. Additionally, people do not need your health tips or advice, unless you are in the healthcare business. Asking your audience to weigh in on whether you should be open or alter business hours is also likely to backfire, especially on social media. If people come off as edgy or agitated, don’t take it personally. They are, and it likely has nothing to do with your business. Err on the side of doing right by your customers and turning the other cheek. Make sure your content is understanding of the current state of affairs.
There’s no doubt the coronavirus will have an impact on local businesses, but you can take smart steps to minimize the blow. Bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to let your customers and community know how to support your local business to minimize the long-term financial impact. Consumers are eager to step up for their community, and they want to continue to support your business. Let them know how they can, even in unconventional ways.