5 Timely & Responsible Marketing Tips for Businesses Amidst Coronavirus

Days into spring, traditionally a period of awakening and rebirth, we find ourselves in a global hibernation called quarantining, shelter-in-place, or isolation. Yet, none of these words can truly describe what’s happening. We’re in a time of uncertainty and most us living today have never experienced anything resembling this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

People are responding to it from various levels of fear and concern. There is one thing that appears certain. That is, we’re living in a “new normal,” with different decisions to make, reconfigured tasks, and new activities to choose from. There is no telling how long this will last.

Given this global “state of mind,” consider the following business tips for marketing during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Communicate Early and Often

Keep your customers, clients, partners and community in the know by providing regular updates. While this may largely feed from your Business Continuity Plan, look for opportunities where you can further assist by providing critical information and linking to key resources. As an example, CraftTable, a business that offers hospitality management software, promptly created a page with financial assistance and helpful info for bars and restaurants. Then there’s The Nudge, a social activity planner, it quickly pivoted to sharing texts about virtual activities instead of their typical in-person activity recommendations. You can check out their extensive list of 50 things to do at home from their latest text exchange. Like them, you can look for ways to support everyone connected with your business.

2. Show Your Human Side

Conduct an audit across your entire online presence (e.g., website, social media channels, email communications). Make sure your content is appropriate to the current environment. Check your topics and the tone of all your messaging (e.g., blogs, ads, social posts) to ensure that you are expressing empathy and understanding. If you are using a tool or app to pre-schedule your social media posts, make sure that content is still relevant. Also, aim to provide resources and information that’s top-of-mind to your community. For example, CredibleMind is a platform with various mental health and emotional wellbeing resources. They are sharing gems about self-care and mindfulness, community support, and more.

3. Partner and Use Your Network

Does your business have an advantage during this unprecedented circumstance? What about other businesses in your network? Look for how each business can contribute the information and support needed for other companies and individuals. This may take form as a co-branded marketing campaign, a product or service purchase, or even a charitable contribution. It’s most important to simply do the right thing and advocate for each other.

4. Support Your Community

Think about what you can do to offer relief to local businesses and customers. As an internet industry example, 16 LinkedIn Learning courses are now available for free. Further, the course topics are in alignment with challenges people currently feel with working from home, productivity, and non-face-to-face relationship development. A fun health industry example, Peloton has extended their free fitness app trial to 90 days. In the food and beverage industry, some restaurants are newly offering delivery. Take Wingtip, a private social club in San Francisco, as an example. They’re now delivering food and extending that offer to non-members. Promotions on social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) mention the new service. What a perfect way to market the business while keeping it afloat!

5. Get Creative, New Rules

It’s not business as usual. There is a record high amount of people working from home and staying indoors. They are frantically searching and frequently roaming the social platforms for news and information. This is your opportunity to reach them with relevant posts. Consider upping your post frequency. You can even post at irregular times, now that social media and internet use is at an all-time high. Test out online games, giveaways, contests, or sale promotions to add value and encourage engagement from your following. This can increase your brand awareness which may result in future business.

The situation is changing daily, so remember to stay up-to-date on news and guidelines that you may need to take into account for marketing during the coronavirus pandemic.