The next big challenge for businesses after the coronavirus pandemic is the economic crisis. In fact, many businesses are already feeling the heat. To adapt, marketers have to reassess their business and marketing strategies, and find new ways to retain customers and bring in new ones. A good communication strategy is one that can help your business tide over these tough times, as well as set you up for a speedy recovery when things improve. Here are some tips.
1. Focus on top-of-funnel content
Top-of-funnel content doesn’t explicitly sell products but instead focuses on increasing brand awareness and cultivating interest. As consumers tighten their purse strings, an aggressive sales-led strategy may not be the best course of action. Seeing too many sales-driven posts can get frustrating under normal circumstances, let along during a recession. Focus the bulk of your marketing content on building your brand, as well as your relationship with your audience. Social media is a great tool for that. Building solid relationships gets you loyal customers, and loyal customers will stick with you even in a crisis.
2. Stay visible
You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind. The important thing is to stay visible to your target consumers, even if they’re not buying from you right now. It will be a real shame when the economy recovers but consumers are still not buying your products because they don’t know or remember you.
How do you stay visible?
Even though some cities are slowly lifting lockdown measures, nobody can say for sure when the coronavirus pandemic will be truly over. It is already proving to be trickier than expected, with some countries reporting new Covid-19 cases since lifting measures. The most reliable way of reaching consumers in the current state of things is via social media. If you have yet to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, there is truly no better time than now.
3. Emphasise your value proposition
A business can only thrive when it provides something of value to its customers. Your value proposition is what keeps you relevant and keeps you in business. Just take a look at how food businesses have been staying afloat, perhaps even thriving, despite the lockdown because they had quickly introduced delivery services to get food to consumers staying home. In the same thread, businesses can survive the recession if they are quick at identifying how they can add value to the lives of consumers, and are adept at communicating this value proposition.
4. Listen to consumers
In order to add value, you need to know what your target consumers value. You can find that out through social listening. Social listening is especially important during periods of uncertainty. The only way to ensure that your brand reacts well to a crisis, is to keep an ear out for what consumers are saying about you, the products you offer and even your competitors. Use this to build a strategy that helps you stay relevant.
5. Be prepared to bounce back
Apart from staying afloat during the crisis, all this strategising and planning has to lead up to another major goal: reaping the rewards when the economy recovers. You want to make sure that you’ve done everything to set yourself up for success when spending goes up. The key is to never lose sight of your customers. Once you start seeing them as real people you are trying to help, instead of sales figures, you’re on the right track to working out an effective strategy.
Every challenge is also an opportunity. If anything, these challenges have forced brands to innovate, improve themselves, and to re-evaluate the fundamental qualities of their business. With smart and careful planning, the business community can and will emerge out of this stronger than ever before.