About a week ago, a couple of us were at the Star in Frisco to meet with a client. Or, more specifically, we were at Formation, a beautiful work environment that they’ve dubbed ‘Coworking the Cowboy Way.’ The gym downstairs was packed, conference rooms were booked, tours were happening, and the Conference USA basketball tournament was setting up outside. So, a pretty busy day.
Move ahead a few days and quarantine is a real possibility. Our office made the decision last Friday to start remote work for the foreseeable future. Brainstorming sessions are happening over Slack and client meetings have been moved to Zoom. It’s not ideal, but we’re getting by.
Countless families and businesses are being affected by the COVID-19 virus and the seriousness of the pandemic is not lost on our agency. We’re simultaneously navigating this new territory and how it affects our own team, while also communicating regularly with clients to ensure we’re making proactive decisions for their campaigns and content needs.
You can say one good thing about times like these. Relationships, both personal and business, are strengthened when the best way to succeed is to be flexible, be empathetic, and to find creative ways to support each other.
In order to support small businesses and brands (as they too navigate these strange times), we’ve put together a list of marketing ideas that we recommend.
Update Your Google My Business
Let your customers know if you’ve had to adjust your business hours or temporarily shut down your physical location. Google’s help page also suggests to add any precautions your business may be taking to your description and to keep your customers informed through posts.
You can sign in to your Google My Business account here.
Pay Attention to Your Social Accounts
Expect a higher quantity of questions, especially through Facebook Messenger and comments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Respond quickly and provide confidence that you have remained open for business, thus allowing consumers to remain confident in your brand.
Need help turning on messaging for your business page? Facebook has easy-to-follow instructions here.
Post and Advertise with Compassion
Most brands have taken a more serious tone in their messaging, reassuring their customers that they’re taking the proper steps for good in-store hygiene or that their teams (though disrupted) are able to provide the same level of service.
Acknowledge what is happening and how it is affecting business processes and product offerings. Stay in contact with your audience but don’t take advantage of the situation. Now’s not the time for tone-deaf or overly promotional content.
You can send a mass email blast to your contacts through your favorite email marketing platform. Our favorite is Mailchimp. No fancy design is needed, just an authentic message, your logo, and perhaps your website address and links to your social media accounts.
Advertising on social media, paid search ads, or otherwise, can continue but the same rules for messaging apply. It would be best to avoid any mention of the pandemic as to avoid the perception of being exploitative.
Lastly, if you own a brick and mortar establishment and you’ve had to close down, check your ad campaigns. Pause any campaigns promoting foot traffic and instead focus on brand promotion, or even reallocate your budget to sometime in the future to give your marketing a nice kickstart when this pandemic (hopefully) has begun to die down.
Your marketing strategy may change drastically for a while depending on the industry you’re in. Use this time to keep your customers updated. Be a business that cares for your community, however big or small it may be. Many of us at Square 205 have committed to ordering more than normal from local restaurants and tipping as much as we can afford.
We hope that the impact to your business is minimal and that your staff and family remains safe. We’re in this together.
Paul Echols, CEO & Creative Director