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How COVID Has Changed Your Marketing And What To Do About It

JUNE 24, 2020| SpeedPro Greenville

In the season of COVID-19, businesses have really needed to up their marketing game, or at least adapt the ones they already had. Marketing became primarily digital as the world began to quarantine and the focus of the message changed. The way we market nowadays has changed – for better or for worse we don’t know yet. Either way, it’s different, and here are some tips to how to tackle the new marketing strategies.

New Marketing Strategies – The Message

The messages of our marketing strategies have always adapted to the newest fad or circumstance – in this case, COVID-19. With the sudden quarantine, many businesses were hit hard financially as they moved online. Some businesses, especially small businesses, weren’t ready for such a transition.

Along with the move to digital sales came new ways of digital marketing. Well, maybe not new ways, but new methods of how we carry out those old ways.

In other words, our message had to change.

The way businesses approach the subject of ‘buy our product’ changed with the circumstances around us. Instead of pitching products as a way to get out of the house to be social (like restaurants), we had to instead transition to pitching take-out as a way to stay distant. Instead of advertising products in a party setting we changed to filming the advertisement in a family or social distancing setting.

A lot of marketing efforts focused on how to cope with quarantine and how to keep living life while being stuck at home. Businesses got super creative as they looked for new ways to reach an at-home audience.

Now, the US is beginning to open up again, although opening speeds are different across the country. But the lessons we learned during COVID are still applicable in many areas. Similarly, we’re having to learn new ones as we continue to move forward.

Will everything ever be the same as it was before COVID?

No one knows if things will fully return to normal, but here are some of the different marketing strategies businesses have learned and tried throughout and after the pandemic.

1. Empathize with the customer’s situation

Empathizing with customers has always been a key way to grab their hearts, but with emotions running high, empathizing is crucial now.

Most people’s daily habits changed with quarantine, and the targeted message changed with them. Some industries focused on self-care at home, others on online shopping and still others on takeout and drive by services.

Really try to connect with your consumer base and see where they’re coming from.

2. Be personable

Being personable sounds very similar to being empathetic, but it isn’t quite the same. Be personable by showing the human side of your company.

  • Show how your business or individual employees are going out into the community.
  • Start a campaign, unique to your business, to thank healthcare and essential workers.
  • Let your employees take over social media for a day or so to show how they’re coping at home or on limited business hours.

Just be creative and tell a story.

3. Encourage social distancing and good health practices

As things are slowly opening, one of the best ways to market the quality of your business is to show the measures you are taking to keep everyone safe and healthy.

No one wants to enter a business where the bathrooms are dirty and fingerprints cover the storefront windows, especially in this season of COVID.

In your advertising, sneak in previews of your business’ new sanitizing stations or sneeze guards. Demonstrate a short checkout line marked with social distancing floor graphics (keyword short). Subliminal messages like these can be powerful to someone who wants to shop in a COVID free (or as close to it as possible) area.

New Marketing Strategies – The Method

At the climax of COVID, marketing and advertising moved online to reach a home-based audience. Now, the world is starting to venture out again, and traditional advertising is once again picking up.

1. ‘We’re Open’ signage

With some businesses open and others not, you can stand out by installing or hanging signage that screams “we’re open.”

This doesn’t have to be a big investment into renting billboard space along the highway, but if you’re targeting your local area, simply a banner across your storefront or a sandwich board sign on your sidewalk will work.

Be creative with your designs and don’t forget to add:

  • OPEN – you can’t forget the most important part of a we’re open sign!
  • Business hours – whether the hours changed or not, people will want to know them.
  • Services – some businesses are open for drive through or pick-up only. Don’t let your customers down by not telling them what services to expect when they arrive.
  • Health/safety – if your business requires the wearing of masks, let people know before they walk in.

2. Social Distancing Signage

A mockup of social distancing graphics in an elevator hallway.Market your business safety by installing hand sanitizing stations or social distancing floor graphics. Your logo or business decals can be installed on sneeze guards. You can even install hand washing tips and reminders on bathroom walls and mirrors.

These graphics can come in all shapes and sizes. Floor graphics can take the shape of stop signs and arrows. Wall graphics and stand-up signs can be any size you want.

Be creative in how you implement your signage – use unique designs tailored to your business.

3. PPC Advertising

Yes, PPC advertising is still a thing. Although people are slowly getting back on the streets, PPC is still a good investment to generate website traffic. Most people still use the internet, although maybe not quite as much as they did during quarantine.

Try to choose relevant but low competition keywords with high search rates. Determine your target keywords and start your digital advertising campaign.

So Basically…

Our world has changed because of COVID. Our way of living, working and entertaining ourselves has changed. Will it every fully change back? We don’t know. But we do know we can take what we have and work with it, be creative with it.

So, take the situation as it is. Allow your marketing strategy to adapt to the turning of the world. Of course, try to stay ahead of the never-ending spin with new strategies.

But don’t be afraid of change.

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SpeedPro Greenville

Studio Owner

Gregg Richey