Marketing Your Small Business During a Crisis
We have moved into a new way of conducting business, at least for the foreseeable future. Regardless of the predictions and statistics, the fact remains that many small business owners will likely be dealing with the effects of the coronavirus for a long time.
Even in states that are reopening, customers may not come back as quickly as small business owners would like. Some individuals will continue to self-isolate and avoid going out except for work and necessities. Depending on your business, it could be months before you see a return to normal business volume.
Small business owners need to review their business plans and adjust their plans to reflect current economic changes. Review and revise short-term and long-term business goals. As part of the process, business owners need to review and revise their budgets.
However, do not cut out marketing from your budget merely because you may be closed or you are operating in a limited capacity. Cutting our marketing could extend your financial problems longer than necessary when the economy completely reopens.
Don’t Stop Marketing During a Crisis
The immediate reaction for many small business owners is to cut all expenses out of their budgets that are unnecessary to save money during a crisis. However, think twice before cutting your marketing budget completely.
Instead, treat marketing as you do other important areas of your business plan. Consider your needs and your short-term and long-term goals. Try to ask yourself what the market may look like in 30, 60, and 90 days from now. What will the market look like a year from now, given the current data and predictions?
Based on that information, develop a marketing plan designed to reach your customers on a personal level to determine what they need or want. People are frightened and frustrated. Targeting your customers now to learn what they need when the economy reopens can help you build a business plan to meet those needs when the economy reopens fully.
Furthermore, you need to keep your company in the minds of consumers. People have limited funds and may have even fewer funds to spend in the coming months. However, as they rebound, they will start spending again. You want them to remember your company. You want to ensure they know that you can fulfill that need they have for products or services.
If your competitors continue marketing while you step back, you stand to lose customers and clients who made a connection with your competitors during the crisis.
Tips for Marketing During a Crisis
Below are several tips for marketing during a crisis. Some of these tips may not work for you. The important thing to remember is to develop a marketing plan that works best for your business during a crisis.
- Let your customers and the public know if you are still operating. Your hours may be different and the way you do business may have changed, but let them know you are still here to provide what they need during the shutdown.
- Make use of “free” marketing. If you are not a big social media user, take this mandatory slow down to learn how to use social media for marketing purposes effectively.
- If you volunteer your services or products, let local television stations know about your efforts. Many local news stations are highlighting businesses and individuals who are volunteering their services and products during the shutdown. For example, restaurants that take meals to hospital workers each week or offer free meals to people who participate in a blood drive may be included in a newscast.
- Add a banner or pop up to your website that lets everyone know you are still conducting business and how you can help them.
- Send text messages to any customers who opted for text messages. Let them know you hope they stay safe and you are there for them if you can help.
- Use videos on social media and your website. People are bored. Make videos that offer tips or make people laugh.
- Continue to grow your brand during the crisis. Let people know why they should use your company after the shutdown. Write blogs, make videos, or send emails that highlight your company’s benefits and address people’s concerns.
- Depending on the type of business you operate, now would be a great time to attend teleconferences, listen to podcasts, and increase networking through digital events. Whether you sponsor an event or attend an event, you are growing your network, which could bring in new business after the shutdown.
- Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your content and website. If you have put optimizing your website and content on the back burner because you have not had time to devote to this marketing tool, use your extra time now to get this done. When everything reopens, you want your business to be high on the list of search engine results.
Contact a Florida Business Law Attorney for Help
If you have questions about legal matters during the COVID-19 outbreak, contact Attorney Matthew Fornaro. To request a consultation, call 954-324-3651 or contact us online.