It’s the beginning of a new year. Time to be reviewing your marketing and setting your goals. I know we’re not where we wanted to be. We’re in a third national lockdown, not knowing what’s going on from one day to the next. However, it’s still important for us to have a marketing plan in place. I have put together some tips on marketing during lockdown for you to consider and implement.
Many businesses will stop marketing during lockdown. But even if your business is closed, or you’re still open but running at a lower capacity, it is important to continue marketing. This is your perfect opportunity to ramp it up and shine above your competitors, to be seen by your target audience and learn more about them. It will also improve business success post-coronavirus.
Yes, there are challenges when it comes to marketing if your business isn’t open or you’re not able to offer your normal services. But take this as an opportunity to think creatively, be different and stand out.
I know it’s difficult. We are all feeling overwhelmed and not in the best mindset. The kids are at home, you’re home schooling, trying to run your business, and running the house all at the same time. Don’t be hard on yourself, though. Take some time out and breath. Then take some time for your marketing. Rather than ploughing straight into it to get it ticked off the list, spend some time just thinking and reviewing. If all you do this week is think through the lockdown marketing tips below you will feel clearer and more prepared with where you want to be.
My Top 8 Marketing Tips During Lockdown 3
Review your business and take some time to consider what you could be offering your customers. What do they need that you can provide?
1. Check in with your customers
Contact your existing customers to check in and see if they are okay. Let them know whether you are still open or closed, or what your working hours are during lockdown. It’s nice to receive a short call to check in – it makes people feel valued. Speak to them and find out what they are struggling with and if there’s anything you can do to help. It may help you find a solution that could help more of your existing customers or even new customers.
2. Review your target audience
After you have checked in with your customers, think about your existing target audience. Where are their struggles right now? Spend some time working out who they are and what their needs and problems are, as these may have changed.
3. Review your products and services
Are your existing products or services something that people want right now? Or could you adapt one of them to benefit your current customers, and potentially new customers. Is your new offering still relevant to your existing target audience, or is there a different audience you need to consider?
4. Make sure your message is consistent
Now you have spoken to your existing customers, reviewed your target audience, and reviewed the products and services you want to offer, it’s important to think about the message you want to get out there. Think about the benefits to your customers. Ensure what you say is consistent across all your marketing channels. This creates a better impact and gives a greater chance of your message getting across.
5. Update your website
As we are in a lockdown, people are not able to come to your shop. But you may still be open, offering online orders and deliveries. There has been an increase of over 50% more people buying online since the pandemic started. Your website will be your shop window; visitors will come to find out what you do and what you offer. Invest some time and money to improve it. Make sure it is mobile optimised. Go through it page by page to improve the user experience. Is the relevant information on there? Is it up to date, easy to navigate and easy for people to use? Spend some time working on your SEO and researching your keywords to increase the chances of people finding you.
6. Be active on social media
As more people are spending time on social media, it’s important you are active on your social media platforms too. Not just by posting on your pages, but also by interacting and engaging with different posts and different groups. This links back to being consistent in your messaging and conveying how you can help people with what you offer.
7. Be kind; be supportive; don’t judge
Although we are isolated in our own homes, lockdown has brought people together. There is a sense of community; show you’re here to support that community and give back in some way. This is a great marketing tool to build awareness of your business and show people you care.
8. Keep marketing
Here is an example of how it can be done.
I supported a customer in the first lockdown. They had just opened their business, and then two weeks later they were forced to close because of the pandemic. My customer runs a tea shop, offering tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches. They started doing deliveries. Customers couldn’t come to them, so they went out to their customers.
You need to be flexible and adapt with the current situation, so my customer started offering afternoon tea deliveries and were fully booked within only a few days. They thought they were going to have to close their business during lockdown, but they ended up making a nice profit, albeit not in the way they had expected or planned. By looking at what the customer needed and what they could offer, they still put their business name out there. And they found that more people wanted something special to celebrate their lockdown birthday. Or something to put a smile on the face of their nan who had been shielding for so long.
So, don’t give up. Take some time to think and review and then keep marketing your business. We will get through this together.