The entire world is sitting at home. Everyone is waiting to go out and resume their disrupted life again. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only stopped regular people from going out but also brands.
For businesses, it’s not exactly the time when you can provide any services. The consequences of this lockdown are immeasurable. And it’s not just about not being able to sell your product or service but there’s also the paying of bills and salaries of employees.
The worst part of it all is, you don’t know when you will be getting the customer flow back. The room for assumptions is big and the reality may or may not agree with it. Recently, Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship, said in an interview with ET, “Over one-fourth of country's 69 million micro, medium and small enterprises may shut down due to crash crunch if the lockdown extends over 4 to 8 weeks.” Ravi Venkatesan, chairman
But if you look at the bright side, all your customers are online now. Whether it is to watch the news or scroll through their social media profiles. To capture the interest of those audiences, brands are taking the help of influencers. According to livemint, brands across the categories are now leveraging the online influencers which have led to a total of 25% growth in influencer marketing.
But one thing is sure that your competitors are not resting. They are doing their best to influence the customers through social media so that once this is all over, they will have a bunch of new customers and some loyal customers to take their business to the next level.
So as a brand, what is it that you can do? What is it that will help you reach out to your customers during the lockdown period so that you can resume your business once the lockdown is lifted?
Here are our recommendations that will enable you to reach your ideal customers.
1. Social Media
This is the only time when you can shine by taking the help of social media. Since the algorithm of the platform allows you to reach your target audience, you can serve your customers with exactly what they need. It’s the only place where you can influence your target customers during the lockdown so that you can control their decision making later.
2. Quality Content
Quality content speaks for itself and you don’t need to put too much effort once it hits the right audience at the right time. This is the best time to communicate your business to your potential customers. You can start by updating your website, put out newsletters, send emailers and write blogs to influence your customers.
For example, if you are sending emailers, know that the potential customer is at home and there are higher chances that he/she will open it. This is why content quality matters the most because if it is poor, you won’t be able to influence your customers.
What do you need to do right now?
In order to do effective communication with your customers, you need to be doing a few things. From providing reassurance to maintaining brand loyalty, here’s a list that you can follow.
1. Tackling the COVID-19 strategy
You can provide your customers with a sense of reassurance that you are maintaining hygiene and taking care of the well-being of your customers as well as your customers. Believe it or not but customers right now want to know what company is taking measures to tackle the virus situation.
2. Clear communications
Another thing that will build transparency between your brand and the client is honesty. You need to be honest about the current situation for example if you had any deliveries that are delayed or if you are currently not taking orders, let the people know. Don’t give them false hopes like “we’d be starting our deliveries from this date” if the government hasn’t given an official statement.
3. Share company updates
Another thing that implements trust and builds brand loyalty is your effort towards keeping your employees safe. You need to show that you care about your employees and taking the right measures to protect them. Share what measures you are taking.
4. Connect with clients over social media
Make full use of social media by connecting with clients over social media. You can come up with fun and interesting ways to keep them engaged. You can do polls, or go live or ask for an influencer to use your Instagram handle to generate interest in your brand.
5. Provide offers for later
Do you know what interests customers more than anything? Coupons. Even though they can’t place orders now, but hopefully, there will be a time when this lockdown will be lifted. So give them hope along with some offers so that you can keep them interested.
The above-mentioned activities are best for local businesses who want to get big. These are trying times where it is important to hang in there because things will get better. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will and you better be prepared for that.
Right now, you need to focus on the bigger pictures. It is true that the customer can’t buy your product or your service right now. But what if you help them learn a new skill that leaves them with a feeling that you gave them something. For example, if you are a local apparel business, you can teach them a new skill such as turning a T-shirt into a crop top or if you are a photographer, you can teach them to take good pictures with their smartphones. To initiate such activities, you can take the help of ‘Instagram Live’ where you will attract a huge audience.
Rather than panicking or spending your time binge-watching Netflix, you can put your effort into creating an impact on your target customers and spread your brand if you are a small business owner.