There's no magic vaccine yet. The dreaded third wave of COVID-19 is upon us.
Nurses continue to be in short supply. Parents are also teachers. Many of us are working from our kitchen tables or sofas. An epidemic of stress compounds the stress of the pandemic—both with long-term consequences.
Despite an uncertain outlook for the businesses heading into 2021, now is not the time to reduce marketing. The bottom line may indicate otherwise, but we know the only way to build business is to make sure people know about your business.
Back to the Basics
Start by shifting your strategy back to the basics by regaining consumer’s trust and loyalty.
Throw last year's strategy out the window. In this new normal, communicate openly, authoritatively and compassionately. We're in a new brand world where accolades and tone-deaf messages fail to inspire trust and credibility. People want brands that care about them.
Online Marketing Here to Stay
We have talked about digital transformation for years. One of the few positives swept in by COVID-19 has been the significant change in consumer behavior. As people stayed isolated over fears of contracting the virus, they turned more and more to the internet for their shopping and purchases.
Now that it's here, it's not likely to go away. Businesses who want to stay ahead of the competition—particularly retail providers—and remain relevant to their consumers need to act quickly and decisively to have a robust presence online.
Is your Google My Business listing up to date? Do you need to correct your business hours or phone numbers? Add logo and photos? Often this is the first point of contact a prospective customer has with your business.
Your website remains the front door for consumers. Continually update information about and create an easy and convenient consumer experience.
Is it mobile friendly? Check the speed as this is a factor Google uses when delivering search results. And ADA compliance is important too. Over the last few years there have been many small and medium size businesses to get sued for non-compliance.
Tell a Story
Number fatigue and politicizing COVID-19 have worn us down.
Now is a good time to renew the basic tenet of public relations—tell a good story. Leverage brand stories of hope and success across all channels—social content, videos and media pitches.
Plan for the Long Term
To stay ahead of the competition and remain relevant to consumers, what you do now to meet consumer demand can mitigate some of the uncertainty about long-term financial viability.
Earlier this year, we stated that, "Email is where it's at." We stand by that statement. With work from home, virtual school and a need for connection, consumers of all ages continuously check emails.
We've long advocated for meeting the consumer where they are. For now, drive your marketing efforts online—through emails, optimization, social media and, to a lesser extent, banner ads.
As we remain somewhat remote and socially distanced, virtual interaction is the best interpersonal platform for telling our stories.
If you need help planning for 2021, have interest in updating your website or just not sure how to tell your brand story, TotalCom Marketing Communications can help. With offices in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, Alabama we serve clients all over the southeast and even a few nationwide. Contact us.