6 ways small businesses can market themselves in a post-COVID-19 world

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Small businesses have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown, but planning thoughtful messaging will help them stay connected with customers as the country is slowly opening up.
Consumers are eager and willing to support businesses they have been loyal to in the past.
There are many things small businesses should keep in mind during this time, like taking care of loyal customers and effectively communicating how they’ll keep their customers and employees safe.

The COVID-19 shutdown has been challenging for businesses of all sizes, but small businesses have been hit particularly hard. More than 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed since the beginning of the shutdown, according to a recent study.

As states around the country begin the road to reopening, the good news for small businesses is that consumers “will want to spend money on brands that they have been loyal to in the past and those that define their neighborhood or culture,” says Sloane Humphrey, president and CEO of Powell Communications, a New York corporate public relations firm.

Consumers are open to receiving marketing messages from businesses, but they also want to know which efforts companies are taking to address COVID-19. “Consumers aren’t going to penalize businesses for marketing,” says Kelty Logan, an associate professor at the College of Media, Communication, and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. “But they want evidence that businesses are doing the right thing and taking care of their people and taking care of us.”

Small businesses should feel comfortable reaching out to their customers and the larger community through email and social media — but they need to be thoughtful with their messaging to avoid alienating people during an unusually sensitive time.

Here are some ways small businesses can effectively reach out to their customers in this new post-COVID-19 world.

Use the right language

The most important thing to remember when crafting marketing messages during, and even following, a crisis is to strike the right tone. Customers want to hear how you’re navigating the crisis, but they are also sensitive to any sign that you are attempting to exploit or profit from it.

Proactive business move: For now, put overt sales messages aside and strive for an even, reassuring, and optimistic tone. If you’ve reopened, it’s okay to send an email with a celebratory subject line like “We’re back!” or “Open for business!” Then, use the body of the email to carefully explain what precautions you’ve taken: “For now, we will be limiting in-store capacity to four customers at a time,” or “we are offering curbside pickup: here’s how it works.” The key is to make sure you are giving customers the information they need to feel safe patronizing your business.

In your first communications with customers, avoid overly pushy sales language, like a subject line advertising “Big savings!” But if you are running a sale or specials, it’s fine to include those in …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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