As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit activities, many businesses have successfully pivoted their operations to reach consumers in safe and responsible ways – 2020 has required a new level of resilience, versatility, and ingenuity. Restaurants are offering packaged to-go meals, arts organizations are offering outdoor or virtual performances, yoga studios are creating on-line classes, and attorneys are holding virtual meetings. Some tactics, such as curbside pickup, have been so well received they are expected to continue post-pandemic.
A key to making a successful business pivot and maintaining your place in the market is having an effective marketing communication strategy focused on timely, relevant messaging. Your communications should:
- Empathize with your customers and the challenges with which they are faced
- Acknowledge the pandemic and the accommodations you’ve made in your business
- Reassure them of the quality products or services you continue to provide
- Convey the ways in which you will offer solutions or assistance
This is a great time to audit your tools and messages. Review your current marketing materials, including your website. Are there references to travel or pictures of large groups socializing without masks? These could be viewed as insensitive or tone deaf, so this would be a good time to update your content. If your website is need of a refresh anyway, use this time to do it.
Create greater value by updating with useful information related to the changing circumstances. (Don’t forget business hours or contact details.) Identify your customers’ pain points and share solutions you may offer. Do you provide a service that would make life easier for a parent working and home-schooling children? Can you implement a pay online and curbside pick-up option for your products? How are you ensuring customer safety when they visit your restaurant, hair salon, or retail store?
Audit your communication channels, as well. With 39% of social media users polled reporting they have spent more time on digital platforms during the pandemic, businesses can take advantage of this increase, both for lead generation and loyalty building. If you don’t already have business pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, these are cost effective communication tools. Metta Digital Marketing can help you identify the best ones for your business, effectively target your market, as well as maintain your online content for high visibility.
Email marketing can be another valuable tool, if you keep an email list for loyal customers or prospects. We’ve observed an increase in both open and click through rates for all of our clients in the last six months. Approximately 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, who are your most likely repeat customers. You can express your appreciation to loyal customers for their support, and you can entice prospects with unique information or insider specials.
Are younger generations part of your target market? One survey shows 89% of Millenials and Generation Z expect to see companies actively helping with COVID-19 responses. They are particularly interested in continued work from home opportunities, cancellation of in-person events, and support of public health guidelines to limit the virus spread. If your business is doing these things, be sure to share those messages online.
While you have developed creative ways to pivot your business operations, you may find it challenging to maintain an active digital presence, targeted to the right audience. Metta Digital Marketing is prepared to help you craft and deliver your message, as well as provide regular analytics to measure impact. We’re committed to helping our clients achieve their goals.