You may have gone inside, but you haven’t gone away.
And you’re not going away.
It’s pertinent to tell this to your customers, and it’s pertinent to tell this to your community. The world is navigating uncharted waters, no doubt. But if there is one constant your community can rely on, it’s you and your service.
And that’s not a message to “sell” or “stay alive” during this time of uncertainty. You don’t even have to mention COVID-19, as you may feel the world would like to hear anything else but that term. It’s an important message of empathy and support, not only to your customers and potential customers but to your community.
Just which message you convey, and how you convey that message, may depend on which business you’re in. Those in the tourism industry can remind customers that the bonfires, crystal lakes, and starry skies eagerly await. When the COVID-19 Crisis ends — and it will — people will be ready to cure their cabin fever with a getaway, perhaps this summer and fall more than ever.
In the meantime, customers may find a good remedy while still stuck at home: Dreaming up their next adventure. They now have hours to browse lodging sites and attractions online.
If you don’t feel like it’s appropriate to “promote” your product or services while the world fights a pandemic, you may just ask your audience to share happier memories from events in your area or with your brand. Or, you may shift your focus altogether, and instead, become a community resource yourself. Keep the community updated with ideas on how to spend their time virtually in the community and engage with them virtually by providing virtual Facebook Live Events or behind the scenes tours of what’s going on in your world.
Google and many industry marketing leaders recommend staying connected with your audience to maintain continuity and support from your company or organization and to focus on investing in your business in the long term, not the short term. Keep marketing to ensure that your audience is there when we get through this. Everyone is in this together, and customers will want strong empathy, commitment and to dream about a brighter future.
Remind your customers that you are here for them, ready to roll up your sleeves to help. Without so much as mentioning COVID-19, you can keep your tone sensitive and empathetic, without discontinuing your message altogether.
And the owners of storefronts and restaurants? In so many ways, you have been our comfort and go-to all along. Maybe you are ramping up your online retail and delivery, telling your community about transactions without person-to-person contact and about how sanitary you keep your space. Or maybe you’re staying home and telling your customers to stay safe and “flatten the curve.” In any instance, this is the time to remain visible.
We’re all still here and will meet again soon.