Marketing During a Pandemic
One of the great American business stories came from a time of widespread uncertainty like we are facing right now. During the Great Depression, Kellog’s, the famous cereal company, doubled their marketing efforts despite the grave financial situation they found themselves in. Most companies at the time were drastically shrinking their marketing budgets to stay afloat, but Kellog’s took the risk to be different and stand out. This strategic move propelled them to record profit increases and positioned themselves at the top of the pre-packaged cereal world where they remain today.
There is no doubt, we are in uncharted territory and in the thick of something that will forever be talked about in history books with today’s pandemic. The reach of the COVID-19 touches every corner of the Earth, and no industry has been spared from its impact, however, now is the time to adjust your messaging to position the company as the go-to tree service in your community.
Here are 3 tips for marketing your business during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Update Customers and Prospects on Your Change in Operations: Share with customers and potential customers that you are still open for business and how you are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of your employees. Email everyone directly, as well as making this message known across your social media platforms and on your website. Inform your current customers how you will be handling proposals and customer contacts going forward. Communicate these safety precautions across other platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.
PRO TIP: Making sure your team is sharing the same messaging regarding your updated policies and procedures is essential. Appoint a communications director to relay your message to your crew to ensure they are on the same page. Have this communications director relay exact images and text to be shared.
Don’t Forget Your Social Media: With all that is happening in the world right now, it is understandable if social media is not your company’s top priority. While it may be easy to push it off to the side, remain consistent with your posts. If you have scheduled content for social media, take time to re-evaluate and create content that is relevant to the situation. Make this content easily shareable so your message can be spread. Be aware of heightened emotions and consider the images and language you are using. For example, be cautious when posting photos with large groups and other acts that defy the current regulations. If you are sharing a photo from the past that does display this, such as from a conference you attended or a kid’s climb, make it known in your caption. Remember, if you are sharing any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure all of your sources are credible. The last thing you want to do during this time is spread misinformation.
Here are 5 quick and easy posts you can share on your social media accounts.
a. Share how your company is adjusting its policies and procedures as discussed earlier in the article.
b. Take a photo of the essential service your team is providing during this time
c. Highlight a team member with a short video! Introduce them, ask their role at the company and touch on some of the reasons why they became an arborist.
d. Provide quick video updates of behind the scenes fun, creative things that your business and team are doing in quarantine.
e. Keep it light and share the good things happening this month. Good examples of this include Earth Day and Arbor Day.
In this together – Focus on Your Community: The impact the pandemic has is taking tolls on the pillars of our communities. Make a strong effort to help your local restaurants, charitable foundations and other small businesses within your community. Consider hosting a giveaway on social media by teaming up with a local restaurant and purchasing gift cards for the winners. Grabbing take-out from your favorite local restaurant? Highlight them by sharing on your social media platforms. Reach out to the small businesses in your area, what are their immediate concerns and how can your company alleviate some of those fears? Food banks and other local charities are in desperate need of our support. Now more than ever is a great time to make a charitable donation or host a food drive for your local food bank or Feeding America (Of course, make sure that you comply with your current regulations if hosting a food drive). The demand for blood donors is also at an all time high. If you are in a situation where you are able to make a blood donation, check The Red Cross for local blood drives to donate.
Now is not the time to cut back on your marketing efforts. If people do not know that you are still open to do business, will they be calling you for tree work that they need? Of course not. Be like Kellog’s and get creative with more marketing during this time.
If you want specific help with marketing ideas for your company, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today. Together, we can get through this!