How to continue marketing during coronavirus pandemic
The lock down has affected all our lives. Many businesses and charities are worried about the viability of their future. It can be tempting to just try and ‘hunker down’ until all this blows over but that will simply make things worse. This is the time to stay in the forefront of customers, funders and commissioners’ minds. But how do you do this when you might not be able to be in your usual workplace, with clients and products or services etc. Here’s We are Comma’s five top tips to marketing through the coronavirus pandemic. The lock down has affected all our lives. Many businesses and charities are worried about the viability of their future. It can be tempting to just try and ‘hunker down’ until all this blows over but that will simply make things worse. This is the time to stay in the forefront of customers, funders and commissioners’ minds. But how do you do this when you might not be able to be in your usual workplace, with clients and products or services etc. Here’s We are Comma’s five top tips to marketing through the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Look for new opportunities
Yes, everything is different but instead of thinking of that in negative terms, why not look for new opportunities? Some museums have been promoting their online offering to help with home-schooling. Local libraries – such as one of our clients Blackfen Community Library – have moved their usual activities online. Blackfen Community Library is continuing its rhyme time sessions online through YouTube and social media. The BBC have reported that some businesses have been crowdfunding to help them survive.
2. Try something new
Once you have identified new opportunities, try something new. Of course, it is important to make sure anything you do fits with your brand but don’t miss this opportunity to give something new a try. Concerns around those living with domestic abuse have been high during lockdown, indeed, just a week or so into being asked to stay at home Refuge said they had received a 25% increase in calls and online contact. In an inspired piece of marketing, Refuge has been promoting donations by asking people to ‘buy a gift’ for a woman (and/or child(ren)) escaping domestic abuse. These gifts are in the style of a ‘buy a donkey’ gift from Oxfam. Using online advertising has meant the charity is able to target promotion to those who have shown sympathy to this issue through their online activities. The BBC has recently reported on a new campaign to help charities plug an expected £4bn income shortfall after organised fundraising sports events such as the London Marathon have been cancelled. The 2.6 Challenge inspires people to create their own athletic activities based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 and donate money.
An example of a social media campaign post from Refuge during the Covid-19 pandemic .
3. Stay online
This is a great time to invest in your online communities. This is not just about putting out more and more content but really engaging with your audiences online. Dig into your social media analytics, find out more about your typical and ideal customer. Enjoy geeking out! Make sure you’re part of Facebook groups and get involved. Follow relevant influencers on Instagram or LinkedIn then make sure you comment and share interesting ideas. And don’t overthink it. Just get online and get connecting. Even what could have been a disaster is working out well online at the moment, as the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma, US, has shown when their head of security took over the twitter feed after the museum had to close due to Covid-19.
4. Make sure your Business Continuity Plan is up to date
Hopefully you already have a business continuity plan in place. If you don’t, check out our post on what a business continuity plan is and how to write one. You’ll also find tips on making sure it is up to date and you have plans in place in case Covid-19 affects your organisation directly through illness or even sadly death.
5. Keep in touch
Whatever you do during lock down, keep in touch with your customers, with your partners, with those who fund you and those who commission you. Make sure they know what you’re up to and what your plans are for the future etc. Don’t be afraid to shout about the good things you’re doing. People want – and need – to hear positive news at the moment. One of our clients – Valicity Care Services – shared the ways they are supporting their local communities during this pandemic. Write blog posts, keep your social media up to date and send email newsletters. Just make sure when all this is over, your audiences know you are still operating and what to work with them.
What new ways of marketing have you boldly tried recently? What rewards have you reaped?