Along with most of the country, you may well be stuck inside and working from home for the foreseeable future. If you’ve been able to keep trading (and even if you haven’t), there are measures you can take to mitigate the effects of the outbreak on your business.
To help you out, we’ve compiled these 7 easy marketing tasks you can do from home.
Whether you’ve had to close up shop or are still keeping things running, it’s crucial that customers know either way.
Many will rely on online listing portals like Google My Business for the latest information about the businesses they frequent, so do make sure everything on there is accurate. Don’t lead customers to a closed shop, don’t make them believe you’re trading at your regular hours if you’re not, and, above all, don’t lead them to think you’re closed if you’re still open for business!
Even if you have been forced to shut down for a while, as long as you’re registered with Google My Business, you will still appear to anyone looking at a Google Map of the area. This digital visibility remains valuable, helping you stick in people’s minds as a neighbourhood business to visit once this all passes.
As with your online listings, the very first thing you should do here is to check that every piece of information on your site is correct and up to date.
The second thing you should do, if you’re still trading, is add a notice on your homepage about all the extra precautions you’re taking in-store to protect customers and staff.
Beyond these immediate priorities, you may now have the time to think about your longer-term digital success. A winning online strategy starts with a great website, so ask yourself - when was the last time you systematically went through your site and assessed its strengths and weaknesses? Time spent auditing your digital marketing is time well spent.
If you think the time has come for a proper rehaul of your site, get in touch with our web design experts for a (remote) consultation on your needs.
When it comes to content marketing, we’re evangelists. We’ve long been telling everyone who’ll listen about how producing content should be a part of any business’s marketing mix. Well, when most of your target audience are glued to their home computer screens, there’s never been a better time to get creative with your marketing.
Blogging is the original staple of content marketing, and a piece on your website could help you keep your loyal customers reassured, informed or just entertained, while also providing you with something worthwhile to share on your social media feeds.
Video has become the most important format for keeping people both informed and entertained. After all, you’re spoiled for video platforms to use. Instagram Stories - photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours - serve as a major showcase for many businesses looking to reach the under-40s. Equally, 62% of businesses now post video content on YouTube. Why not use lockdown as your opportunity to join them?
Consider using short videos on your social channels to quickly update customers on the current state of your business. Don’t go overboard though - you are not Boris Johnson and nobody needs your daily coronavirus video briefing!
If you’d like more guidance on reaching customers with a showstopping video marketing strategy, get in touch with our video advertising team.
Lockdown is going to involve a lot of refreshing of inboxes, so keep in customers’ minds with a well-timed mailout.
Tools like Mailchimp allow you to login from anywhere and create visually attractive, high quality emails and newsletters that you can use to serve up your latest content and provide important business updates.
There’s no reason why working from home should interrupt your direct marketing strategy. Just remember to offer only genuinely useful information in your emails.
Tell people whether you’re open or closed, let them know you’re following government recommendations and making your workplace safe, and, if applicable, whether you’re stocking any particularly high-demand items like toilet paper and hand sanitiser. This goes without saying, but never send out anything that contradicts official health advice!
The great thing about social media, especially for small businesses, is that it’s a leveller. It doesn’t require infinite resources and a whopping marketing budget to build a large following; just an internet connection, an engaging tone and some great content.
Communication is key at this point, and social media offers an efficient way to broadcast to a wider audience all that crucial information you’d send to your email contact list.
Circumstances will move at speed during this outbreak, so don’t let your internal communications lag behind. If you have a team who’d normally be working in the same room but have now been forced to disperse, you can still keep on the same page, wherever you are.
Online conference call services like Google Meet, Zoom and Skype can keep you in touch with your colleagues while you’re sitting on the sofa.
It can also be beneficial for morale and group spirit to have an ongoing team chat thread bubbling away throughout the day, where you can share ideas, points of order or even just banter.
While you’re stuck inside, use this time to plan out how you’re going to capitalise on people’s desire to spend and enjoy life to the full again when the lockdown is lifted. We’ve got a free, in-depth guide to marketing planning that might prove useful here.
Most of us would rather be free to go to and from work, rather than confined to our own homes indefinitely, but social distancing needn’t harm your marketing efforts.
Even if you’re not trying to drive people to your premises right now, you can still stay on your customers’ minds during these turbulent times armed only with a laptop and a decent wi-fi signal.
The legwork you put in now will pay off, weeks or months down the line, when people re-emerge from their homes and make a beeline for the businesses that stayed on their minds during the long lockdown.
Lumen, an analytics company that specialises in attention paid to advertisements, have been looking into how ads are being viewed in this post-Coronavirus era. They have already measured a significant increase in the attention that is being paid to ads; print ads are being receiving 21% more attention than the norm, while digital ads are being noticed 66% of the time, compared to the norm of 55%. It’s interesting stuff, so if you want to read more, have a look here.
For more information on supporting your business through the coronavirus outbreak, read of our dedicated page here