How to market your business during the time of crisis  

Businesses are put to the sword in a time of crisis. During the current global pandemic, many businesses have shut down, others have filed for bankruptcy protection, and lots of people have been rendered unemployed.

During the time of the 2008 financial crisis occasioned by the global recession, the banking sector was heavily affected—sunk credit access did not improve up to 2010. The financial sector is one of the key drivers of major economies’ point of how dire a situation can affect trade and economies on a bigger scale.

Marketing, therefore, needs to be handled differently in reaction to the ongoing situation or times. This can help structure messages to match economic activity, display empathy to your customers, and help improve the profile of the business.

Below are tips that can help improve marketing during a crisis:

1. Pause and lay down new marketing strategies

Marketing efforts, campaigns, or endorsement deals are usually structured to run for a long period—some run for one year, a couple of months, or longer than a year. To effectively send messages, a new strategy has to be put in place.

Below are items that need to be covered in the new messages or strategies: 

  • Empathy – Depending on the crisis, new marketing strategies need to factor in prevailing times. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need to include precautionary measures in their adverts. This shows the customers that you are in line with the current crisis, and clients will also feel valued when they read such messages.
  • Marketing budget and finances – Business needs to factor in the dwindling financial situation. This can be done by negotiating contracts with influencers, canceling some deals, and optimizing marketing resources.
  • Craft a new recovery plan – The fact that business has shrunk does not mean it will be stuck in that situation forever. Marketing teams need to find new ways to increase brand awareness or diversify channels in a bid to keep marketing alive—this can form part of the recovery process.

A crisis offers a time for reflection and creates platforms for a new way of thinking. Businesses must use this window of opportunity to develop new strategies and lay down new plans.

2. Optimize existing marketing channels

The current global pandemic has meant that global trade has shrunk. However, it has also presented new opportunities. More people are working remotely and internet traffic has surged tremendously.

Below is a demonstration of how to optimize your existing marketing channels:

  • Use email marketing – If your business has an existing email list, use it to get better business. The messages can be tailored to mirror the existing times, wherein you can send messages with tips for helping businesses thrive during the crisis.
  • Optimize content for SEO – To highly rank in search engine results pages (SERPs), you should improve your search engine optimization (SEO) qualities. This can involve bidding on branded keywords, observing keyword density, and improving overall user experience in your websites.
  • Improve the mix of content types – Due to the stress and anxiety caused by the crisis, your audience concentration might have suffered. To take advantage of the little opportunities for interaction, a healthy mix of content forms can help.

This can be done by creating video content to support remote service delivery, writing quality articles, creating listicles of products offered, or providing unique images that are rich in information.

  • Improve social media presence – Social media is increasing in popularity as more people gain internet access. This is the time to increase your frequency of posting in different forums. Use channel insights to optimize your profile.

Social media managers and consultants can help structure a new strategy—this includes having content calendars, updated details, and better descriptions.

The ultimate goal here is to improve the efficiency in each of these marketing efforts. It can also help with the business’ overall cost-optimization strategy.

Innovate or try different methods of marketing

The success of any venture cannot be hinged upon a single method. The ability of entrepreneurs or business owners to try new ways of doing things can help set businesses for success.

These are some ideas that business can leverage on to enter a new dispensation:

  • Use of influencers – The use of a popular brand to help spread your message is a new method of marketing. Brands can leverage on other people’s platforms, for instance on social media, for extended reach.
  • Enlist on extra social media platforms – Each social media platform has a different audience; this can be the time to identify and target new markets. For example, creating a fully optimized platform on LinkedIn can help your brand reach high-level decision-makers. It could also help you connect with other industry players in international markets with ease.

What is the secret formula for marketing during a crisis?

Many challenges affect businesses directly and indirectly during a crisis. For this reason, marketing has to be structured to optimize budgets, enhance efficiency on available channels, and show empathy toward your clients and stakeholders.

It’s also the time to try new formulas and combinations. The business should try to maintain visibility in order to survive such a time of crisis.