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Small Business in COVID-19: Marketing During COVID-19

Last week I wrote about four strategies to employ during the current pandemic crisis to keep your business going.

This week I wanted to talk about how you can still continue marketing during the crisis.

First of all, let’s get this straight – I have heard a lot of people say that they feel awkward marketing during the crisis because they feel everyone is in the same boat.

That’s only half true – everyone is in the same boat, but why does that equate to not doing business?

So, let’s look at how you can still conduct your marketing even during the lockdown.

Even though you might now be seeing a reduction of restrictions, the conditions that keep small businesses restricted stay the same. 

Fewer people are out and about than normal.

People are wanting to save money so they are questioning if they should invest in your goods or services.

It’s going to take many months before real normality is back.

But we still need to conduct our marketing initiatives – it’s about keeping us front-of-mind to our customers, even if your doors are closed!

I have three marketing strategies for you to consider.

 

 

First, now if ever, is the time to market for brand consciousness.

If you have read my previous articles, you will know about the marketing funnel.

Imagine a funnel where at the top, you start to introduce people to your business.

As they pass down the tunnel, you get them to understand and now about you and what you offer.

At the narrow end, they start to decide to buy because of what you offer to them.

This is the time to introduce people to your business by showing them your brand. At this time, there are fewer people coming into your shop, less leads you can follow up, so the bottom half of the tunnel is hard to fill.

However, people are more inclined at this time to stay at home and surf the net, scroll through social media, read newspapers and magazines. So, this is the ideal time to start your social media campaigns giving free advice or providing information about your product and about you. Advertise to your target market the fact that you are well and ready to serve despite the crisis. Provide information about how your products can be of benefit to them.

Specifically, this is where you can make a difference by showing off your difference. Make sure your unique selling proposition – why choose you – is prominent.

The aim is to get yourself front-of-mind, so that when your target customers come back out to look for products like yours, they remember you.

Secondly, target an information flow to your existing customers.

They are well and truly through your sales funnel, so don’t lose them and have to start all over again!

For them, the message you send is one of sustainability and continuity, as well as of service.

Consider sending them newsletters just telling them what you are doing, how you are organising to serve them better when we’re all back. Keep them enthralled and make sure they remember you.

If you’re still open for business, send them vouchers and discount offers to keep sales ticking over. Even if you’re closed, send them out anyway – a rush to your business will be a pleasant surprise when restrictions are over!

Call them if you can – check in on them, as if they are alright and how you can help, even if it’s something outside of your core business. Continue developing that relationship where they know, like, and trust you.

If you leave them alone during these times, they may not be there when you re-open.

The third marketing strategy is to keep any leads “warm”.

These are the people who were halfway down your funnel before it all stopped. You hadn’t had the chance to convert them to customers, but they were truly interested.

The aim is the same, don’t let them forget you. In fact, have them so eager to do business with you.

How you do this is also to keep up contact.

Call them. Tell them you haven’t forgotten your last conversations. Reassure them that you’ll be ready to go when they are, can you offer them any more information? Perhaps you can send them a video about how you will supply to their needs? Can you get them to hop in a Zoom conference call so that you can discuss details?

Don’t push them – they’ll have their own concerns about their business – but be supportive and keep the conversation flowing. Be supportive.

That’s it, three marketing strategies you can employ right now!

Let me summarise by saying that this may seem the worst time to do any marketing, but believe me, if you do, you will come out of this stronger than before. Continue building those relationships now, and they will remember you.

To read more about marketing and marketing strategies, go over to my blogs at my website, teikoh.com.

What”s even better, why don’t you sign up to get these pearls of advice delivered directly to your mailbox every week? Just click here and join me!

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See you next week!

 

 

Cover photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

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