There’s no question that the lives of every person on Earth have changed as a result of this pandemic, and especially for businesses who are trying to navigate marketing during COVID-19.
Not only are you dealing with the impacts of a pandemic on a personal level, you also have to figure out how to keep your business running. You likely want to tell every prospective buyer, “Please support us!” But you also want to acknowledge that those same buyers may not have any expendable income right and that message would come across as crass. To make matters worse, if your revenue has decreased, you have a smaller marketing budget.
That’s what makes marketing during COVID-19 so difficult. You have to find the sweet spot between being sympathetic, being honest, and delivering your message. Here are some steps you can take to make that happen:
1. Hone your mission statement
What is it that your company does and why does that matter to other people? If you never took the time to define why your company exists and what your values are, now is the time for that. No one knows what the future of this pandemic will look like, but most experts think it will get worse before it gets better.
2. Explain what customers get out of your product
Now more than ever, you need to show people what you can do for them. For example, if you sell blankets, you need to figure out a way to tell your potential customer why these blankets will improve their life. Maybe it will make them feel more secure during these scary times. Or maybe your blankets are made in your home country so you want to talk about how you’re keeping people in business. Whatever your reason, you need to evoke an emotion that makes customers feel like they’re making a difference with their purchase.
3. Craft your marketing messages
Using the language you surfaced in Steps 1 and 2, craft a marketing message. This will show customers who you are, and why they should support you. Unfortunately a lot of brands are getting it wrong right now. They’re putting out messages that are so ambiguous they could work for a local restaurant or a global car manufacturer.
By using your personalized message, you can easily be empathetic, personal, and honest. Those are simple things consumers want right now.
4. Make your budget
This is the part that is going to be difficult. You need to honestly think about the risk/reward of you continuing an expensive marketing campaign if your business is struggling. Ask yourself if your products are a necessity to people right now? If not, be very selective about where you market. A general Google SEM campaign may be less valuable than a highly targeted Instagram or Pinterest campaign. Weigh your options and choose accordingly. But remember, what worked pre-COVID-19 isn’t guaranteed to keep working in the current climate.