Updated June 2020
4 Things Small Businesses Can Do Right Now
As the Coronavirus continues to bring more uncertainty to businesses in most industries, many companies are looking to pull back on their marketing dollars. While this may seem like a logical choice given the decrease in revenue, companies need to take a long-term approach.
While budgets may need to shift, there are ways to maintain consistent marketing so that brand awareness continues and companies are well positioned as the country recovers.
Maintaining Your Investment Matters
While other brands pull back their marketing dollars, this isn’t the time to do so. You just have to be on top of industry changes and be cautious of your messaging. As Ad Age recently published, it’s tempting to pull back on marketing dollars right now. However, that can have a negative long-term effect.
“This will pass, and we’ll be in a situation like China where things will recover,” shares Rose Hawkins at Kantar, a data consulting firm, in the April 6th edition of Ad Age. Maintaining consistency in the short term will help your brand rise to the top as things begin to stabilize.
This goes for both large and small brands. P&G, who owns brands likes Bounty, Charmin, and Tide, are doubling down on their marketing as they continue to see increases in their product lines. And while other corporations like Coca-Cola are cutting some marketing, they are still investing in some digital marketing initiatives.
And large corporations aren’t the only ones benefitting from their marketing investments right now. Smaller companies can see increases in their return on investment as well. We’ll dig into this more later on.
First, though, it’s important to consider your industry when considering how to maintain consistency.
Your Industry Matters
When determining how you’re going to market your company right now, it’s important to consider your status as essential or non-essential. If you’re open as an essential business, then you can communicate that and any sales or product specials. If you’re non-essential, then you’ll want to focus on communicating how you’re adapting services as your city begins to reopen.
This is also an ideal time for both categories of companies to share how you’re caring for your employees and customers during this time.
How to Keep Marketing During COVID-19
There are four key areas to consider when maintaining consistent marketing during the Coronavirus.
Email newsletters head straight to your customers and potential customers’ inboxes. This “owned” marketing asset is an ideal way to communicate during a challenging time like the Coronavirus.
Be sure to communicate important updates regarding product or service interruptions as well any sales you may be running. However, be conscious in your messaging. The longer certain precautions are in place the more comfortable people are with sales and self-promotion, but you don’t want to alienate potential customers.
Social media is at the core of a company’s online presence, especially as people spend more time online scrolling Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. Be sure to continue posting, sharing both COVID and non-COVID-related content as needed.
If you’re unsure of how to proceed about posting as normal or modifying for the time, ask your followers. The genuine honesty builds a rapport that will continue on even after life begins its new normal.
If your brand is an essential good, this isn’t the time to pull back on marketing spend. Anything from protein bars to local food delivery or accounting services can be of need right now, and you have an opportunity to continue seeing an ROI. As with email newsletters, you’ll want to be conscious of how you’re phrasing sales.
Marketing to potential customers is a valuable way to spend some of your ad dollars, as more people are scrolling and likely to purchase from a new brand offering something of value. You’ll also want to consider remarketing to existing customers to supplement your email marketing efforts. They’re already sold on your brand, making it an easier sale.
Top digital advertising channels are Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads, though depending on your industry you could also try Pinterest, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
This is the time to ensure you’re still creating content relevant to your target audience. People are spending more time online, and they have more time to read content that is beneficial to them. Continue blogging, balancing up-to-date content on your COVID-19 policies (if applicable) and unrelated information that benefits your users.
These blog posts could include new ways to use your product while home, sharing game or recipe roundups (if it’s relevant to your company), and more.
Now is the Time to Market Your Business
This isn’t the time to pull back on your marketing dollars. By making certain considerations for the Coronavirus, you can maintain or even increase your marketing’s effectiveness. Focus on your email newsletters, social media, advertising, and blogging to continue to reach your ideal customers where they’re spending time to continue to build relationships for when your city begins to recover.