Written On: April 7, 2020
Category: Marketing Strategy
Look at media, your email inbox, and social media feeds. Right now smart businesses are not being quiet. They are communicating more than ever. Here are some insights into how to craft your own essential messaging during the Covid-19 pandemic:
1. In times of crisis, it is true leaders—often new leaders—who step forward and find their voice. During the Covid-19 pandemic many political careers, businesses and brands will be launched or supercharged as people look to the calming influence of leaders, wherever they can find them.
2. Find your own voice. Educate your potential customers about how, why and when they can do business with you. Yes, businesses are nervous right now, but so are consumers. They are asking, “Which companies will be around in the coming weeks to mow my grass, clean my teeth, groom my dog, relieve my pain, color my hair, repair my roof, etc.?” Let them hear you answer confidently, “We will.”
3. Today represents a rare opportunity to tell your story of hope in an empathic and compassionate voice. Be honest. Let people know how you genuinely feel, how much you care, and how you can help them. By opening your heart, readers and audiences will connect with your authenticity and remember how you made them feel—likely for years to come.
4. There’s a good chance that our current efforts in social distancing will be successful, and the curve will be sufficiently flattened by May, to the point that some business restrictions will be lifted. Don’t be caught looking. Be prepared for this best-case scenario. There is tremendous pent-up demand for all kinds of goods and services.
5. Advertising messages often have a very long shelf life. Readers will be making buying decisions well into May, June, July and beyond about products and services they read about today. Plant those seeds now to reap a more abundant harvest when the threat has passed.
6. Because so many of us are under a stay-at-home-order, today’s in-the-mail publications are likely some of the best read in many years. People are hungry for information and are looking for things to do and read. They are literally a captive audience. They are listening.
7. If you are currently not providing your full menu of services, promote the services you are providing or use your advertising as an opportunity to educate your potential customers and express your appreciation and your commitment to serving your community. One meaningful message is “Behind the Scenes.” What is your business doing during the stay-at-home order to serve clients and protect employees? Readers want to know that they are not alone in their suffering. Let them know that life has changed for you, too, but you are not cowering in the corner. You are still serving them in every manner in which you are allowed, including keeping them informed.
8. Right now our daily routines have been disrupted, and in the weeks to come our rigid habits will become far more fluid. We’ll be open to change. We’ll form new habits and new relationships with people and businesses. Many furloughed workers will return to a different employer. Many consumers will turn to a different business to meet their needs. Some companies won’t make it. Others will grow significantly. The difference may depend on how a business behaves during the crisis. Even if your business is temporarily closed, continue communicating with your customers and potential customers. The Covid-19 pandemic may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a business to define and cement its culture by articulating urgent, relevant, authentic, and compassionate messages to customers and employees in a time of great upheaval.
9. These kinds of heartfelt messages resonate with us on a deep level, especially when backed up by innovative action. When a company demonstrates that it truly cares, the effort enhances loyalty from talented employees and customers, and grows their market share by taking slices from lessor companies that communicate inadequately.
10. Finally, don’t forget about your employees. They are worried about their futures, too. They look to you to offer heartfelt words of encouragement. If you are quiet, they may assume the worst. But be honest. Tell the truth, the whole truth, and tell it now. Whether directed toward your employees or your customers, the words you use today are nothing short of magic spells that will affect the future for a generation to come. Choose your words carefully, but do not go silent.
Mitch Allen is President and Publisher of Mimi Vanderhaven (an AloNovus Corp. publication). If you are a business owner or non-profit organization, contact Clint Alguire, Director of Sales and Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a discussion with a Business Growth Strategist to help communicate your current product and service offerings.