Undeniably, the impact of the pandemic has traversed all domains of the world. It has influenced the lives of all, regardless of the social standing or the geographical locations. However, some have experienced the impact more strongly than others- the lives of those who are deprived of the luxury to self isolate have been altered greatly. On the other hand, those fortunate enough to seclude themselves into their homes equipped with ample provisions and technology have directed their focus on improving themselves, their businesses and alleviating the situation for the less fortunate. Those of you lucky enough to be reading this article are hopefully working or staying at home, looking for ways to ensure that your small business stays afloat during this pandemic.
Covid-19 has spread an undeniable anxiety among the population. Research shows that customers are likely to be less trusting and more skeptical regarding the promises that brands put forth. If you are to come across as unsympathetic, insensitive or exploitative to your customers, be assured that will lose your audience and severely damage your brand reputation. A prime example of such a situation can be seen in the Coming Ashore Soon campaign set forth by the Corona beer brand. The makers of Corona beer released an awkward ad about a line of hard seltzers that was “coming ashore soon”. Negative comments quickly started flowing in on the brand’s Twitter page, calling the ad “in extremely poor taste” and imploring the company to “do better.” Many twitter users were greatly offended by the brand’s attempt at exploiting a real global health crisis for the sake of humour, and assured the brand that the next time they bought beer, it would definitely not be from them. This is how one misjudgement caused Corona to lose a hefty following of customers forever.
Impact on Small Businesses
Owning a small business demands extra caution and careful consideration, especially during these critical times. Therefore, for your brand to remain afloat in these afflicted times, it is necessary that you focus on creating an air for trust for the customers, reassuring them of your brand values. This is best done through effective communication, which is now regarded as the most important thing during these times. However, considering the situation, communication is also the most difficult thing to be carried out efficiently. Marketing a business carefully and considerately while communicating its core message of honesty and trustworthiness is a priority. We carried out some research to come up with a few things you could do to effectively communicate with your customers and assure them of your trustworthiness in a way that doesn’t contribute to fear or collective anxiety.
- Address the Situation
All businesses are faced with the same concern, and that is whether or not to alter their digital marketing strategies. The top CRO agencies in USA propagate the need for alterations in the marketing plan to adapt to the situation. There are various steps you can take to ensure that your internet marketing strategy is effective and optimal during this time. One of the ways you can do this is by addressing the situation through the content and the strategy that you employ to interact with your customers. It is important that your customers see that you understand the gravity of the situation and are taking steps to ensure their safety. You can build an air of trust by explaining to your customers how the lockdown and the pandemic has impacted your business and clarify where you stand and what procedures you are resorting to. Creating a platform where your customers can contact you conveniently with any concerns they may have has a positive impact on the reputation of the company. It ensures transparency, understanding and legitimation. As a small business, it would prove highly beneficial to utilize your social platforms to implement crisis communication in your marketing strategy as it would ensure that you do not lose the trust of your consumer base. Furthermore, it also humanizes your brand by engendering a sense of ‘collective grief’ wherein consumers and businesses alike are experiencing a loss of ‘normal’ and are battling this together.
- Show Customers you Care
Your customers are facing a shift in their entire routines as well as in their perception methods. So are small businesses, yes, but it is our responsibility to encourage an environment of mutual support. It would be comforting for your customers to see that you know and understand their situation and are willing to take their needs into account. The best possible way to do this would be to directly ask your customers what they need from you. This ensures that your business narrative is not pushing any messages that do not resonate with your audience. This not only is the most authentic form of marketing, but also presents your business as transparent and sympathetic.
- Create valuable Content
Every efficient digital marketing agency understands and propagates the importance of valuable content. If you have access to any resources or information that would be relevant to your customers, it is essential that you share it with them through social media continually. If you produce content that is genuinely helpful and caters to the pain points of the general public, you will generate positive messaging that not only promotes your brand in a good light, but also ensures your customers are left feeling reassured and validated.The key is to not be overly pushy with your products or services. Change your messaging so that you are only providing content which has real-life value. Address your customers pain points without contributing to the fear or anxiety that many of us have, and you’ll likely see a customer base that will be quite grateful.
- Be Transparent
Aim to design ways in which your brand can keep your customers updated on a daily basis. This establishes the reputation of your brand as transparent as well as authentic. Social media businesses flourish in this department. Utilize these platforms to reach out to your customers with honest updates regarding your products or services. Alteration in all aspects of your marketing strategy, such as seo and sem may be necessary. If you have a marketing strategy that involves paid search or paid social campaigns, accentuate these updates in your ad copy, or get a highly-skilled digital marketing agency like Mountainise to do it for you.
In these tragic times it is necessary that you do all you can to ensure that you are engaging your customers in a way that ensures the authenticity and trustworthiness of your business. You also need to make adjustments to your digital marketing strategy in order to adapt to the situation.
Mountainise Inc. is a data driven marketing agency that utilizes the powers of AI based marketing tools to construct optimal campaigns for all businesses, big or small.
If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to contact us!