“Must Do” Marketing Lessons Learned During COVID-19

Customer reviews, client reviews, best PR firm, public relations, content marketingI’ve been doing a series of webinars during the pandemic for a Women’s Business Center in my area on topics related to marketing and maintaining a business presence. As part of the process, I’ve been spending time reviewing, analyzing, and reporting on various best practices that I’ve either seen or that I’ve practiced with clients or my own business. It’s been interesting to watch how many businesses have successfully, and quickly, changed their processes or entire business models to adapt to “the new normal.”

Yet some haven’t.

Here are some of my top “must do’s” during these challenging times:

  • Don’t stop or put communications on pause if you’re not open for business or not open as usual. Your customers still want to hear from you. Potential customers may be seeking you out. And, especially if you’re a small business, your customers and community are probably concerned about you personally, as well, and just want to know that you’re doing okay.
  • Go light on blatant promotional pitches. That’s generally true these days, in any environment, but especially during the pandemic businesses need to be thoughtful about the appropriateness of their messaging. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t still try to “sell,” but do it thoughtfully and in a way that adds value to your audience. I’ve seen a number of restaurants and other small businesses do this well by framing their communications in a helpful/value-added way—e.g. “We’re still open for take-out for our Friday fish fry,” or “We’re offering curbside delivery on beauty products in case you’re running low.”
  • Keep your websites, Facebook company pages, etc., up-to-date, and focus on sharing information that is likely top-of-mind with your audience right now—e.g. whether you’re open, hours of service, safety precautions you’re taking, any changes in process in terms of interacting with you (for instance, my beauty salon created and posted a simple video walking through the process of coming to seek service from the time you pull up outside and let them know you’re there to what you can expect while in the salon).
  • Think differently and creatively about what you offer and how you might offer it. I’ve seen a lot of very creative and surprising things businesses are doing to really change their business models. In Wisconsin, the DMV for instance, is no longer doing driving tests, but leaving it to parents to decide if their children are prepared for their license (they still have to pass the written test which can be taken online). A yoga studio I went to in Florida immediately shifted to online offerings once stay at home orders were implemented. Not only did this allow them to keep serving existing customers, it also allowed them to expand their market to serve clients outside their geographic area.

I’ve often said, both in life and in business, that happiness and success isn’t so much about the things that happen “to” or around us, it’s about how we respond to these things. Yes, COVID-19 is bad and some people and businesses are suffering more than others. But we all have opportunities during these times to think differently about what we do, and how we do it.

What creative examples have you seen of how businesses are shifting and adapting during the pandemic?

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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