Why you need to keep marketing during coronavirus

Why you need to keep marketing during coronavirus

As the coronavirus crisis continues, many businesses will be looking for ways to scale back their spending. Often, one of the first things that businesses cut back during times of financial uncertainty is their PR and digital communications activity.

During this time, business leaders will need to make some tough decisions, and for them, investing in their marketing might seem like an unnecessary luxury. In fact, the opposite is true – a time of crisis is a time when companies will need to funnel resources into promoting their business, so as to mitigate significant long term impact.

Over the coming months, as we are all kept apart, it will become more important than ever to connect with your customers, in order to maintain the relationship and brand awareness that you will likely have spent years cultivating. Dedicating a portion of your time and resources towards engaging online and in the media will help ensure your customer base remains loyal during this difficult period.

While there is disruption to your regular services, here’s how you can effectively market yourself to be in a better position to recover from this crisis.

Public Relations

PR – public relations – does exactly what it says on the tin. It helps you develop a relationship with members of the public and allow them to understand what your business and the people behind it are all about.

At present, there are countless opportunities to discuss challenges, innovation and resilience in response to the coronavirus pandemic. A good PR agency will closely monitor the news agenda and will be ahead of the curve, ready to reach out to their media contacts to get you mentioned in the press.

For example, as the crisis in the UK first started to be taken seriously, we secured an interview in the Scotsman for the chairman of William Purves, Scotland’s largest independent funeral directors, by tapping into how they are preparing for any increase in funeral activity. This ended up going viral, making appearances in articles for the Daily Record, the Scottish Sun and the Mirror. 

Before school closures were announced, Represent had already secured an opinion piece for education client, Montessori Partnership in The Herald – a national title – on the topic of home schooling.

If no one has ever heard of your business, or if it’s been a long time since they’ve heard of you, you will not generate sales. The buyer’s journey begins with brand awareness, and it can take up to 7 encounters with your brand before a buyer remembers who you are.

Social media

Now that your customers are spending a lot more time indoors, they will have more time on their hands, and will be checking social media much more frequently.

Vodafone has already reported that data use is up 50%.

We’ll all be turning to our online social spaces a lot more – often as a form of escapism. Even if your company isn’t operating as normal or has temporarily closed, you should still be thinking of social media as a way to connect with your customers.

Posting amazing photos from your business, live streaming and reaching out to your community will be key, so that customers will have your business front of mind once the pandemic is over.

Invest in a social media strategy that makes sense. Beyond brand recognition, social media for businesses should tie into an overarching strategy connected to target results.

For example, luxury tourism client Taymouth Marina saw a significant increase in traffic to their website from social channels after we developed a strategic social plan for them that gave their followers enticing reasons to visit their site and make a booking.

Now is not the right time to go quiet – if you do, you risk being forgotten.

Content marketing

Get found online by drafting excellent quality content. If you’re offering a service, you can tap into online search trends in order to reach those in your target audience.

Content that is helpful and engaging performs best – at a time where people will be searching for advice related to the coronavirus, you can offer your expert insight in order to be discovered online.

Client Campion Homes, a new homes developer in Fife, is steadily climbing the online rankings not only for searches like ‘new homes developer Fife’, but also, ‘Best places to live in Scotland’ and ‘Best dog walks in Fife’.

Start working on your online presence now to grow a new audience ready to use your services following a return to normality.

Alternative services

While your business is closed or taking a hit, think about what alternative services you could be promoting. Every business has something to offer – whether a virtual tour from heritage destinations, a new delivery service for restaurants or online courses for teaching institutions, expanding your repertoire during this time could help you stay afloat.

Whatever you do, don’t go quiet. Although we’re facing challenging times, you’ve worked hard to develop an amazing business and now is the time to shout about it.

For help with your PR and marketing activity and a smart approach to the crisis, contact Represent now.