Author
by Rachel Wayne
 

HOW COMPANIES CAN SURVIVE DURING DIFFICULT TIMES

Economic downturns are always a scary time for businesses, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses of all types are experiencing unprecedented challenges. From reduced sales to outright closures, even well-established companies are feeling the squeeze.

  1. BE CLEAR AND SUPPORTIVE IN YOUR COMMUNICATIONS

    Most businesses are affected in some way by the pandemic. The resilient ones are those that effectively communicate their strategy and express solidarity rather than weakness. Companies that are openly communicative about their closures and policies are more likely to survive the downturn.

    Today’s consumers generally prefer socially responsible companies, so it’s worth your effort to be careful with your words. Moreover, many people are watching companies closely to see how they respond to Covid-19. What is your company doing to support your employees and customers? As a rule of thumb, if you aren’t able to answer consumers’ questions about your business with regard to Covid-19, it’s best to not say anything.

  1. FOCUS ON BRAND-BUILDING AND GROWTH

    Although consumers aren’t necessarily able to spend money right now, they’re still browsing the web and social media. It’s much easier to reach consumers who are actively seeking information. That means that this is an ideal time to focus on growing the community around your brand.

    In an inbound marketing approach, your company creates great content and experiences that encourage people to become loyal customers. Rather than having to chase people down with aggressive sales tactics, you focus on attracting them to you. Now, in a time when people are actively consuming content, is the moment to take an inbound approach.

    Without being opportunistic, reach out to your consumers to express your support. Share high-value content, such as feel-good success stories, how-to videos, and knowledge-rich listicles. During the pandemic, it’s a great idea to brighten your customers’ spirits and create experiences they will appreciate. For example, Michael’s is offering free crafting sessions via Facebook Live, while Planet Fitness is hosting virtual fitness classes.

    These strategies will help make people feel part of your brand’s community, with little to no pressure to buy. When the pandemic passes, those customers will remember that about your company.

  1. EXERCISE CAUTION IN YOUR ADVERTISING

    There’s a fine line between promoting services to vulnerable consumers and taking advantage of a crisis. Marketers can stay on the right side of this line by focusing on products and services that are most helpful to their customers. Offering “pandemic discounts” on non-essential items can easily backfire.

    Many people are concerned about their futures or being able to afford what they need. Find ways to make your customers’ lives easier, whether that’s by extending a free trial or making some of your services free. Be sure that the services are something that would help the consumer in their time of need.

    For example, many people are being laid off and are turning to the gig economy. If your company supports these interests in some way, you should shift your marketing campaigns to help support these consumers. Throughout your messaging, be sympathetic and supportive so as not to seem opportunistic.

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