There is, at last, some reason for optimism amid the grim picture that the coronavirus outbreak has painted so far, as economies across the world begin to ease their previously stiff lockdown restrictions. So, does that mean you should be switching your business’s marketing back to the same kind of footing it was on prior to the crisis?
The short answer is, not necessarily. Indeed, as has been made clear through many governments’ recent revisions to their lockdown guidance, social distancing looks set to be a key feature of public life for pretty much everyone for a while to come.
This is likely to have profound implications for the marketing strategies you implement for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Here, then, are a few ways of continuing to promote your brand that make sense during the pandemic, and will probably continue to do so for a long time afterwards.
Spreading the word via text message
Text message or SMS marketing has arguably fallen a little by the wayside in most marketing conversations of recent years. However, it can still be a very effective way of ‘touching base’ with existing clients, customers or other contacts.
You might use text message updates to inform your contacts about coronavirus-related changes to your firm’s opening hours, for instance, or about what social distancing and cleanliness measures you’ll be putting in place if you’re only just planning to reopen your brick-and-mortar premises now.
Updating your Google My Business and other online listings
As you’ll probably appreciate if you read our recent blog post on choosing the right images for your Google My Business listing, entries on online directories and listings sites – also encompassing the likes of Yelp, Yell and TripAdvisor – can be time-consuming things for your firm to optimise.
However, it’s also crucial that you do so, given that vital changes to your business’s offering amid the COVID-19 outbreak may not have otherwise been publicly accounted for.
After all, you won’t want to inadvertently mislead your target audiences about your brand’s operating hours right now, or about whether your restaurant offers a takeaway or delivery service, simply because you forgot to update these key online listings for your business.
Making ‘live chat’ a central part of your customer support
At this time of rapid change and continued unpredictability in terms of what, exactly, is going on with many businesses, your customers will welcome an easy way of asking you questions in real time, without even needing to phone you.
‘Live chat’ functionality is becoming more common even on websites where customers might not have previously expected to see it. Plus, it can give your existing customer service staff an invaluable channel for continuing to serve your target audience, when they might not be handling as many calls as they were pre-crisis.
Welcoming guest writers to your blog
Guest blogging is nothing new, of course. But at this time when you might have your hands full serving your current customers amid the furloughing of much of your pre-crisis staff, inviting a few well-chosen guest writers to contribute to your company blog can be a great way of building on your firm’s digital presence, freeing up time for yourself while giving opportunities to others.
Just make sure you carefully vet prospective writers and check and proofread any content they come up with, so that nothing ends up on your company blog that isn’t entirely in keeping with your desired brand image and values.
Holding online events
Webinars, conferences, festivals and other events that might have formerly only taken place ‘in person’ have widely moved online since the coronavirus outbreak began to pick up momentum. You might do the same for a lot of the events you had originally intended to be holding at your business premises at this time in 2020, making good use of online communication platforms like Zoom.
In the process, though, you might realise that certain events actually suit being held online better than they do offline – for example, to enable people based far afield from your firm’s main brick-and-mortar site to ‘attend’ and participate. In this sense, online events have all of the makings of a trend that is likely to hold long after the worst of the pandemic has passed.
Whatever you have planned for the marketing of your business this year and into 2021, why not enquire to the Webahead Internet team about our website design and marketing packages that could help to make it all happen for you? It couldn’t be simpler to get in touch today.