How can brands keep up their marketing momentum with so much uncertainty? The COVID-19 global pandemic is affecting businesses around the world. Since our agency is based in Southern California, which is currently under a shelter in place government mandate, we’re seeing businesses have to close or modify their operations on a daily basis. It got us thinking, how can these businesses keep up their marketing momentum when their normal business practices are being changed in drastic ways? Here are a few things business owners can do to stay on top of their marketing efforts during this time.
For your brand
There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? Well, business owners might be finding themselves with an abundance of time right now. While we understand that this isn’t good for business, it does provide an opportunity to take a deeper dive into certain aspects of your brand. If you have downtime, make sure to make use of it in a positive way.
- Complete a brand audit – Go through and evaluate your brand’s performance and position in the market. See what your customers are writing in online reviews. Invest time in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis and learn more about your competitors. Set future goals based on your discoveries and develop a plan to reach those goals.
- Complete a website audit – When was the last time you updated your website? Are there pages that are out-of-date or new information you want included? Take the time now to get these done.
- Create a style guide – A style guide is a reference for all of your marketing and public relations communications. Include important items such as your brand’s most recent logo, color scheme, fonts, preferred language and another other “mandatories” that need to be included in all marketing.
- Develop a crisis communications plan – So… we get it. We’re kind of already in a crisis. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a communications plan for this time? Well, use what you learned from this crisis to develop future communications strategies. This doesn’t just have to be for global pandemics, the goal is typically to overcome detrimental situations that can damage a company’s reputation.
For your customer
You don’t have to stop all marketing efforts. In fact, we’d urge you to keep your brand in front of your customer in innovative ways. When all this is over, you’ll want to be top of mind for their needs.
- Think experiential – Offer live events online through your Facebook page or post fun videos to YouTube. People are stuck at home and looking to engage with brands to take their minds of off the situation. Give them an outlet!
- Provide resources – This is a crazy time and consumers are looking for brands that are helpful. Offer takeout, provide free shipping and think about other ways your brand can help.
- Start or expand your thought leadership – Thought leadership isn’t a trend anymore, it’s a must have for most brands. Take time to develop a thought leadership plan. It doesn’t necessarily have to address the COVID-19 pandemic, though we would advise that if it doesn’t you may want to hold those articles until things calm down. A big step is just getting some thoughts prepared and written so you can hit the ground running once things normalize.
The COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t have to stop your efforts dead in their tracks. Carefully consider how much time you have to invest in your brand, and then use some of the above tactics to make the most out of a challenging situation.