Recent travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak have resulted in canceled business meetings nationally and internationally. As businesses take the recommended cautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease, many Americans are concerned about the disruption of ‘business as usual’ as they implement strict work-from-home policies.
While many of us aren’t concerned about contracting the virus ourselves, the greater good of public health is at risk as those who choose to continue traveling become vectors or carriers who unwittingly pass the virus to those who are more susceptible. Hughes Media, a digital marketing agency, recommends a few digital and one not-so-digital marketing tips and ideas to keep your marketing on point and moving in a positive direction.
Staying in Touch While Working From Home
It’s never been easier to stay on the same page as your team while working remotely. Many businesses operate with their employees working remotely on a daily basis, and as a result, the options for online communication and video tools have grown exponentially, both in the number of options and quality of products. The same communication tools are also easily translatable to your clients, whether B2B or B2C.
- Host a webinar or go live on social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Your followers will probably find a change in venue refreshing and will understand and value your social responsibility for not broadcasting from your usual location!
- Stay in your pajama bottoms while using screen sharing tools like Skype, Google Hangout, Chime by Amazon, UberConference, Go to Meeting, etc. There are people that want to be able to work in their pajamas, and there are liars.
- A non-digital option? Throw it back old school style with the US postal service! Your business could really stand out by sending words of encouragement to your clients, customers, and vendors with a quick card- just do everyone a favor and don’t lick the envelope.
Marketing Methods You Should Already Be Using That Will Serve You Well During COVID-19
You should already be utilizing each of these marketing channels, but if your traditional business hasn’t taken the plunge to digital now is the time to try. If you’re already using all of these, pay extra attention to our tips for best practices!
1. Social Media
There are an infinite number of reasons your business should be using social media, from search engine optimization to customer service to branding to selling products. In the current climate, customer service is the name of the game. With over 3.5 billion social media users spending ~3 hours a day on social, if you aren’t actively responsive and transparent during times like these it is a huge detriment to your brand and could cost you a huge amount in online sales. No one wants to get your product shipped during a pandemic if they’re worried about cleanliness in how the packaging and product are handled, especially if they can’t get the answers they need from customer service. Be prepared to answer questions and requests on social media:
- Draft templated responses to FAQs so your customer service team is prepared
- Set up instant-reply messages with links to resources if you don’t have the capacity to respond to messages individually and immediately
- Use real-time Instagram DMs, FB messenger, etc.
- Set up a What’sApp business profile- it’s the most popular global business messenger app with 1.6 billion active users.
2. Email Marketing
You’ve received them already in the last few days- companies blowing up your inbox about hours of operation, updated cleanliness and handling procedures, and preventative measures businesses are taking to make sure you feel comfortable patronizing them at this time.
Email marketing gives you the opportunity to speak directly to people who are interested in hearing from your business in their inbox at a time that is convenient for them. Get ahead of the problem and don’t make it difficult for potential customers to find out if you are still operational at this time.
Your blog is a great place to serve relevant information in a timely manner. Prepare a list of FAQs, hours of operation, and the steps you are taking to ensure your place of business is a healthy, safe, and well-prepared place for consumers to continue patronizing. Let clients, vendors, and partners know that while you may be experiencing unexpected challenges, you are committed to providing excellent customer service and as much support as possible.
It goes without saying that if you have a product or service that can be sold online and you AREN’T utilizing e-commerce, you are missing out on huge profit potential- and not just during a pandemic. Convenience is king, and the rise of services like UberEats, DoorDash, and a myriad of grocery delivery services show that even in a world without the threat of COVID-19, there is a large market of people who would rather pay for convenience than do it themselves.
When it comes to COVID-19 and business, no travel, no problem!
About the Author:
Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Pay Per Click (PPC). Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Communications from Ohio University.