All across America, many businesses are temporarily closed. For small business owners, the challenge today is maintaining their connections with their customers even if they don’t have products or services they can offer currently or in the short-term future.
It is imperative that businesses continue to communicate with their customers throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Although nobody knows when life will return to normal, eventually it will. And when it does, you want to make sure people still feel connected to your business.
One benefit of the coronavirus crisis is that many businesses have a captive audience. Most people are stuck at home. And for the time being, at least, they have little else to do but look at their social media, read their emails, and scroll through their text messages.
That creates the ideal opportunity for small businesses to remind their customers that they exist. If you are still offering products and services – even if it is in a modified form – tell people about it.
Many retail businesses including restaurants and even bars have pivoted to pickup and delivery as a way of keeping their cash flow alive. But people aren’t going to order from you if they don’t know you are open.
And if you are temporarily shuttered, it’s still valuable to keep communicating with your customers.
Most small businesses need to be communicating with both existing and potential customers on a daily or near-daily basis through Facebook posts, Instagram stories, Twitter Tweets, emails blasts, text strings, and any other digital marketing opportunity that exists.
Have Something to Say
Before the crisis, you probably used your digital marketing platforms to let customers know about offers and promotions, special pricing, sales items, and other information.
For many small businesses today, however, this information is no longer relevant. For the next few weeks, instead you need to come up with something else to say about your business.
One of the best things you can do is to let people know what you are doing to contribute to the fight against the virus.
- Have you made contributions of supplies or equipment to local hospitals or medical centers?
- Are you continuing to pay your employees?
- Have you volunteered your services to local government or relief efforst?
- Are you volunteering at a local food bank or making cash contributions to the Red Cross or other charities?
All of these things will have the dual benefit of creating a point of contact with your customers while simultaneously letting people know that you genuinely care about your community and are engaged with the efforts to help people affected by the crisis.
Remaining Actively Engaged
Another type of information you can promote through digital marketing is what you are doing while your business is closed. Are you bringing some employees back to do deep cleaning? Are you reorganizing your inventory? Are you drawing up plans for reopening?
Let people know what you are doing during the crisis. Parcel the information out so you have something to communicate daily. Look for new opportunities to share news and information that people can use.
Try to find ways to remain relevant to both your customers and the community at large so when things do return to normal people will feel as if you never went away.
Blog Posts and eBooks
If you haven’t already started a blog for your business, now might be a good time to start. Blogs are a fast, easy and affordable way to provide high-value content, something that is especially important to people who are temporarily trapped indoors and don’t have a lot else to do.
eBooks are another way to keep your business relevant. They are brief yet informative books containing relevant information about your business or topics related to your industry that can be distributed for free or given away as a way of drawing in new leads. And once they are written, you can use them again and again to build your business’s credibility and boost its reputation.
However you do it, it’s important that you keep giving your customers something that reminds them that your business exists. Sooner or later this crisis will end. And when it does, continual communication will help ease the seamless transition from crisis to normalcy.