Adapt Internal Practices
It is important that all employees and stakeholders are aware of changes being made to respond to COVID-19 before these changes are made public. Here’s a list of to-do’s to keep in mind:
- Are the hours of your business changing? Are you closing?
- Have you made changes to cleaning procedures?
- Are there new services you are offering - online classes, contactless delivery etc.?
- Who is the point of contact should someone have a question regarding customer service, returns, when you will reopen etc.?
- Who is expected to work from home, who is expected to be at your physical location?
- What is your work from home policy?
Keep Your Customers in the know.
Current and potential customers will be looking on your website, Google and social media pages for updates on what your business is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important to have that information readily available.
- Update your Google My Business listing, Facebook, your website etc. to reflect updated hours and closings.
- Send an email to your list letting people know about your action plan for the next few weeks. Are your hours changing, are you closing, are you offering additional services?
- Update social media and your website when new information becomes available about your business – did you decide to offer free shipping, do you have a time when the store is only open for elderly people?
Assess Your Current Marketing.
- Take some time to ensure all of your ads, especially your Google Shopping campaigns and feeds, are accurate - correct pricing, availability and shipping information are all imperative.
- Check your campaign settings to adjust any settings like daily spend budgets and goals related to performance. It may be harder to get the quality of impressions that you were seeing previously and settings like daily spend goals will have channels trying to spend even if the quality isn’t there.
- Check automated emails as well as campaigns for tone and ensure the messaging in these emails are appropriate for the current situation.
- Check social posts to ensure the messaging is appropriate for the current situation.
- Negative keywords – make sure you are checking search queries and adding negative keywords such as “Covid-19” “virus” “coronavirus.”
Pivot Your Business
You’ve worked hard to get your marketing on track for 2020 but a lot has changed over the past few weeks. Don’t let COVID-19 ruin that. It’s time to get creative and pivot.
- If you had an ad encouraging people to shop in store and your store is closed, consider updating that ad to encourage people to purchase a sample, swatch etc. online.
- How can the products you sell be used to make social distancing more fun? - If you sell cooking supplies, are there employee favorite recipes you can provide your customer?
- Conference canceled? How can you reinvest that money into other marketing initiatives for the year?
- Use this time to build trust and loyalty with customers - what is your business doing to help during this time of uncertainty?
- Create content that helps - what can you do to help your customers right now? Identify a need, a pain point that your customers are experiencing and give them solutions.
- Be personal – with social distancing as our m.o. right now, opportunities to connect, share personal anecdotes and man an effort to connect with your customers in an authentic way are going to be especially well-received.
In conclusion, remember that not all is lost! Take a deep breath and get creative. Listen to your customers and their needs during this time. How can you be a beacon of light during these trying times?☀️