Ideas For Your Business During Quarantine…
This is a CRAZY time for business. So much uncertainty and change. How are you combating it? Here are some ideas for marketing your business at a time like this. Just a few industries, but it at least gets your creative juices flowing!
Shift to digital. You are probably buying billboards, sponsoring events, etc. But with people off the roads and quarantined at home it’s time to shift to a digital world. Look at Ally Bank - they launched 120 new Facebook ad campaigns already in March, 2020 alone! They are marketing directly to smartphones across the country and really maximizing their impact. Chase launched 14 new ads specifically with messaging around COVID-19 and optimized for a smartphone.
Adjust your messaging to directly address the quarantine and its impact. What are common pain points right now for your customers? Address those. Promote your online baking options. Talk about business lending. Just be real.
Also, Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. all became less expensive last week as thousands of companies pulled back their marketing budgets. Now would be the time to get in and take advantage!
First off, make sure you’re loading your used/pre-owned inventory on Facebook Marketplace.
Facetime, DM, texting…You’re seeing more and more people becoming comfortable purchasing a car online. Offer it up to customers: “We will give you a virtual tour of our inventory, walk you around the lot, show you in and out of any car you want. Set up a time to walk through some of your favorite cars!”
Are you willing to drop off a car for a test drive? What about “we will drop a car off at your home, we will Clorox wipe the steering wheel, dash, and driver’s seat. We will practice social distancing and wait outside while you take it on a ride. We will leave, no questions asked and do a followup phone call or video chat later to talk about your experience. Schedule your “social distancing test drive” today!”
Are you live streaming your service on Sunday? What about live stream prayer sessions during the week? Can your pastor still provide his weekly sermon through video?
Be available via DM. Maybe set up facetime with the pastor. People in our communities are struggling with so many things right now and need someone to talk to. They can’t come to you, so can you be available to them?
Are you available to the entire community? Not just your parishioners? This could turn out to be a strong recruiting effort for when you re-open your church.
If you don’t have your e-comm website set up yet you are really far behind. This is #1, 2, 3, and 4 top priority for you. Get on Shopify, set it up, and install a Facebook pixel! It will allow you to re-target customers with ads when they start looking at certain products on your site.
Free shipping. You’re in survival mode. There is no reason to charge for shipping right now. Even if you can just break even - do it! You are sitting on inventory and your inventory is most likely seasonal. You need to move this inventory. We find conversion rates can increase by 25-50% by just making the simple shift to free shipping.
Reinforce that clothes are not infected. Yes, it’s a concern we’ve seen in the fashion world because a lot of items are coming from Asian countries. Address it head-on. Your products have been in American warehouses, manufactured in California, etc. Let them know your products are plastic sealed and if they’re concerned, best practice is to wash it when they get it in the mail.
Up your facebook/Instagram ad spend right now. Your customers are quarantined. They are LIVING on social media. Don’t let them NOT see you. One route would be to partner with influencers - or even just use “social proof”. We find that ads using customers who are giving some sort of testimonial or sharing their experience will perform around 8-12% better than other ads. It is less salesy and gives the consumer a feeling of peer-to-peer trust.
Entertainment Center (Bowling, Arcade, Laser Tag, etc.)
Sell gift cards and incentives for people to come afterward (getting some cash in the meantime). Offer a post-quarantine special. Explain that you will reopen after the quarantine and in the meantime, you’d like to sell some gift cards at a discount for anyone willing to come back in a few weeks. $100 of gift cards for $80 or whatever you want to do. Make it a strong enough deal and you could see $10-20,000 in sales overnight. (We’ve done this...so we know it works)
Have a mom share this message in your social ads. A video of a mom holding up a card and saying “I just bought this $100 gift card for $80 and I can’t wait to get my kids out of the house in a few weeks to burn off their energy while bowling!” then target every mom in your market with facebook and instagram ads.
Identify your loyalists and ask them to help you out. If can be as simple as sharing a blog or video you post about being prepared in an economic crisis. It could also be them saying something like “I feel prepared and just wanted to share who I use for my planning...if you’re interested in meeting them I can make an introduction”. Just ask. If they love you, they will share. But make it easy for them! Write a few options. Send them the content already made so it’s not difficult for them to come up with something to say. Show them a few examples of other people. You don’t need to give them anything in exchange. If they love you, they will share it. If they don’t...well, you better work on getting them to love you.
Ask your customers to start building Pinterest and Houzz inspiration collections for their project. This will get them excited, and give you access to what they want to see. Just encouraging them to “think” about renovating is a huge first step!
Offer to do a Facetime walk-through of their project. Take screen grabs during the facetime so you can mock up some ideas for them.
Maybe you’re a designer? Field questions or ask customers to send in pictures of their spaces then create “options” or “solutions” in your store. Record the process and outline the products required.
Research the trends in home improvement right now. What is everyone thinking about today? Run brand awareness ads focusing on these trends to homeowners in your target market.
Online reviews! This is the time to maximize your online reviews from former patients. Send out a real, heartfelt message explaining the situation. “We are in a hibernation stage and we want to make sure we bounce back strong following the quarantine. Your results were amazing and I hope you are still doing well. If not, let me know and we can do a quick phone visit! But if you are still happy with everything we would love for you to help us out with a 5-star review. We know that when people start searching again for healthcare providers following the pandemic, reviews will be vital. Please help us out. We appreciate you!”
Elective procedures? Let’s start scheduling out the rest of the calendar year. Cosmetic procedures? Can you start pre-selling those types of things today with incentives?
Be present to answer questions. Doctors are usually so difficult to connect with. They are very busy. So if you are not overly busy, spend some time online to chat with your patients and people in the community. Offer chat options or even just open discussions. It will create personality and trust.
If you sell products (eyewear, skincare products, mouthguards, etc.) set up your online store. Run targeted Facebook ads and retargeting ads so you can get the products to your customers. Offer free shipping or even delivery to their homes.
Start marketing for POST-PANDEMIC traffic. What are you doing today to make an impact? You’re probably offering carryout or delivery. Are you throwing in an extra piece of cake and a thank you note from the owner saying “thanks for supporting us at a time like this!” Are you creating any reason for them to want to talk about their experience? Or are you just hoping they come back when everything opens again?
Now is the time to ask for positive reviews. Restaurants struggle to get great reviews because they generally assume people only focus on the negative. While people are supporting the local businesses, ask them to write you a quick 5-star review! “Every family has been impacted financially by this virus. While we appreciate your business with carry out and delivery orders, we understand it’s not economical for everyone. However, there is another way to help! If you could go on Yelp and write us a 5-star review that would be amazing! Thank you!”
Set up the ability to purchase gift cards on your website and offer a deal for people to buy now, dine later. Run some ads on the deal. Heck, if you offer something like “we will donate 20% of all gift card purchases to our staff who were laid off” I think you’ll get some positive impact. But you HAVE to make it easy for someone to buy.
Finally, and this might sound mean...but don’t screw it up. You are choosing to remain open, so you need to still provide quality service. If someone is going out of their way to help your restaurant by ordering carry out or delivery in a recession, the least they could expect would be their food cooked correctly, the meal to be tasty, etc. If you forget to put the side of blue cheese in with someone’s wings on their delivery, you’re showing that person that you don’t care about them after all….even though they went out of their way to support you and your business. Just don’t slack off and assume you’ll be forgiven. “Be Remarkable”
Look at everything we included in the “boutique” section above.
Also, what about offering private shopping sessions? Some retailers don’t see high daily foot traffic. Furniture stores come to mind. Lower foot traffic, but higher customer value. Could you set up a Calendly with 30 minute sessions available? Customers can then video call with you at that time and you could walk them around the store. Or you could even let them come in the store privately, lysol the doors, etc. Let them shop while social distancing. Get creative!
Obviously, this is just a select few industries, but there are lots of ideas here to get you started! Keep in mind, though, this is not going to be a band-aid solution and you can't just go back to normal following the pandemic. You have to be committed. Also, a lot of these options could help you grow your business more in the long-run anyway!