Confused and don’t know how to market your products these days? You’re not alone, nobody has a playbook for marketing during riots, rising tensions and a pandemic. 

Right now, the biggest challenge for businesses is how they can continue selling their products or services without seemingly insensitive or uncaring about what’s going on in the world. 

In some instances, recent events may have changed the way your target responds to your messages. However, it still boils down to good marketing, which includes a deeper understanding of your target customers at its core. Their everyday lives, joys, challenges, and overall perspective on the world. Once you completely understand your customers, you’ll figure out how your brand can fit into their story. 

Now might be a good time to rethink your marketing plans for your eCommerce business. Yes, there’s probably no right answer on how to do all of this – but there are still marketing mistakes that you have to avoid. Here are 3 sure-fire ways to be a responsible marketer during a crisis.

1. Take a step back

As we all know, there is nothing permanent in this world except the word change.  Because of recent events, behaviors and values are changing. What was important a couple of months ago, it’s not anymore. This isn’t the time to panic, but to gain a new perspective on how you should handle your marketing campaigns. Now, before you take action, stop, and relax.

Keeping your business running is important, but do not forget to prioritize your health first. The next thing you have to do is to NOT pull-back your digital marketing efforts. Even if consumers are not buying right now, keeping your business in front of them could improve their perception of your brand.

2. Assess what you have and adjust accordingly

assess marketing efforts

Evaluate your current marketing campaigns – your images, language, tone of voice, and overall message. Look at these things from a new point of view: the record-high unemployment rates, economic fluctuation, and feelings of anxiety. 

  • Create a message that is sensitive to the current situation. Consider your customer’s new concerns – be honest, transparent, and human
  • Stay positive and show to the customers that you’re present to address their needs.
  • Don’t cross the line and be seen as insensitive by being too promotional or neglecting the pandemic’s impact on human life.

3. Preserve and grow your customer base

grow customer base

According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of business revenue comes from 20% of your loyal customer base. If the pandemic has reduced your sales or caused you to close your physical shop temporarily, it will be your loyal customers who will keep your business running. 

On average, loyal customers spend more and with larger purchases more frequently. One way to leverage is to optimize your eCommerce store for the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help you make sound business decisions, especially during this time where customer behaviors are changing.  

Here are the areas you should be focusing your marketing efforts to sustain and grow revenue.

Content Marketing

Content marketing can help you fill the holes left by your paused campaigns (in an effort to save cash). Here are some tips to jumpstart on an effective content marketing strategy that aligns with the current situation:

  • Conduct an Audit – Do a quick assessment of your content to make sure that it’s appropriate and useful to your customers for the times.
  • Give Useful Information – Provide useful information to your customers, such as expect shipping and delivery to get delayed, or communicate about what actions you’re taking to keep both customers and employees safe.

Paid Advertising

Ever heard the proverb “Out of sight, out of mind”? Right now, there are plenty of companies pulling back on their paid advertising to cut costs. However, doing so has consequences as once this pandemic is over, consumers may have already forgotten your brand. The good news is less advertisers means less competition, and less competition means cheaper advertising. Look for inexpensive ways to keep your brand and products in front of your customers.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a wildcat, so make sure to tread carefully so be careful when discussing current events. Social media can create divisions, so be aware of the consequences when taking sides. 

  • Be present and be social. As much as possible, be the kind of person who’s receptive on the other end of your social media platforms. This can be your sturdy foundation to build trust and relationships with your customers.
  • Be a part of genuine conversations. Engage in conversations when you feel it’s appropriate for you to do so. Always fix relationships with dissatisfied customers and remember to show compassion to people who have a shorter temper than usual.
  • Don’t force it. Your social media messages should be normal, organic, and not something forced. If you think you have nothing relevant or substantial to offer, take a break rather than look out of place or be perceived as insensitive. 

Discounts and Promotions

Discounts help attract customers and in building loyalty among your existing ones. Here are types of discounts and promotions you can try:

  • Offer two or more complementary products, then discount the bundle. This will allow your customers to try out your new or other products.
  • Give volume discounts to increase customers’ order values.
  • Offer free or discounted shipping if a customer reaches a defined order value.
  • Encourage conversion through charitable sales promotions such as donating a portion of all profits. Customers not only buy items for themselves, but they’re also doing good for others.

Conclusion

Marketing strategies change with the seasons, so you have to adjust as it changes. 

Your marketing efforts during this pandemic must lean on building your brand and relationships with your existing customers. Use the right tone in your messaging to communicate to different customers as they are anxious because of the coronavirus. The key is to center your attention on the side of humanity and be transparent in everything you do.