Introduction / Communicating During COVID-19 / Customers Go Digital Amidst Social Distancing / Measuring Post-COVID Customer Behavior / Tools to Relaunch Your Marketing
By BlackDog’s Marketing Team
Getting Back to Business
Throughout this series, we’ve looked at many tools and techniques to help you strategize and prepare your company for our new normal. Now that you’ve spent some time reviewing your company’s communications and data analytics, optimizing your organization to lean into new digital innovations, and implementing a few general housekeeping updates for your website – it’s time to start thinking about the next phase, reopening your business.
What You’ll Learn
- Before Reopening
• Data-Driven Decisions
• Communicate With Your Audience
• Update Social Channels
• Pricing Structure
• Focus On The Community
- Three Marketing Strategies For Reopening
• Make A Splash
• Marketing Matters
• Safety First
- Innovative & Flexible
Before Reopening Your Business
It’s important to remember that nobody is truly an expert right now. We’re all going through tough decisions regarding our companies in these uncertain times. The same could be said for reopening our businesses. We’re all dealing with different circumstances and levels of resources. All we can do is try our best to make informed decisions for our staff and customers. The best way to do this is by making data driven decisions, as we discussed in Pt. 3 of our COVID Communication Series. Your data analytics is filled with valuable insights that can help you define your customers’ new wants and needs. Useful data collection sources like Google Analytics and Google Search Trends will help you further define your target audience’s customer behavior.
It’s going to be critical to communicate with your audience via email and social media. As we discussed in Pt. 1 of our COVID Communication Series, your email subscribers and social media followers are your most dedicated and active customers. Let them know how excited you are to be back and make sure to include all safety regulations that your organization will be following upon reopening. Additionally, update your social media channels with all the latest information, such as operating hours and contact information. Make sure to revisit this, as well as the other five essential social media practices we’ve outlined in Pt. 2 of our COVID Communication Series.
Now that you’ve spent time reviewing the data and communicating with your audience, you have more information to help you make the next decision, determining whether you need to make any changes to your existing pricing structure. Establishing a new pricing structure could be tricky as it will all depend on your organization’s margins. There are two pricing philosophies, each with their own benefits, that companies can consider using upon reopening – Discounted Pricing or Premium Pricing.
+ Good for businesses with high volume attendance and repeat business.
+ Early adopters will be actively seeking deals.
– With decreased capacity and discounted tickets, margins may be small.
+ Good for businesses with lower volume attendance and less repeat business.
+ High value experiences or products create additional value.
– May turn away budget conscious patrons.
Once you’ve landed on your pricing structure, you can move onto a crucial component of your reopening, focusing on the community. With your doors opening up again, it’s time to remind your neighbors that you’re still here! Reach out to your local community and business partners alerting them that you’re back in action. Alert your local news outlets as many will start looking for positive news stories to replace their COVID-19 coverage. Find a way to encourage the local community through an exclusive deal. We firmly believe shopping local will be a big trend as people want to support their neighbors during these tough times. Take all the information you’ve gathered during this time and reintroduce your organization to the community.
Three Marketing Strategies For Reopening
As you’re getting ready to welcome people back into your business, it’s time to consider these three critical marketing strategies for reopening.
1. Make A Splash!
The time is now to remind everyone that you’re a cornerstone of the community. Additionally, find a way to add some spark or excitement towards your return. Maybe you could host a small event with local influencers. Consider adding a new product or service; it doesn’t have to be overly extravagant or grand. It just has to be something that can create a buzz of interest.
2. Marketing Matters
It’s understandable with the limited resources available that you can’t execute an entirely new campaign. However, there are cost-effective and flexible ways to make sure you’re seen by your targeted audience. Consider these two placements:
Paid Search, such as Google and Bing, allows you to target people who are already searching for your business and gives you real-time metrics on how effective your marketing campaigns are. They are also offering an Ad Credit for small and medium-sized businesses.
Paid Social Marketing is a really good way to invest in targeted and trackable advertising reaching people who are not currently searching for you, but are highly likely to be interested in your product or service. Remember that research we talked about in Pt. 3 of our COVID Communication Series? Put it to use here by implementing detailed audience targeting for your ads. There is also an Ad Grant you can apply for.
3. Safety First
Now more than ever, health and safety are at the top of everyone’s minds. It’s going to be critical to include all safety regulations and precautions into your messaging. Advertise all the steps your organization is taking to keep its staff and customers safe. Exceed guidelines where possible. If you can show examples of the safety measures you’re taking, even better. Keep in mind, the audience is actively watching to see which companies are not adhering to new safety regulations. By being proactive and transparent, you can avoid some of the negative social shaming online.
Now’s the time to tap into your relentless drive and entrepreneurship mentality to find innovative and flexible ways to make your business stand out. Don’t be afraid to make bold decisions and try new things. Those bold decisions could help define your future success. This will be a work in progress for us all as we navigate through this next phase. Just remember this, your local business is part of what makes the community special. Although times are challenging, it will be local businesses that help us prevail and survive. Together, we all get to write this next chapter of our new normal.
Click below to read the first installment of our four part series:
Communicating during COVID-19