How To Get Your Local Marketing Back On Track Post The COVID-19 Crisis

By Apoorva Hegde August 31, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has left many businesses crippled around the globe wreaking financial havoc in its wake.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), as of March 30 – still early in the crisis – 92% of businesses said that they suffered due to the pandemic.

The pandemic has also drastically affected popular brands globally, but local businesses have been hit the hardest.

COVID-19 has impacted every business differently. Some of them shifted to a remote working model, and some of them closed their doors permanently, and while some of them are still trying to figure out how to stay afloat.

But as most parts of the globe are slated to re-open shortly, businesses will face a tremendous amount of challenges to the path to recovery, while still facing the threat of the virus.

Having an exit strategy for local marketing in place post the COVID-19 crisis can help you get prepared to hit the ground running and rebuild.

Here are seven steps on how to get your business back on track post-COVID with local marketing strategies.

7 steps on how to get your local marketing strategies back on track post COVID

1. Utilize contactless solutions to promote safety and gain maximum benefits

In these times of difficulty, the way we interact with the world has changed drastically.

To tackle social distancing both safely and effectively, a host of brands and businesses have opted for contactless solutions such as QR Codes, NFC, and beacons.

These contactless solutions are easy to install, troubleshoot, and even use with maximum benefits, ultimately boosting customer loyalty, enhancing customer experience, and promoting safety at the same time.

Make use of QR Codes at your storefronts with a clear CTA like “Scan QR to view the menu“, or “Scan QR to check our hygiene process“.

QR Codes can be created within minutes using an online QR Code generator in high-quality images that can be embedded into storefronts, receipts, and even product packaging.

Near-Field Communication or NFC, can also be leveraged in conjunction with QR Codes.

These contactless solutions are cost-effective, easy for customers to use, and does not require a  third-party app installation since most smartphones come with an integrated reader.

NFC and QR Codes can be tracked and analyzed to fine-tune your existing campaigns, track the success of your campaigns, and even closely monitor the results that can help in attaining positive results for your business.

2. Make use of Google My Business (GMB)

People use Google for searching almost everything – be it a retail store, the closest grocery store, or even a McDonalds near them.

It only makes sense for businesses to put themselves on the local map using Google My Business (GMB).

Setting your business on GMB is free and easy. Take control of your business and optimize to reap maximum profits by making use of SEO tools.

Focusing on your local SEO is one of the best online marketing tools to make use of now.

Update your profile on Google My Business and ask your customers to leave a positive review on it.

Consider making the content on your website relevant to the city it is established so your business can show up more in local search rankings.

By optimizing your local SEO, customers are more likely to find you. Make it easy for them to place an order by offering additional services for conversion via Google. Google My Business can also be used to shop, order, or schedule appointments all through your Google listing.

3. Create free educational content

The world has shifted online in this pandemic. Customers are constantly searching for new information online.

Utilize this to your advantage and put together free webinars, educational content, free courses, one-on-one consultation, and even helping them out with free online learning platforms to your customers.

It is important to create a delicate balance between educational content and entertaining content to keep your audience engaged.

While people try to stay informed, they also need more entertaining breaks to break out of their monotonous routine.

Experiment with your content marketing and try new formats. Create a newsletter dedicated to your audience, create a YouTube series, or even conduct a poll asking what content your audience is interested in.

By creating a plethora of content online, you can position yourself ahead of the competition and build brand awareness at the same time.

4. Offer freebies and discounts

Loyal customers convert and invest with businesses more often – as much as 79%.

Businesses who keep their customers happy increase their ROI remarkably since these businesses cater to their customers personally.

Having said that, how can businesses have customers that are loyal to them? By offering loyalty discounts and freebies.

Encourage your customers to make a purchase with your brand by offering an exclusive discount or offering them a free product based on their purchase trends.

For instance, if a customer purchases dinnerware, offer them placement mats free of charge.

Loyalty discounts not only makes sure your customers come back to you, but it also helps your brand increase its overall brand awareness, enhance customer experience and loyalty, but also helps in brand marketing.

5. Maintain transparent customer communication

Throughout all the persisting marketing efforts, it is essential to maintain customer communication to stay relevant throughout COVID-19.

Position your business as a pioneer in your market by maintaining honesty and transparency.

As of now, customers are confused about what is going to unfold next. The day-to-day seems to be changing continuously as well.

Prioritize your customers’ safety above all. Communicate with your customers about the safety protocols taken at your business and how your business is handling the situation via email newsletters or social media.

Make use of contact tracing apps at entry points so customers and staff are regularly monitored and isolated in case of any suspected infection.

In addition, answer all your customers’ queries at regular intervals by your staff to keep them updated.

6. Offer essential services

A number of popular brands such as Uber, Zara, and even Louis Vuitton have jumped to manufacturing and providing essentials to their customers in the wake of the pandemic.

Popular fast-eating chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Taco Bell have shifted to online delivery and drive-thrus.

Most companies are adjusting their offerings to help out their customers in the pandemic by offering essentials since they are more important than other services at the moment.

Convert your business to a place where you offer essential services such as groceries, takeaways, and sanitizers and masks.

Customers usually remember brands that helped them out during a crisis rather than pushing unwanted advertisements down their throats.

Offering essentials not only helps customers remember your brand post the pandemic but also helps hugely in establishing yourself as the go-to at all times.

7. Make use of social media outlets

With the onset of the pandemic, everyone has moved online, especially on social media.

Social media penetration is constantly rising worldwide and as of January 2020 stood at 49%.

Not just that, in 2020, an estimated 3.6 billion people were using social media platforms worldwide, a number projected to reach almost 4.4 billion in 2025.

Businesses and marketers have leveraged this advantage to the fullest by shifting their operations online completely.

Since the usage of social media has surged since the onset of the pandemic, it is only wise to leverage the platform for reaping maximum benefits.

Social media gives you an apt environment to develop a customer base. This is the right time to connect with customers on social media.

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are some of the most popular platforms that can be used to promote your business and reach out to customers at the same time.

These platforms also enable you to track the metrics of your marketing campaigns by using their advanced analytics and tools to segment your target audience, deliver personalized content, and increase your brand awareness.

Stay optimistic and emerge as winners post the pandemic

Though the timeline is unclear, the COVID-19 quarantine will eventually end.

Businesses have been in reaction mode as the crisis has escalated — updating their messaging, content strategies and customer service tactics to best support their customers through a difficult time

During hard times, businesses are constantly faced with the challenge of tacking crisis management.

Advertising and local marketing can be tricky, and thus, brands must carefully navigate through dangerous waters.

One way to definitely amp up decision making is to allocate highly focused tasks to an agile team with clear key performance indicators (KPIs), such as click-throughs and open rates.

Instead of waiting for approvals and contribution, make your own performed decisions that can result in clear customer engagement, increase customer satisfaction, and brand awareness.

However, staying up to date with the news by following official government sources to keep your establishment safe and staying optimistic by leveraging the latest tools and techniques will help your business stay afloat even after the COVID-19 crisis.

Now It’s Your Turn

There you have it.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Which strategy from this list are you going to try first? Let me know in the comments section below.

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Apoorva Hegde

Apoorva Hegde is a Content Marketer at MobStac. Apart from writing articles and blog posts related to QR Codes, she enjoys simple pleasures of life like going on long walks with her dog, eating carbs all day, and falling into a Netflix watch-loop.

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