The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal life for everyone. Along with its impact on the lives of individuals, businesses have taken a hit too. For many business owners, this has been a time of unprecedented stress and uncertainty. Revenue streams have shifted, and customer traffic has scaled back due to shelter in place orders.
The good news is, there is light at the end of the tunnel. While these are tough times, you can navigate through them - and if you prepare your business for post-coronavirus operations, it’s even more likely that your company will be able to rebound from this situation.
What You're Doing Now Will Affect You Later
While your immediate results might look different, your current efforts will not only prove to be beneficial right now, but it can affect your business later on. After all, marketing through a pandemic is new ground for all of us. Build for the future by continuing your marketing efforts as the world waits out the current crisis. Here are some reasons why continuous advertising is an important tactic for many businesses:
- Your brand will remain top-of-mind. Top-of-mind awareness is a key component in long-term business growth. It is often that consumers will choose the business that they think of first. Apple in the technology industry is an excellent example of this. By continuing to appropriately market amid the COVID-19 crisis, your target audience will remember your brand - and that top-of-mind awareness will drive your future growth.
- Your reputation will be enhanced. How you and your company react to the current pandemic will affect how your customers view your business. In a time when important decisions are being made that will play into your reputation, credibility and a connection to your audience are more important than ever. Put forth the effort to make a difference in your local community to positively impact how people view your business.
- Your customers will have greater loyalty towards your brand. Once the uncertainty begins to subside, you want to have a solid core of loyal customers to lean on. That's why maintaining a positive brand presence amongst your existing customers is crucial. People will look back on this pandemic as a historical marker in time; when they think of your company, you want them to remember the positive impact it made on their lives and the lives of those in the community.
Things You Can Be Doing Now to Make the Comeback Easier
Now that you know why continued marketing is so vital for life after shelter in place, it’s time to decide how you can prepare your business for going back to “normal”. Here are some things you can do to make your comeback after the pandemic a little bit easier:
- Connect with your customers in new ways. Use social media, email, or video to reach out to existing customers and prospects in innovative ways. You can invite them to webinars, give product demonstrations virtually, or even offer times for them to ask questions. Use the resources at your disposal to generate interest in your business and to educate your prospects now for decisions they’ll make in the future.
- Offer deals, discounts, packages, etc. Empathize with consumers that are facing financial difficulties. Offer appropriate deals and discounts to them so that they’re able to continue enjoying what your business has to offer.
- Allow for the purchase of gift cards or certificates, for use after the pandemic. Give your customers something to look forward to once life returns to normal. This allows them to support your business now and gives you a chance to still bring in some revenue in the meantime.
- Partner with local organizations during this time of uncertainty. By partnering with local organizations and businesses, you can make a positive impact within the community. This helps to shine a positive light on your business while assisting those who need it most.
- Prepare a post-shelter-in-place marketing campaign. While you advertise now to ensure brand loyalty and to stay top-in-mind, you should also use this time to map out an exceptional integrated marketing campaign for deployment once your business is able to return to normal operations.
- Determine ways you can pivot your business model to meet the new needs of consumers. Since none of us know how the rest of this year is going to look, this is a good time to be evaluating ways you can meet customer demand in a healthy and safe way. Are you able to sell products online that you couldn’t before? Can you offer virtual services like phone call consultations? Can you create a curb side service that you didn’t have in the past?
Even though COVID-19 has disrupted life as we know it, there will be a resurgence when normal business operations begin to resume. If you work hard to keep your marketing efforts going during this time of crisis and start building your plan for when shelter in place orders are lifted, not only will your business see an impact now, but it will come out the other side stronger and better than ever.