The global impacts of COVID-19 have forced millions of businesses to re-evaluate and improve multiple facets of their companies. Dine-in restaurants are now offering curbside pickup and free delivery to continue serving their communities. Educators have embraced online learning to continue to teach their students. Some clothing lines have even started to design fashionable masks to appeal to consumers who want to stay safe in style.
In spite of these successful changes in some industries, other companies are reluctantly laying off employees or closing their doors indefinitely. During this difficult period in history, it can seem overwhelming to come up with new ideas or strategies while making sure your team can efficiently work from home. To help you get a jump-start on a renovated marketing plan, here are five tips to consider:
1. Address Consumer Concerns Head-On
A successful marketing campaign requires brands to understand the core wants and needs of their target market. Having insights about your consumers’ daily lives, their likes and dislikes, and their personal values are key components of developing a highly effective marketing plan.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, your team probably had a great understanding of your main audience. But now, people’s priorities have shifted. They’re readjusting to working from home, practicing social distancing and dealing with fears related to the virus. Moving forward with a marketing campaign that doesn’t address the current attitudes of your audience would not only be ineffective, but it may even come across as tone deaf or irresponsible.
People want answers, reassurance and trustworthy communications. As you re-evaluate your marketing tactics, prepare to be transparent about your business operations, address and acknowledge the global circumstances, and offer an empathetic response.
2. Boost Your Social Media Presence
Christine Moorman, the founder and director of The CMO Survey, recommends using employees to activate the “social media multiplier effect.” This effect occurs when your team shares your brand’s content on their own personal pages or discusses the positive work your company is doing during the ongoing crisis. People who follow your employees on social media will get an authentic perspective about your brand and may check out your page or website themselves.
3. Provide Relevant, Helpful Information for Your Audience
When it comes to your content marketing efforts, be sure to address common questions from your customers and offer valuable advice. Your content shouldn’t be exclusively focused on news about COVID-19, but you should keep that in mind when creating articles or videos. For instance, you may suggest helpful time-management strategies people can use while working from home or fun at-home activities for children.
In addition to updating your website content, make sure your consumers stay informed about pertinent information such as shipping delays, delivery dates and your company’s safety policies. Most customers will be understanding if their package doesn’t arrive quickly, but they should still receive confirmation when their order is on its way.
4. Keep Your Team Connected Using Video
The lack of face-to-face communication has started to take a toll on people working from home. An employee group chat or Slack channel may provide some social interaction, but people still crave to hear people’s voices and see their faces. Having regular video calls to chat with your team can be a good way to boost morale and discuss new marketing ideas or opportunities.
Along with scheduling a weekly team meeting on a video conferencing platform, you might also consider hosting a virtual happy hour for employees to unwind and enjoy casual conversation with one another. It provides a place for your team to share what’s going on in their lives and foster a deeper sense of connection and community to their peers.
My company does a regular standup at 10:30 a.m. with a quiz and a Friday afternoon happy hour. This helps team members to stay encaged with chitchat that is not work related.
5. Work on Digital Developments
According to insights from Gartner, enabling digital options right now is key to meet the growing demand for online shopping. Now is the perfect time to review your website and consider which aspects you can change, streamline, or improve. Gartner suggests:
- Promoting apps or mobile shopping tools
- Boosting capacity for online transactions
- Offering innovative delivery methods, such as virtual consulting services in place of in-person visits
- Implementing chatbots to assist customers
If you begin to feel overwhelmed, remember that there’s an entire community of Magento developers are here to help you. Reach out to peers in your local meet up or ask a question on the Magento forums.
Brent W. Peterson hails from Minnesota where he enjoys the week in July that they call summer. He is the chief evangelist for Wagento, a Magento Enterprise Solution Partner, and loves to run everywhere in the world while organizing Magento events in Mexico, India and the USA. Peterson has been in the Magento community for more than 10 years and started as the first volunteer forum moderator. He spends a lot of time with clients in Mexico and South America yet somehow doesn’t speak Spanish. He is often seen running a marathon with his wife Susan and hopes to run in all seven continents.