Marketing through a Crisis: What to Say in Difficult Times

In a global crisis, keep marketing.

This is one of the most important ways to help your business through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The business world is currently an uncertain place. Some brands are booming, whilst others are struggling. Shop closures have reduced bricks-and-mortar sales, whilst online outlets can’t keep up with order volumes. Companies still open are taking measures to facilitate social distancing, and workers may be off sick or self-isolating. Many staff are working from home, with meetings conducted online. We’ve all added ‘furlough’ to our vocabulary.

Wherever your business falls on this spectrum, keep marketing.

By this, I don’t mean you should carry on with your Marketing Strategy regardless: as you’ll know from my previous post [link], it is important to review and evaluate a Marketing Strategy regularly, enabling response to external factors. Adapt your activities and your tone to the mood of the world right now.

If you can keep your brand at the forefront of people’s minds throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, you’ll still be there when we get through. Taking time to communicate and engage will strengthen your position when the crisis has passed.

Firstly, it is important to let your audience know how your business is responding to Coronavirus. What are you doing to keep them safe, particularly if you are delivering physical products, and how are you protecting your staff?

But what else should you be saying?

Start the conversation

As a brand, acknowledge the situation. Do so with sensitivity and keep your message positive. Newsfeeds are flooded with fear and disaster, so let your communications be a place of solace. Keep your selling tone soft and gentle. Nurture your audience and use this opportunity to get to know them better. How are they doing? How can you help them? This is the moment to spark a conversation, particularly as your followers may have more time to read and respond.

But what to talk about in these strange times?

Let’s look at some examples:

If you have a fashion brand, can you help your audience choose what to wear in their new routine? Are they keeping fit with live exercise classes, practising self-care with yoga, or out for their hour’s exercise with the dog? What’s the dress code for business video calls? What should they wear for an at-home date night with their significant other? Help your followers feel good and adapt to lockdown lifestyle by encouraging them to change out of their pyjamas and into clothes that they love.

If your business is in interiors, invite your audience to freshen up a room – chances are that they’ll be spending a lot more time in it! Discuss colour palettes and finishes or bringing outside areas indoors. This is a topic ripe for engagement, with plenty of opportunity to share positive, inspiring visuals.

A food brand could share inspiration for a weekly treat. With no eating out, how can consumers bring the restaurant experience into their homes? They’re needing a little pick-me-up, and a foodie indulgence is the perfect talking point.

Whatever your industry, be chatty and bring personality. Learn about your followers; ask them what playlists, books, or podcasts are getting them through. Have they discovered a new hobby, or taken up a new skill?

The key is to be creative and find the positives. If you can make your audience feel good during a time of concern, they will remember your brand when life returns to normal.

Build your business

Now is the ideal time to grow your audience using a great email campaign or inspired social media posts. During lockdown, your target audience is probably spending more time online; without a daily commute or the school run they have more opportunity to read emails and scroll social media. Use a free download as a lead magnet to build your mailing list.

Although this will be a difficult period for many businesses, use this unusual time to make connections. We’re all in it together.

If you’re finding that business is slow, use the extra time wisely. Keep adjusting your marketing plan, examine your statistics to find out what works best for your brand and your audience.

In a global crisis, keep marketing. Even if times are tough. Especially if times are tough.

If you need a few pointers for marketing during lockdown, a Power Hour with me will give you the direction you need. Get in touch to book now

Kerry x

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