During the COVID-19 pandemic, television viewership is up across most areas of the United States. While many people at home are streaming, binging and catching up on shows and movies, a large majority are also watching local news stations for the latest updates, statistics, and statewide restrictions.
With so many people watching, you may already have realized how important it is to continue your advertising efforts. But do you have an effective marketing plan in place? What is your advertising message, both during the crisis and post-COVID-19? Do you have a "Welcome Back" message ready to go when this is over? What does that message look like?
In this blog, we’ll provide questions you should be asking yourself (and answers!) so you can develop a solid strategy to advertise your business as effectively as possible.
Show Your Audience You're Offering Solutions
What are you doing during this time to support your customers and employees?
What deals, discounts, and promotions are you offering that will help your customers? During this period, you want to tailor your deals and promotions to the things your customers need most. For instance, are you offering a discount for those working on the front lines? Are you offering financial support? For example, Hyundai has shifted its advertisements to focus on how it’s protecting customers who are facing financial hardships. Share that information with your customers so they can utilize what you have to offer.
What measures you are taking to help your employees? You want to keep your team members as safe and secure as possible as your community works to limit the spread of COVID-19. What measures are you taking in your store? Coors, for example, is offering its employees an extra $5 per hour for hourly workers, as well as overtime and $200 extra per week for salaried workers who continue to work on-site throughout the pandemic.
Inform Your Audience of Steps You're Taking to Stop the Spread
The way you’re doing business today may not be the same way you were doing business in February. Let your audience know exactly what steps you're taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
How are you changing your day to day operations? Now, more than ever, you have to keep the safety and protection of both employees and customers at the forefront in all your operations--and your customers need to know how you're making that possible. Are you limiting the number of customers allowed in-store at a time? Should customers expect to wait outside in a line before entering the store? Let your customers know how operations have changed so they are prepared when they arrive.
How are stopping the spread of germs? What sanitation measures are you taking throughout your stores? What sanitary gear or precautions are your employees using to help prevent illness? When you share these precautions in your ads, you are putting your customers at ease by informing them that you are doing everything you can to keep them and your employees healthy.
What other ways can customers receive your product or services? Are you offering curbside pick-up options? Delivery? All those smaller changes can make a big impact on your business as a whole--and on how your customers perceive your business's commitment to safety.
If possible, show your customers these steps in your ads. Let them see for themselves how you're working to protect them and the community as a whole.
Tell Them How You're Helping the Community
With so many in need during this time, many businesses are choosing to step up and help. Consider what contributions your business is providing and develop a community message around that.
- Donating a product or a portion of proceeds to help those in need?
- Offering your time, including your employees' paid time on the clock, to help meet community needs?
- Making changes that benefit the community, including offering senior-hour shopping hours or extending payment periods?
Your community needs to know that you are here to help. The empathy and assistance you offer now will benefit your business both in the midst of the current crisis and as it resolves.
Provide Them With Useful Information During This Time
Your customers and clients are looking to you as a source of important information throughout this crisis. They need to know:
- Up-to-date changes in business hours, production, or operations
- What products you have available and what is out of stock.
In addition to providing this information to your customers, you must also provide clear, comprehensive information to your employees for internal purposes--and keep up communication as the situation continues to evolve.
By developing a marketing plan with a clear message and sticking to it, you will help communicate vital information your customers want through your ads. A media partner can help you create these ads so you can respond quickly and effectively. As you continue to communicate with your customers and employees, you'll find that you're able to provide reassurance, confidence, and solutions.