What can your business do to pivot your advertising and marketing to be effective during the pandemic?
The world has gone virtual. The majority of people are working from home and staying indoors. If you are a business owner, you have to change your marketing strategy to meet these new consumer habits.
Today, I have some suggestions on how you can creatively change your business offerings, attract new customers, and help your business get through this temporary time.
Understand Your Customers & Their Current Needs
Before I show you some creative examples of offers that your business can use, I want you to first start thinking about who your audience is and how you can uncover their specific needs.
Building an Audience
When we build campaigns for our own clients, we spend a lot of time discovering the perfect audience, the competition, and what we call a “buyer persona.” Then, and only then, we can begin to construct an offer that will appeal to them.
Understanding Your Audience is THE KEY!
When you know your customers, you know how to speak to them. This helps you become masterful at writing offers, creating content, setting price points, and speaking in the language that your perfect buyer persona will understand.
Here are some of the questions we ask when we do buyer persona research for our clients:
- Who is your perfect or ideal customer?
- What does your customer care about?
- What is your customer’s #1 problem that you can solve?
- What current situation is your customer in?
- What is the motivating event that happens before they contact you?
- What are the goals your perfect customer is trying to achieve?
Those are a few of the questions we ask in order to guarantee we are advertising and marketing to the right people with the right message at the right time.
What Does Your Perfect Customer Want Right Now?
As we all face this difficult time together, we can easily notice that the messages that were important just a few weeks or months ago are not going to resonate the same way today:
“Double Your Business In 60 Days” – Instead, we have shifted from growth to survival.
“Travel The World!” – The entire world is on lockdown. They will not hear that message.
“Join Thousands At Our Upcoming Event” – Our focus right now is to stay away from people, especially crowds.
“Hurry In, These Savings Won’t Last” – Unless you are designated as an “essential business,” most brick and mortar businesses are closed.
These messages will simply not work in our present condition.
Our priorities have changed. Our fears have changed. Our goals and dreams have been temporarily paused.
The world has experienced a massive shift in thinking. Right now people want:
- Safety – How can your audience know that your products and services are safe?
- Security – What can you do to give people confidence and hope?
- Free or Low-Priced Alternatives – How can you assist people in saving money or eliminating costs altogether?
- Diversity – Do you have a way to help your customers diversify?
- Education – People are stuck at home and they want to learn and grow and use this time wisely. Can you give them free or paid training?
- DIY – How can people recreate what you do at home?
- Delivery – Can you find a creative way to get your products or services out to people rather than coming to you?
- Distraction – Can you offer something entertaining that might distract them from the barrage of bad news?
How can your business incorporate these things and emphasize them in your marketing and advertising?
You Must Communicate. You Must Over-Communicate.
If you are still open for business – tell them!
If your business is delivering products or services – tell them!
If you are focusing on safety, cleaning, and health – tell them!
Revising Your Message For Your Audience
Here is a list of typical offers I have put together and how you can get creative with your messaging right now:
- Coaching / Consulting (Usually done in person)
Creative Solution: Go virtual. Don’t focus on business as usual. People are canceling services they see as an extra expense. Help your clients change and adapt.
- Home Services (Usually provides free inspections & estimates)
Creative Solution: Ask homeowners to take a photo, video or FaceTime of the problem area. Offer pre-buy and pre-scheduling discounts to encourage purchasing now. When you arrive for repairs, have a plan in place for social distancing and safety. Advertise your safety precaution plan commitment.
- Restaurants (Typically offer a dine-in experience)
Creative Solution: Provide takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery. You could even leave the meal at the door and let the customer know that you dropped off their order. Offer pre-made frozen meals. Offer fun recipes to try at home. Separately offer and sell ingredients and unused food and supplies in bulk.
- Beauty Salon / Barber (Mostly in-person service)
Creative Solution: Offer mobile haircuts (where allowed by law). Create online appointments to walk your customers through step-by-step hair care. Create inexpensive videos on “How to Cut Your Own Hair” that can be purchased online.
- Fitness (Typically an inside gym service)
Creative Solution: Go virtual with classes. Create workout plans and routines your clients can do from home. Offer healthy recipe ideas for the best nutrition. Focus on immune-system building ideas, nutrition, and exercise.
- Real Estate (Typically on-site house hunting)
Creative Solution: Offer virtual showings over FaceTime, Zoom or Google Hangouts. Focus on showing clients how to save in a down economy and on low-interest rates and how now is the time to buy and invest.
- Health Services (In-person check-up and screenings)
Creative Solution: Go mobile and offer controlled and limited patient groups. Offer TeleMed services over the phone, FaceTime, or Zoom.
- Automotive / Garage / Body Shop (Customers typically bring in the vehicle)
Creative Solution: Go mobile with your services. Repair cars at your customer’s home in their own driveway. Offer to pick up your customer’s vehicles for them.
- Bars (Large crowds usually gather in tight spaces)
Creative Solution: Create “Cocktail Parties To Go,” offer mix-at-home packs, pre-select wine of the week, and prepare curbside pickup special offers.
- Attorneys (Often offer in-person consultations)
Creative Solutions: Offer video conferencing or phone consulting. Use this opportunity to get ahead on cases with your clients before courts resume operations. Offer free information and answer common questions in your field of law with video and Facebook Live.
- Caterers (Often offer cooking classes)
Creative Solutions: Go virtual. Offer cooking classes online on video conferencing platforms such as Zoom. Send out recipes to your email list, do cooking tutorials on Facebook Live, and sell ingredients for mail delivery.
- Interior Designers / Crafting Businesses (Often offer “How To” classes)
Creative Solutions: Offer video consulting and virtual classes. Interior designers, as well as other artistic businesses often have community classes like wreath building, centerpiece crafting, and painting pieces to hang in the home. Get online and teach viewers how to do these things, set up one-on-one conferencing to offer interior design advice, and come up with ideas to keep people interested during quarantine.
Obviously, this only represents a fraction of the market, but hopefully, you gain some inspiration and ideas from these examples. Think outside of the box and you can almost always find a way to be creative in how you carry out your specific business or service.
Making Your New Offer Available Online
When you are ready to deploy your new creative idea, you need to make sure you hit your perfect audience and find where they are online.
Step 1 – A Highly Optimized Landing Page
A landing page is simply a small one-page website. On your landing page, you will showcase your new offer, all of the benefits, a contact form, and your phone number where your customers can reach out to you for ordering or scheduling.
Here is an example of a landing page we created for one of our clients who is making a special offer in this time of crisis:
View it here: https://yourepicmission.com/free-strategy-meeting
Step 2 – Make Sure You CONNECT with Your Audience
During this unusual time throughout the world, we have to create and focus on the best way to get the quickest transaction possible. We want to get at least a quick and small conversion of a phone call or a form filled on the landing page so you have the opportunity to capture the information of your interested audience.
If you have a good following on social media, you can begin immediately to make your offer known, but don’t depend entirely on your organic social media audience.
If you want your target market to see your special offering even faster, you need to advertise it.
Right now is a great time. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are cheaper than normal, and with your entire audience at home and online all the time, the opportunity to get their attention is huge.
In difficult days like these, in order for your business to survive, you will have to adapt quickly.
You need to make shifts in your strategy in order to remain relevant and open today.
If you need help, at Local Impact, we are spending our days and nights helping our customers and clients to make these quick changes, craft online offers that capture the attention of their audiences, and keep businesses surviving and in some cases, even thriving during COVID-19.
Hold your head up high, stay positive and reach out for help when you need it.
We will see you on the other side!
For more resources on how to market during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the following links:
About the Author
Founder & CEO
BG has rocked the marketing industry for over 20 years. As the founder and CEO of Local Impact, BG has grown the agency into a full-service digital marketing team that is equipped with the knowledge and talent needed to exceed their clients’ marketing goals. BG and his team are committed to helping businesses and organizations use powerful new online and mobile marketing platforms like email marketing to get visibility, traffic, leads, customers, and raving fans.