Updated 04/01 - Disclaimer: This message brought to you by VanNoppen Marketing and is not an April Fools Joke.
The COVID-19 outbreak has left us in strange, uncertain times. With different versions of Shelter in Place orders, an evolving understanding of what an Essential Business is, and inheriting a few other full-time jobs (teacher, video conference-expert, house-husband, etc), there's a lot to get our arms around. One thing we can count on is the growing group of quarantined people, and local communities calling to "shop local" now more than ever.
Business doesn't have to stop because people can't come to the door! Digital marketing is the ideal way to continue connecting and growing your customer base without a storefront. Overall, you want customers to know your status (open, closed, essential, delayed orders, etc), to engage them digitally (offer deals, sell gift cards, etc), and keep a strong relationship. This is a great time for people to rethink and engage on digital platforms to keep business up despite the current climate. Large or small, you should now have a digital presence and be prioritizing digital marketing. A few ideas for your...
The Internet is the primary place people are receiving and looking for information. Make sure that if you are closed, essential, or scaled back the message is clearly visible on your website, all digital platforms, and even with a sign in the storefront (just in case someone actually tries to come to the store).
Tip: use this tool to find any inconsistencies or unclaimed platforms, Digital Scanning
Let them know what the deal is with you! This should be the longer-form of the status update above. Be specific and share the full update of what to expect from you. For example, the factory is closed but you are still able to receive and process orders, here is where to go to do that. Or the retail store is closed but the inventory online has doubled. There may be longer delivery times but you are staying safe, stopping the spread and accepting orders!
Tip: Offer an early release or flash sale deal to a loyal group of customers.
Focus on your best-performing channels and stay connected with customers and your industry by sharing updates, engaging with people, continuing business as digitally as possible or just staying active so people know you haven't closed.
Another good thing to do during this downtime is to clean up your social presence. Organize images into albums, refine/clean up those Instagram stories, make sure your descriptions, emails, and website URL's are all up to date. It's a great time to find that not-blurry and cropped-just-right logo picture, or change up the banner image you have updated in months!
If you don't have a website, now is a good time to get one up. If you do have a website but never bothered to update it, no time like the present! Your site should be the digital watering hole for your business. All social or other digital links should be accessible from here, any big updates with the business should be reflected, and of course, if you need something from your customers during this time (online sales, appointment requests, etc), it should also be promoted and easy to access via the site.
You don't have to be a retail business to benefit from selling Gift Cards. It is a great way to keep sales coming in, allowing your followers and community to support you with ease, and can be set up quickly.
Tip: sell gift cards online quickly using a Website Building Tool
Morganton Tip: VanNoppen Marketing is offering 50% off a website to any Morganton business that doesn't have one.
Create some How-To or FAQ videos, run a contest for a giveaway, hold a poll on a common question, host a virtual class or club meeting, make some deliveries (and sanitize). Now is the time to think outside the box. People are stuck at home, following Social Distancing orders, and getting bored. Our suggestion to businesses is to stay connected, think positive, and act now!
The greater world community is pulling together. Some of the funding opportunities in the most recent US congress bill can be allocated toward marketing, companies are offering extended free trials or waving late payment fees, even Google announced it may start to give out free GoogleAd money (we do not recommend holding your breath for this). Marketing was once the first thing to get cut from a budget, today it is considered essential.
We continue to stay available, work remotely, and sanitize all objects. Give us a call or shoot us an email if any help is needed during these crazy days!