It’s easy to become tone-deaf in your marketing during uncertain times like these. TV commercials are still showing crowds of people together—and it feels weird. Promotional email is still coming through that addresses none of the concern and fear we’re all experiencing—and it feels cold and insensitive. This is the kind of messaging you want to avoid until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
Here are a few suggestions to help you and your business through this public health emergency.
1. Give, give, give.
If you aren’t doing content marketing, start now. Help your customers and prospects to do something, to learn something, or to understand something. Give it away on your website for a name and an email. Do you normally charge for something that is valuable to your customers? Give it away for a limited time. Put on a free master class or a webinar. Those of us socially isolating and in quarantine need a distraction—give us something to do that’s positive and self-improving.
2. Express sincere empathy.
You’re already doing this. It’s a fundamental of good marketing in general, and it’s key to content marketing. But do it more. This is no time to fall back on empty buzzwords and fear tactics. We’re all scared enough already.
3. Be kind.
Empathy is good, but take it a step further. Be kind to your customers, your prospects, your neighbors, yourself. One of our clients called this a topsy-turvy time, and it is. We’ll probably not all behave well—toilet paper hoarding being just the tip of the iceberg—so be understanding and kind to yourself and others.
If you have the time now, use it constructively to work on your business instead of in your business. Read a marketing or business book and take notes on how you can apply what you learn to your situation. Watch a free webinar or master class. Take an online course (here is a list of over 400 free Ivy League courses). Or keep yourself and your kids focused on learning with Scholastic’s free digital learning hub.
I’m not against reading for fun, of course. Maybe you can take one of the classics off your reading list, like Moby-Dick or To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m a firm believer that you learn from fiction just as much if not more than from nonfiction.
And then remember to take action on what you have learned. One of my favorite quotes is “Knowing and not doing is the same as not knowing” (from Allan Dib, adapted from Robin Sharma).
BONUS: For business owners, including restaurants, there are some great free tools, resources, and financial help listed in this Inc. article.
You can socially distance while going for a walk or a run or a bike ride. You can also take the dog for a walk, play outside with your kids, get some yard work done, or do yoga at home. Or take an online exercise class (many are free or discounted).
I would also recommend meditating if you aren’t already doing it. A calm mind is a coherent mind and will bring clarity to your thinking now and in the days to come. There are many apps for that, including this top 12 list.
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” —Confucius
7. Understand what you can control.
There are many things outside of your control. Focus instead on what you can control—your reactions, your behaviors, your thoughts, your actions, and how your business operates now and in the future.
The coronavirus pandemic is a historic event, and it’s going to affect every one of us. We’re all in it together. I think that how we’ll be on the other side of the crisis is different than we are now—so let’s make that a net positive.
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