One of the most successful U.S. investors once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” And while that axiom from Warren Buffett was intended for the investing world, it serves as a profitable principle for business owners trying to survive a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19’s sudden emergence across the world presented unparalleled challenges to companies everywhere, sending economies into freefall and forcing businesses to change, literally, everything. Priorities, schedules and marketing tactics all had to be immediately addressed. The business climate had turned upside down, it seemed, at the snap of the fingers.
Despite unprecedented circumstances, some of which linger to this day, it’s important that businesses maintain–or even increase–their share of the market right now. To borrow language from Warren Buffett’s world, now is the time to “buy low” and invest in a strong marketing strategy to survive and lay the groundwork to thrive when life eventually shifts to the “next normal.”
Below are our top six practical marketing and business tactics that can help you reach your target audience and propel growth amid a pandemic.
1.) Capitalize on Changing Media Consumption Habits
Whether mandatory or self-driven, stay-at-home living has increased in frequency. Personal routines are disrupted and media consumption has increased overall as leisure time rises. This presents your brand with an opportunity to make a meaningful impression on your target audience.
In regards to macro trends created by the pandemic, there is general agreement that a much larger cross-section of the U.S. workforce will continue working remotely on a permanent basis. This places more people in the proximity of additional media channels than if they were stuffed in front of their computer at the office. TVs, radios, smart speakers, and streaming audio are all within reach of someone working from home. By analyzing consumption changes within your business’ specific target markets, you can effectively reevaluate how your message can best be delivered.
2.) Seduce by Social Media
You’ve probably caught yourself doing this at least a few times while stuck at home during the pandemic: mindlessly refreshing your social media feeds despite seeing no new notifications. The lure of a quick-drip dopamine hit from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is stronger than ever because social media serves as one of the few sources of safe social interaction right now.
Getting in front of your customers’ eyes is little more than a swipe away with a sound social media marketing strategy. Creating conversation, encouraging engagement and quickly updating your customers about operational changes can all be done for free. If you’re looking to gain additional followers, increase your promotional reach and boost brand awareness, consider a paid social media advertising campaign.
3.) Live in Their Heads Rent-Free
Content marketing can demonstrate the expertise of you and your business’ employees. Rise to be top-of-mind by sharing insightful, problem-solving content relevant to your field. Reach the most people possible by varying your delivery method:
- Email updates
- Cases studies and FAQs on your website
- Social media video and online seminars
By positioning your business as a thought leader in your industry that provides consistent value to both current and potential customers, you build confidence and trust. And over time, this content will also generate considerable returns through increased web traffic, conversions, AND revenue for your business.
4.) Let Them Say It for You
Reviews and testimonials are crucial to answering questions before you even know someone is considering using your business. They also strengthen credibility and help a business stand out from the crowd of competitors. And reviews have become even more valuable to a company’s brand. The ease in which reviews can be searched on the internet means they’re usually the first thing a potential customer sees about you. In fact, 92% of consumers consult online reviews when considering a business.
Don’t let a customer ghost you after delivering a satisfying experience! A study conducted by Texas Tech University found “83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do.” Links and reminders on your website and social media posts, plus in email marketing, can help ensure those positive thoughts get posted and start to multiply the good vibes, and dividends, for your brand.
5.) Stay Light on Your Feet
In a recession, most companies focus on salvaging their current customer base. Smart businesses, however, seek ways to add more.
Now is the time to let creativity turn tradition on its head. What do current customers say are their priorities during these challenging times? The prospect of pivoting your business model should keep you light on your feet, not feeling light-headed. View it as an opportunity to fill needs that competitors might be missing at the moment. A year ago, would anyone have been able to predict that curbside pickup and delivery options would be the lifeline that brick-and-mortar stores needed to survive? Spot the emerging trend, and you could be well on your way to growing your business, even in today’s climate.
6.) Pay It Forward
A challenge often brings out our best, and business owners now have an opportunity to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic in their community. If your products or services can help others right now, consider making a donation or offering a discount rate to whomever is in need. Such a direct demonstration of social responsibility provides an instant boost to brand awareness.
In the spirit of helping other small businesses, BPM is offering free consulting—no strings attached.
As a full-service marketing agency, BPM supports clients with a wide range of marketing tactics. If you’re looking to take the next steps and lead during the rebound, we stand ready to develop a comprehensive strategy or help with a one-off project. We think you’ll find the custom solutions at BPM are just as unique as the goals and budget you bring to the table.