If you're hesitant to continue your marketing efforts during the pandemic, you're not alone. During these challenging times, many things may seem frivolous, and you're right: now is not the time for a frivolous message.
At the same time, we're all craving information, inspiration, comfort, support, and to a degree, distraction. So what can a small business do without self-damaging?
1. Enable your audience to support the community
Consider a pay-it-forward initiative to cheer and encourage your local health and essential workers, teachers who are working hard to transition their curriculum online, or those in the community who are simply in need. Or commit to donating a certain percentage of your revenue to a charity like No Kid Hungry.
2. Shift your business model to deliver the goods your customers still need in a responsible way
Curb side pick-up is easier to implement than delivery, if you did not have a pre-existing delivery service. My lawn-mower just this week required service, and my repairman came to my garage. We texted throughout the repair, even though there was only a door between us!
3. Invest in your online presence
As revenue declines, you may be tempted to slash your marketing budget, but now is the ideal time to put your digital world in order, expand your e-commerce inventory, and invest in marketing. A thoughtful campaign lets your customers know that you miss and appreciate them, and that you're here for them through their difficult times.
4. Sponsor a local virtual event
A virtual event is a wonderful way to bring some cheer into your customers' day. This works especially well for hospitality brands, but everyone, from retail shops to real estate agents, could host a virtual event. Keep it casual and light, and make it easy to join online (clear instructions and a reasonable hour).
5. Ask for help
Your customers love that you're a small business, and if you need the help, don't be afraid to ask. Your customers want you to survive this. A bonus with purchase is a simple way to show customers your appreciation. How about "Buy $100 gift card, get $20" for example?