Are you worried about your small business brand right now?
Many small businesses are, understandably, concerned about their cash flow and staying open during the COVID-19 crisis. The burden social distancing has put on businesses of all sizes is unmatched in modern times. Even the strongest of companies are struggling with them. But it’s not only the financial side of your business you need to consider.
Maintaining your brand over the next few weeks is going to be tricky. There are some ways that you can avoid any damage to it. In fact, you might even be able to strengthen your brand in the eyes of your audience. Here’s how!
Take All Health and Safety Precautions
Brands can do real damage to themselves if they mismanage a crisis.
For example, a video game company named GameStop decided to declare themselves “essential retail” in mid-March 2020. They forced their employees to stay at work with minimal cleaning supplies (often forcing them to buy supplies themselves). To say this resulted in some bad press would be an understatement. Customers attacked GameStop from all quarters for their tone-deaf and frankly dangerous policies. The damage done to their brand will likely live long after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
Obviously, that stage of the crisis has passed, with most storefronts closed and social distancing mandates in place. That doesn’t mean, however, that your business shouldn’t be doing their part in helping to control the pandemic. The way that your customers see you handling this will play a major impact on their perception of your brand moving forward.
If you have any employees, make sure they have everything they need to do their jobs from their homes (Working from home for the first time can be tough). Do everything you can to try to mitigate the impact if current circumstances have resulted in layoffs. If you are an essential business, you must make sure that everything is frequently cleaned and wiped down, and that social distancing measures are in place for customers and employees in your storefront.
Communicate with Your Customers
It’s always important to communicate with your audience regularly. Whether it be on social media, through email newsletters, or in-person conversations, connecting with them is how you solidify your brand in their minds.
That’s quite a bit harder now that most businesses have moved entirely digital. Yes, people are online more often, but that doesn’t mean they are looking to connect with brands. You must continue to talk with them, addressing their needs and concerns about you and your small business brand. But most of all, you want to offer them your support throughout the crisis.
The tone of your communications will be vital. For example, trying to give them the “hard sell” for products like webinars and online courses right now might backfire. People are watching their pocketbooks incredibly closely, as unemployment has risen to staggering levels over the last few weeks. Putting the hard sell on your customers might frustrate them, damaging your brand in the long-term.
Refocus Your Content Marketing Strategy
Here at Jennie Lyon Digital Marketing and Virtual Assistant Services, we work tirelessly for our clients to create blogs, newsletters, social media posts, graphics, and other content that connects them with their audience and spreads their brand online. That usually means we create content way ahead of time so everything can go out at times of the highest engagement.
So, we’ve been working overtime over the last few weeks, entirely revamping our clients’ social media and digital marketing strategies to align with the current circumstances. COVID-19 has changed everything in terms of the types of content businesses are putting out, as Coronavirus is all everyone is talking about today.
If you haven’t adjusted your digital and content marketing strategy yet, that should be at the top of your to-do list. You need to reach out to your customers with content that is relevant to their current circumstances. For example, write a blog about the steps you have taken as a business to alleviate the current strain on your employees. Or you could change your social media posts to more supportive messaging. Or, if you are feeling up for it, share your own feelings about how COVID-19 has impacted you on a personal level. By making your content relevant at this uncertain time, you will be reinforcing your brand in your customers’ minds.
How We Can Help
Social media can be tough to plan at the best of times. You don’t want it to sound too repetitive, always hammering away at the same talking points. At the same time, you need to keep it on message. While maintaining your reputation as a small business that cares about their customers. That’s even harder during COVID-19. Learn how to deeply connect with your customers through social media! You should download my free workbook: Making the Most of Social Media. And if you want some help keeping a positive reputation of your brand online, you can check out my free 6-Step Reputation Management: Workbook.
Brand perception is a constant balancing act. Finding the right tone to communicate your message takes time, experience, and finesse. If you want to make sure that your brand survives the next few weeks, not only intact but stronger, you might need some help. That’s where I come in. You can contact me today and we can start building a plan to keep your brand in the hearts and minds of your customers. And if I can do anything at all to help you and your business throughout these unprecedented times, feel free to reach out. I’d love to hear from you!