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How to Market During a Pandemic

3 Simple Marketing Tips You Can Do Now

These are strange times, and we don’t know how long things will be like this. Your marketing plan can’t stop, it just needs to change a little. The good news is, any of these changes you can implement now should have a positive impact that will outlast this pandemic.

Communicate

Keep reaching out to your customers. They haven’t gone away, they’re just taking it slower now. Let them know you’re still operating, and call attention to things that might help them right now — even if it’s just advice or comfort.

You should send out periodic emails. These can be designed and formatted nicely in any service like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, or could be simple ones right from Outlook. Professional, regular communication will make your company look strong, steady, and reliable. And don’t forget an obvious call-to-action in there.

Stay active on social channels. People are spending more time on them while at home, and they want to see how you’ve adapted to the new way of working, and perhaps how you can help them. Remember — social media is for telling stories, not selling. Make it interesting, relevant, and a little personal if you can.

Come up with something new

Modify what you offer, how you offer it, or get creative in another way. Can you offer something that would be helpful to people and business struggling right now? It might be a free monthly webcast, or could be a creative rebranding of a product or service you already have.

Maybe it’s time to enhance, or create an e-commerce web store so you can sell directly to consumers. Or add tools to your site that enhance communication methods such as instant messaging/chat tools, appointment schedulers, or video conferencing.

We just helped PBS International create their first virtual conference. We created a microsite that is easily duplicated for future conferences, and tied it all into their existing website and customer login system. We levereged their Zoom account (which is pretty powerful at higher levels) for the conference programming. They are moderating the Zoom chatrooms while presenters speak. Salespeople are connected via Calendly so customers can schedule appointments throughout the week — just like popping in on them at a tradeshow!

Stay positive

Keep your messages positive and not political. I’ve seen agency heads go off on rants on social media. Regardless of whether you agree with a position, it comes across as very negative and uninspiring. You can (and should) stand up for what you believe in. But stay away from the negative commentary.

Write from the heart, not out of anger. Jeff Friedman of Small Army does a great job promoting personal and social causes via his monthly emails. He really knows how to write from the heart. Also check out VC firm York.ie for another great montly email full of warm stories about how they support startup companies.

If customers are short on cash right now, maybe come to another agreement or let them spread out payments. We have a client that roasts coffee. When the pandemic hit, restaurants closed and his business shrunk drastically. He needed to make his website more B2C retail-oriented, but timing wasn’t right to spend a lot of money. So we ordered a bunch of coffee for our team who were all working from home. It’s a win-win-win situation there. We also extended payments out for whenever his business bounces back. It will, and should become stronger now that he’s effectively hitting both consumers and retailers.

We’ll get through this together. Build your community now, and they’ll remember you later.

 

About the Author: Michael Flint

AvatarMichael founded Metropolis Creative in 1999. He is currently an instructor at Northeastern University and has also taught at Bentley College. Speaking engagements include The Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Mass Health Data Consortium, and The Enterprise Center. Michael holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and has won numerous design awards. Michael actively supports the entrepreneurial and startup community by participating as a mentor with MITX-Up and is e member of OpenHub. He also runs the annual Extreme Website Makeover event which supports local startups and non-profit organizations. When not at work, Michael enjoys painting, brewing beer, and playing hockey.

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