This week marks the fourth since the UK was put on lockdown, and though it has been a rollercoaster of a spring 2020, things seem to be stabilising a little. There’s a new normal and people are adapting.
To help businesses stay on top of the ever-changing demand for marketing and content, we have created a checklist of things you can do.
This article is part of our Content Hub on how businesses can proceed with marketing during this Coronavirus period. Bliss is pooling our 10 years of industry experience to create these free and informative guides to help you, with weekly updates.
Stage 1 - Reacting
By now we have passed the first stage of the response to coronavirus. This was all about the initial reaction and keeping your customers informed and supported.
To summarise, the first things on our checklist are making sure you have a:
- Comprehensive message on your website, detailing your response and making it clear to customers how to contact you
- Email to your customer database, giving them a summary of what you’ve been doing and directing them back to the website message
- Pinned social media posts with a similar, yet shorter message to the email.
We’ve covered these first steps here if you want our best advice on how to make these really count.
Stage 2 - Planning and building
We are firmly in the second stage of the Coronavirus period where your actions should be focused on both safeguarding your brand and preparing for when your business can resume.
Next steps you could take include:
✅ Keep your customers updated
With a three-week extension to lockdown just announced, now is the perfect opportunity to let your customers know what you’re up to and how you’ve been responding so far. Reinforce the importance of following government guidelines but also that you are there to help.
✅ Make sure all of your communications are uniform
Remember that all your updates should be consistent across all platforms. If you’re sending an email round, make sure that your website reflects the same message. Remember to check out our guide on optimal communication for an insight into the best tips and tricks Bliss uses in our marketing.
✅ Improve on what you already have
Without normal day-to-day tasks taking up your time, now could be the opportunity to invest in those time-consuming activities which are easy to put off, or even some pipedreams of yours. Come up with a list of the stuff you normally don’t have the time for, to start making your way through.
If you’ve been thinking your website deserves a bit of TLC, we’ve written a full guide of ideas to spring clean your website and make it the best that it can be.
✅ Aim to be present outside of working hours for your customers
Not only is the national mood shifting, so is the national working pattern. Some people have loads more spare time right now, others are busier than ever before. If you can shift your working pattern to be available in the early morning and late afternoon/evening to help with customer queries, this will be highly appreciated and reflect positively on your business.
✅ Use social media to reinforce your presence
On top of official statements from your business, don’t be afraid of posting other content on social media either.
With people adapting to the situation, there is more of a need for non-Coronavirus related content to boost morale. By posting conscientiously on social media you will also keep your brand on people’s minds.
That being said, be mindful of what you post - don’t be salesy/overtly promotional, especially if your product/offering is unavailable to access during the lockdown.
✅ Find different ways to help during this period
Now is an opportunity to try to go above and beyond, whether big or small, for charity or your customers, a lot of people are banding together to make a positive difference.
At Bliss, we’ve been creating this hub of information - including guides, best practice tips, and our professional processes - all for free. Normally, our marketing guides would only be available for our Park Kit customers. But we thought that as this is where our expertise lies, maybe it could be helpful for other businesses too.
Another example is one of Bliss’s longstanding clients, Vale Holiday Parks, who has taken to live-streaming every night. This was originally to support the cabaret artists who would otherwise be out of a gig, but quickly became the highlight of many people’s evenings.
✅ Develop campaigns which are ready to go when that time arrives
It is the perfect time to start thinking about the campaigns you will run once this is all over. Although the lockdown has been extended, no one knows the state of play we’ll be in in three weeks. So making sure you’re prepared now is your best bet of coming out on top.
The best way to start this is to consider - when this all ends, what will be the best way to appeal to your customers? Simply continuing on with the 2020 strategy you set in January is unlikely to be as effective as it could. The economic impact and shift in national mood will certainly have changed your customers’ perspectives. Instead, create a new strategy to match what they’ll want now.
For example, for those in the tourism industry, customers are probably itching to leave their homes right now. When this ends, how are you going to make sure it is your destination they choose to visit?
There isn’t a ‘right’ answer to this, it is an unprecedented and unpredictable period we’re living in. But by strategising now, you won’t be left behind when things do suddenly change!
Stage 3 - Relaunching
Stage 3 will be coming when we have an end in sight, which though not visible yet, is getting closer by the day.
For now though, consider the other steps in our checklist and how easy they’ll be for you to complete. This is a time period which will shake up a lot of businesses, but by staying organised, making the most of the downtime and maintaining good communication with your customers, you are taking positive steps to mitigate any long term damage.
Check out our full Content Hub for advice, best practice and ideas on how businesses can proceed with digital marketing during the Coronavirus period.