Have you reduced your marketing efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic? If you have, you aren’t alone. It’s a normal reaction to slash spending when facing difficult times. But the truth is, many people still need and want what you have to offer during the crisis. You just need to market yourself differently.
Although it may require significant changes to your strategy, there are ample reasons why you should keep advertising your business. Once you’ve decided to keep going, you can implement new marketing strategies that are suitable for the current state of the world.
Why You Should Continue to Advertise During COVID-19
Everyone is At Home, On Their Computers
Whether you are sending direct mail or advertising your business on social media, you’re in luck. Your customers are spending more time at home, meaning they have more time to sit down and read the ads that arrive in their mailbox. Since everyone is glued to their computers and smartphones right now, you’ll have plenty of eyes on your social media ads and email campaigns. A strategic mix of digital and print advertising will help ensure your customers don’t get burnt out from seeing you in their social feeds or mailboxes every day.
People Want to Buy
Online shopping is all the rage right now. Whether it’s out of sheer boredom or concern about shopping in stores where exposure to the virus is possible, people are taking to the internet to purchase everything they want and need during COVID-19. On top of that, most people are making plans for the future. They know the lockdowns are only temporary, and some people are already planning trips and events for 2022. Businesses are also making plans to hire employees and grow their client base. No matter what niche you are in, there is a customer base for what you have to offer. Although the world operates a little differently now, growth, change, and people’s lives haven’t stopped.
It’s Easier to Keep Going Than to Restart
If you put a stop to all your advertising activities, it won’t take long for your customer base to dry up. When you disappear from your customers’ immediate view, they will forget about you. You will no longer be an option for them to buy from. When things start to go back to normal, it’s going to be a lot easier for you if you stick it out than if you quit and try to restart your campaigns later.
Print Advertising During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Many businesses are purchasing print products or making plans to purchase print products to market themselves during COVID-19. Even with all the increases in online advertising streams like social media and email, it’s wise to incorporate direct mail and print advertising into your strategy. Digital fatigue is real, and your customers may pay more attention to a piece of direct mail than an email, especially during this online-centric time. Even though digital advertising can be less expensive, print advertising has continued to prove its worth in the digital age and remains a solid investment for business owners.
Digital Marketing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you have been looking for a reason to improve your online presence, there has never been a more critical time to do so. Your website and social media pages act as digital storefronts for your brand. About 62% of customers report increased online shopping activity since the pandemic began. You can provide these customers with their wants and needs by improving your online presence and reaching your target audience via digital advertising. Many brands are cutting down their ad spending, which means reduced competition for businesses who decide to stay in the game. As long as you tailor your strategy to be sensitive to your customers’ current state of mind, you can come out of this crisis as a leader in your industry and keep your business afloat.
Adjusting Your Marketing During COVID-19: Tips, Ideas, and Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you understand just how critical it is to keep investing in your business’s advertising strategy, it’s time to get into the details of how you can adjust your print and digital advertising strategies to suit your customers’ attitudes and buying habits during COVID-19.
Do’s and Don’ts for Advertising During COVID-19
- Do Ramp Up Your Communication: While you may feel like you have nothing new to add to the conversation, there are ways you can show up for your customers and present yourself as a leader. There are also ways you can tie your industry into the COVID-19 conversation. Now is a good time to start communicating with your customers on a consistent schedule. If you have previously been sporadic in your communication with customers, you should try to connect with them more regularly.
- Don’t Pretend Like Everything is Fine: Communication with your customers is important, but what you say to them matters now more than ever. While acknowledging COVID-19 may seem like you’re dwelling on the negative, it could be off-putting to customers if you don’t incorporate it into your messaging in some way. Your communication doesn’t have to only be about the virus, but your words should convey empathy, understanding, and your commitment to providing the same quality products and services despite what’s going on.
- Do Refocus Your Advertising Strategy: While COVID-19 has devastated some industries, others have blossomed. Companies like Zoom and Amazon are doing better than ever, but you don’t have to own a video chat platform or a global online marketplace to stay alive and thrive during COVID-19. While your products may not sell like face masks and hand sanitizer, there are ways you can tweak your advertisements to suit the times by making connections to current trends like working from home, lockdowns, quarantine, and social distancing. You can also home in on specific social media channels and try automated marketing to spice up your strategy.
- Don’t Cut Ad Spend: While it may be tempting to cut down your advertising budget, doing so will only hurt your business. Many businesses are cutting back on advertising to save money during tough times, so competition is as low as ever. If you continue advertising with the proper messaging, you’ll be able to scoop up customers that got dropped when your competitors pulled back.
- Do Create New Content: COVID-19 has created a lot of new questions and ways of doing things. Creating content about how the virus has impacted your industry, your products or services, and your business practices will help your customers make informed buying decisions. If you were stumped about what to post on your company blog before, you now have tons of fresh content ideas.
Helpful Tips for Advertising During Coronavirus
- Demonstrate Involvement in Coronavirus Relief: Customers want to buy from brands who care. Whether you are a small-town bakery or a mid-size online retailer, there are many ways to help those who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the lockdowns. You have to find a way to showcase these efforts without bragging about them. Perhaps your website clearly states that a percentage of all your profits will go to relief efforts. One or two social media posts is fine, but you want to stay humble while showing your audience that you are involved.
- Express Solidarity with Customers: Many of your customers are feeling stressed, uncertain, and burnt out. If there’s anything you can do to ease some of that stress, you most certainly should do it. Some businesses are offering free or discounted services to certain demographics. Banks are deferring loans. You must also ensure that your customers feel safe using your services if they must visit you in person. Incorporating messaging about what you are doing to protect your employees and customers from COVID-19 while they are in your store or office lets them know you care about their well-being.
- Use Downtime Wisely: Business may be slow, but that makes it the perfect time to update your website, repurpose old content, and rewrite your automated communications. Your website can be redesigned to look more modern, and you’ll want to incorporate messaging about COVID-19 in multiple places. Automatic emails and ads should be reworked to address COVID-19 and your customers’ concerns. Now is also a good time to spice up old content, make small tweaks to evergreen content, and adjust your branding to fit the new normal.
- Be Open to Change: The world will never be the same. While many people look forward to things going back to normal, most of us understand that all aspects of our lives have changed forever, and that includes the way we buy and sell. Your customers’ needs have evolved, so the way you interact with them needs to respond to those changes. Staying in the past will only hinder your growth.
Important Takeaways to Remember
- Your competition is decreasing.
- Online shopping is increasing.
- Direct mail is still very relevant.
- Customers want to buy from brands who are assisting those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
- You must tailor your brand messaging to suit the attitudes, emotions, and buying habits of your post-pandemic audience.
- You may have new, untapped demographics to market to in the post-pandemic society.
Despite these hard times, your business can make a comeback. People will go back to work and resume their normal spending habits. You may also find a new set of customers since so many people are working and shopping from home. However, you have to stay visible through the crisis and be on people’s radars when they are ready to buy.
With pandemic-conscious messaging and new advertising strategies, you won’t just stay afloat during COVID-19, you’ll show your customers that you’re dependable even when facing adversity. They will gravitate towards you even more because you held their attention and earned their trust when times were tough.