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Marketing Strategy during Virus

MARKETING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus.  The entire world is in the same boat.  Businesses are closed or running in modified capacities.  Social activities have grinded to a halt. There are more questions than answers.  But, there is hope. Globally, we are united. We WILL see an end to this. It will take time, but our economy WILL rebound.  Our history proves this to be true. Right now, many businesses have questions. How do you continue to market your business, products, and events during a difficult time?  What is appropriate? What do people need to hear? What do you need to convey to your audience? Should I be marketing at all? 

DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY 

In the wake of COVID-19, business to business marketing is turning digital more so than ever.  Budget money that usually is allocated for trade shows and events is being re-directed towards a more robust digital presence.  With a large number of people currently working and shopping from home, consumers and businesses are turning to the internet. Now is the time to put the most pertinent information that you want your audience to see into your digital marketing plan via social media, blogging, and email marketing. 

More eyes are on your digital presence than ever before.  Also, your audience (and the world audience) is looking for interesting, inspirational, and relevant information, videos and graphics. They are looking to see what you are doing, how you are doing it, and how you have adjusted to the current environment. So now is your time to reach and expand your target audience and deliver online. 

KEEP IT POSITIVE

During these uncertain times, it’s easy to feel uncertain.  Now more than ever, be mindful to keep your business’s social media posts and content positive and inspiring.  Let your customers know whether you are open for business and how to correspond with your business. Post pictures of your weekly specials and activities, demonstrating what you are doing and how you are serving your customers .  And most importantly, thank your customers for their continued support. They will remember that positivity when this is in our rearview mirror.  

While putting your positive marketing plan into play, be sure to consider the best times to post for your business on social media.  The statistics are ever-evolving. Most recently, Wednesdays by noon are proving to be the number one time to post across multiple platforms.  Sundays may often be lazy days for some, but people traditionally are not as interested in posts on that day.  However, during these times, these trends may also evolve.  Therefore, testing different days and times is the best approach for every business.  

HELP IS ON THE WAY

If you’re concerned about overhead and keeping your business open during this pandemic, some digital giants are stepping up to the plate in a big way!  To do their part, Facebook is creating a $100 million grant. According to socialmediatoday.com, this grant will assist 30,000 small businesses in 30 countries where Facebook operates.  Details as to who exactly is eligible and how to apply are forthcoming. Those in need can enter their email address in order to receive updates as they become available.  You may want to consider sharing this information with your audience.  

While your events may be postponed, they WILL happen again.  While updating your audience on what your business is up to and planning for the future, share this helpful and hopeful information.  Be advised that Facebook has announced ad approval delays in light of COVID-19-related staff changes. With staff members ill, quarantining, or caring for family members, no business is too large to be impacted by the current state of the world.  That includes Facebook. Their team has advised that ads awaiting approval will not be overlooked. It may just take longer than usual to receive approval.                                                          

GET CREATIVE

If your business relies heavily on events, this is a trying time and it is also a time to test out how your events can work in a digital capacity.  This is where getting creative will help! If your event involves showcasing a new product, pick a date and time and try an online product release. Live streaming the event will allow your audience to partake in the experience.  

Did you have an event that centered around a presenter?  They can do their presentation digitally, and take questions via the feed.  Where possible, getting creative digitally will give your business that added boost that you may be seeking right now and potentially in the future.  

There are new digital tools being released that can benefit your business and message.  Try them out! Don’t be afraid of these new tools. For example, Instagram is testing out an option that would allow users to re-share live videos to IGTV.  Their goal is to allow this to be done as soon as a live broadcast ends. If your broadcast wasn’t as polished as you would have hoped, don’t worry! You’ll have the option of editing it before posting it to IGTV. 

There are many things that we do not have control of right now. One thing that is in your control is how you communicate to your followers and new prospects via the digital world. This is an opportunity for many new people to learn about your business and what you do. This may not be the time they can use your goods or services, but learning about them may present future business opportunities once things begin to change.  Let clients and prospects know that you’re out there, and give them hope.