While the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a global impact across many industries, it's more important than ever you remain connected to your current and potential customers--whether your business is open or not. Your customers like to know they are not alone and by offering support your business can help them navigate these uncertain times. By utilizing various marketing tools, you can remain close to your customers and sustain your business momentum both now and when the crisis ends.
In this article, we will highlight a variety of tactics your business can take advantage of to effectively stay connected to your current and potential customers.
Send a Creative Email
Email is one of the most effective tools for communicating with your current customers. Email allows for more in-depth content. The more personalized the messaging, the more effective and engaging the email will be with customers. Emails to your current database can include:
- Personalization; mention your customers name in the email
- Use empathy and understanding about these difficult times
- Whether you are open or not and/or when you will be
- How your business operations have changed:
- Updated Hours of Business
- Hours specific to 60 and older
- Offering delivery or door pick up of your products
- How you are keeping both your customers and your employees safe
- Thank your customers for their continued support
Post Updates on Social Media
Social media is a great way to stay in touch in real-time. Consumers are spending more time on social media than ever. Facebook’s usage is up 27% from mid-January to the end of March. Others are using social media as a way to check-in with family and friends and make sure they know what's going on in their community. Here are some effective ways to utilize social media for staying connected:
Post updates on stories and to your feed. Keep customers informed about the latest measures you're taking and how it impacts them.
Keep your messaging informative, helpful, and sensitive to the current situation. Your business messaging should be appropriate to the current situation. Your audience is in a very different place than where they were a couple of months ago. A sales message may not be received well, but a message about support can help consumers navigate better through these challenging times.
Engage with your followers to stay connected. Use more engaging social tactics like live videos with Facebook Live or Watch Parties. You can use these interactive formats to interview employees and talk to your audience about how your business is updating their safety procedures for your customers.This is an excellent way to increase your connection with your audience.
Use entertainment in the mix. While being sensitive there is also space for appropriate humor and lightheartedness. Consumers are looking for ways to lessen their stress and addressing the humor in all our situations helps with some laughs. For example, companies have highlighted their team members' home offices and shown the smiling faces behind their business.
Expand Your Media Mix
This is a great time to focus on expanding or re-evaluating the type of media you are using for your marketing--and you might even discover new advertising strategies that work for you long-term. We suggest working with a media partner, like Bonneville Bay Area, to expand your media mix in a strategic way. For example:
Consider programmatic advertising for your local business. If you haven’t been utilizing digital marketing tactics, this is a great time to add more digital to your media mix. By using programmatic advertising you can create a marketing campaign that can be specifically targeted to your audience where they live, their online behaviors, and cross device. With programmatic advertising, you can also promote your message through display ads and video. This is especially useful right now because most people are not venturing far from home and they are spending much more time online.
Utilize radio to expand your reach and tell a story. Radio is a great platform to offer customers more information about how you can help in a digestible and instantaneous way, with lots of flexibility to easily update your creative while also having a large reach.
Give Them a Call
For some industries, now might be the perfect time to connect directly with your customers by giving them a phone call. This will give your business a chance to ask them directly how they're doing and if there is anything your business can do to help. Not only will this substantially improve the sense of connection these customers feel to your business, but it will also help your business adjust to their current needs and expectations.
Naturally, this doesn’t make sense for every industry or type of business, but it’s a tactic worth considering which can make a difference now and in the future.
Other Tactics to Consider
Offer assistance to the community. Your community is looking to local businesses to see how they are stepping up to help, and they’re taking the lead from you. Identify ways you can give back to your community, then keep your customers in the loop of your progress and how they can get involved too. Not only will this help keep your community strong, but it will also build goodwill that will help your business when the crisis is over.
Partner with a media company. Working with a media partner, allows you to expand beyond your existing database. Your business will be able to use their email lists to locate new consumers that will benefit from your products and services. You will also have the ability to target geographically and demographically to ensure you are getting your message in front of the right audience. Through this connection, you can reach new potential customers and continue to grow your database.
As a business, you can use this time to build stronger relationships with your current and potential customers. As things change, it's incredibly important to continue updating your marketing, messaging, website, social media, and communication strategy in order to keep your consumers informed and let them know how changes have impacted your business.