With global coronavirus cases now reaching over 255,000, those of us who can are practising social distancing, and for many, this means working remotely from our homes. The priority during this pandemic is rightly to protect those who are most vulnerable from catching the virus. But, if you're a business owner, the future looks uncertain for many. So how can you mitigate the downtime for your business? How can you ensure your business remains front and centre in your audiences’ mind?
In this blog post, I’m sharing some tips that can hopefully help inspire just one business to market their business amid the coronavirus outbreak.
I’ve seen a lot of LinkedIn posts about how awful it is to see companies marketing their business throughout this pandemic *dramatic hand on forehead faint* - and while your business should not be profiting from scare tactics and preying on the vulnerable - for example, hiking the prices of your hand sanitiser up or selling loo roll per sheet to neighbours! Then you are still allowed to market your business.
Why should your business succumb after you fought to build it to what it is today? There will be people out there who will genuinely benefit from your products or services, even in this crisis.
How will they know you exist unless you tell them?
Many businesses are inevitably going to struggle over the coming weeks and months. What can your business do to keep your products or services in front of your audience?
Put your spare time to good use
As a business owner, if you’ve now been confined to your house or flat, you’ve probably got some time to kill, you wouldn’t have otherwise had. Try and keep a positive mindset amidst this crisis.
The hour you would have spent commuting or travelling to meetings you can use to write content for your audience. Audience-depending but have a think about the advice you can give them. This is a time to write educational and helpful content for your audience - they might also be at a loose end.
Need some writing tips? Read this next: How to write a damn good blog post.
Create reactive content
I was reading a BuzzFeed article about effectively working from home through coronavirus and at the bottom of the article, they’d created a new call-to-action asking me to sign up to a quarantine newsletter - which I did, of course. Who doesn't want light relief amidst a pandemic?
The newsletter shares insightful, light-heart articles and collates new recipes for all their readers - plus tips around not losing sanity when working and living in your home. In fact, I look forward to receiving it every day, sad? Perhaps. Good marketing? Yes!
Can you create something similar for your business? I have a client in the fitness sector, and I’ve suggested they create a similar newsletter and share the best workout exercise videos for keeping fit at home - 'keep the cabin fever at bay!'
The National Trust also trended on Twitter this week for their kindness - opening up a lot of their national parks for free for anyone who needs fresh air and a space to relax but can still uphold the social distancing measures implemented by the Government on Monday 16 March.
P.S. I should now add that sadly they've had to close them. A large number of fools gathered at their open spaces and continued to walk side by side - they all may as well have held hands. They have since encouraged the public to continue using their free countryside and coastal parks and gardens but only if you live in the area already.
Being a reactive brand who shares engaging content - not solely content about your brand/product, will help you stand out to audiences.
Stay social online
We’re lucky to have access to such a vast online community - whether your business is active on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram - whatever the platform, keep that momentum going with your profiles. Inform your audience you’re still operating business as usual, and explain how you’re going to deliver your products or services remotely if possible.
If you have access to a social scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer, use these to schedule your social media posts if you’re working remotely. Scheduling them all in one block can help your day stay productive, and you’ll find you have more time throughout the day to complete other tasks.
Visit Estonia went viral this week on Twitter adopting the hashtag #staythefuckhome. Which garnered a lot of attention for obvious reasons - the post has now received over 30,000 likes - with many commenters saying they’d never consider Estonia as a destination but were now.
Create an easy giveaway
With Royal Mail still operating as usual, now could be an excellent time to get engagement and morale up on your social media platforms. Investing in a small but exciting competition prize, asking people to enter via Facebook, for example, by giving your post a ‘like’ - will help your brand garner much-needed exposure and boost the spirits of your online community.
Don’t just give away a sample of your product - this is too sales-led and the last thing on the user’s mind is buying your product.
Take this time to review your website
With a bit of downtime, you can spend time on your website. Looking through the Google Analytics dashboard, re-write and optimise the content on your top exit pages. Exit pages are the page of your website a visitor accessed last - find out why users keep leaving your website on this page in particular.
Maybe the page doesn’t explain your product enough; perhaps they were expecting a different kind of page when they clicked the link, or maybe it’s not clear what step they’re supposed to take next.
Spare time can enable you to pick up and complete tasks you’ve always put to the bottom of the pile.
If you’re after some quick content marketing wins for 2020 read this.
Although coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a significant disruption to life and business as we know it, you can make this the time to build and reinforce trust amongst your customer base. Keep them in the know with regular updates about your business and share light-hearted content, too.
If you need specific marketing advice for your business, drop me an email for some more free tips.