Just because you’ve been forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t mean you should quietly wait out the opportunity to reopen. Even after states reopen fully, it’s likely things won’t go back to the way they were in January.
But you also know how eager people are to get out and about and shopping again, so you need to keep reminding them you’re still here for them.
Keep marketing low key
While you want to make sure your customers don’t forget you, this is still a time to soft-pedal the marketing angle.
You may have seen Walmart’s current TV ad stressing how hard their employees (all wearing masks) are working to stock shelves for you and all the steps they’re taking to ensure your safety as you shop. Or the Nestlé spot celebrating special moments at home, featuring a montage of images of happy families together, with just a single brief shot of someone pouring their chocolate chips into a bowl of batter.
So use your social media channels to keep your brand alive in their minds but offer the type of uplifting posts everyone is so hungry for at the moment. You’ve seen the viral posts about people cheering medical workers or performing street music for their neighborhoods; those are the kinds of messages you want to either create or be sure to forward to your fans.
One popular topic pre-pandemic was animals, and this hasn’t changed (and probably never will). Whether you’re posting videos of the goofy things your pet has been doing while you’ve been quarantined together or the way nature is enduring and even thriving, the subtle message that life goes on will always be welcomed by your fans.
Provide news and updates
Of course we’re not saying you shouldn’t offer information about your product or service. And as states around the country begin various stages of reopening, you can gauge when to ramp up your own marketing efforts based on your locality.
You’ll want to keep customers apprised of your plans to reopen, either gradually or all at once. Just because a governor gives the all-clear doesn’t mean every business will instantly be up and running the next day. Let fans in on your plans, along with a timeline. You can also post regular updates and special offers: “Don’t forget, we’ll be kicking off our reopening with a special ‘welcome-back’ gift for our customers on Memorial Day!”
Give, give, give
The best way to get is to give. Especially if you’re a business that can’t fully reopen safely in the near future, you can still keep your brand before your customers with YouTube videos offering advice and information, or a weekly show on Facebook or Instagram, or a daily podcast on your area(s) of expertise.
For example, a health spa might offer tips on the best fragrances for aromatherapy and how to use them. A hair salon could give a tutorial on how to make and wear fashionable masks. Disney is Instagramming recipes for the foods they offer at Walt Disney World. Recipes, by the way, couldn’t be hotter right now, although they’re popular at any time.
Such exposure is an effective way to market your brand while keeping your fans interested and engaged.
Show how you’re protecting them
Keep in mind that surveys consistently demonstrate that, no matter how badly people want to resume their old way of life, two-thirds of Americans say they won’t go places where they don’t feel safe. Survey after survey shows the dichotomy between people’s desire to get back out and doing things vs. their clear fear of contracting COVID-19. Governors can make all the declarations they want, but they can’t force people to shop if they’re nervous about doing so.
So if you have a brick-and-mortar business that involves customer contact, you’ll want to detail all the steps you’re taking to safeguard your customers and employees on reopening.
And try to think beyond the usual sanitizing of surfaces and having employees wear masks. If you have a nail salon, could you install Plexiglas partitions that customers could put their hands through? If you can afford it, could you purchase an upgraded air exchange system to continually refresh the indoor air (because the coronavirus appears to be most contagious in enclosed spaces)? Or even a germicidal UVC light system to disinfect high-traffic spaces overnight?
It’s not really necessary to go to such lengths, however. The idea is simply to reassure them that you take their safety seriously and, incidentally, to casually advertise your product or service while you’re at it.
If you’re looking for other ways to reintroduce yourself to your customers, please feel free to consult with our social media marketing experts. We can help you break out from the pack.