Marketing might not seem that important in the current climate, but actually it’s even more important than ever to keep promoting your business, whether or not you are currently trading.
1. If your business is still operating
People need to know! Don’t risk losing existing customers by leaving them wondering – reassure them that you’re still operating, and give them details about changes to opening hours etc. A number of our clients in the food and drink sector have found that they have attracted a raft of new customers since the lockdown started; in some cases this is because the products they sell are currently in short supply in the supermarkets, and in others it is because they have started offering free local deliveries or collections.
Ideas for reaching out:
- Make sure your website includes up to date information in a prominent place to let people know that you are still operating (or if you have different hours of business etc at the moment). If you have had new customers recently, which you suspect might be purely down to the current situation, use messages on your website to encourage people to continue supporting your business, or consider offering a discount off future orders
- Likewise with social media, and keep posting about different aspects of your business as you would do usually to keep your audience engaged. Whatever your business, be friendly and helpful during this difficult time. The statistics are that people are spending an unprecedented amount of time on social media at the moment
- Consider selling your products through your website – setting up an online shop is not always as complicated or costly as you might think, and can give you a whole new customer base for the future as well as during the lockdown
- Send emails to keep people informed and engaged with your business
2. If your business isn’t currently operating
Keep your brand in front of people, so that when things do return to normal they won’t have forgotten about you! Even though you aren’t able to sell anything you can still provide inspiration, hints and tips, and information about your products and your business in general. You can also show support for other businesses by sharing their information with your audience
Ideas for reaching out:
- Again, make sure your website is up to date so that people know you are temporarily closed, but encourage your website visitors to browse so that they get to know your business. Add recipes, news, and blog articles.
- Likewise with social media – find things to post about that will keep people engaged until the point when your products and services will be available once again, and share relevant and interesting information from other sources
- Use email to tell people about your business, send recipe ideas, and share positive stories
Above all else…
Use this time to show the ‘human’ side to your business – people will engage more (and they are ultimately more likely to spend money) if they know who is behind your business and who they are buying from. This is more true than ever during challenging times when people are looking for a personal connection and a sense of being ‘in it together’. Tell your potential customers why you are passionate about what you do, share your ethos and values, and talk about what you do to support your local community. If you are family-run business, or have a close business partnership, share your story.
If you need any advice on marketing or just fancy a chat, we are here to help so please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.