Welcome to 2020, a very strange time to be alive. As this is being written, Stranger Things Have Happened by Foo Fighters is picked at random from our playlist. Not sure anyone can relate to that song title at the moment. The predicted fresh beginnings of a new year, a new decade, are temporarily on hold. Many businesses have been forced to close, either partially or fully, and of those that are able to stay open, most have had to dramatically change the way they operate. Swathes of businesses have pulled the plug on their marketing campaigns in a bid to save money in the short term, but at what cost in the future, we ask? My business is closed, what's the point in promoting it?
Having spoken to many business owners over the past few weeks, we know that most people are asking the same question – should I continue to advertise and promote my business in the current climate? Many don’t see the point if they’re unable to operate. In our minds, the question is how should I continue to advertise and promote my business in the current climate? There are so many ways businesses can remain present and offer value throughout the duration of lockdown, whether they’re able to stay open at any capacity, or not. With so much uncertainty about which businesses will survive, it’s important to let people know you’re still here and will be there for them when this is over. Switching to digital and shifting your strategy
Many, if not all, printed publications are on hold in Cyprus now, meaning more business owners are turning to digital advertising to plug the gaps. Buckle up for the incoming tsunami of low-quality, poorly-targeted ads in your feeds! While we don’t agree that advertising and promotion should cease altogether, there’s no point in promoting certain things right now. If your usual marketing plan involves paid ads promoting products or services that you simply can’t deliver now, shift to a brand awareness strategy. Stay on top of people's minds and give them the opportunity to find out more about you while they potentially have more free time. They might not be able to physically engage your service or buy your products at this moment, but they can engage with you to ask questions. Offer advice and tips on how people can temporarily manage without your products or services – things they can do at home as well as things they should NOT do at home (looking at you, hairdressers and beauticians!). Share your knowledge to help people. Times Like These
If your business continues to operate during lockdown, go ahead and let people know, but be sure to maintain sensitivity and awareness of what’s going on around us all before you begin. If you’re perceived to be cashing in on a crisis rather than offering genuine help to people, you could do more damage to your business than good. The main point is not to drop out completely and then start off on the back foot when lockdown ends, which it will. Keep posting, send a nice email to your list, keep using your advertising budget with a new approach, make a list of all the things in your head that are useful to others and use it for blogs, posts, videos – you name it! And most importantly, look after yourself and your loved ones - if this crisis has taught us anything, it's that nothing else matters. No business can survive or thrive without a healthy, loved team behind it. We're always here, not only for our awesome, loyal clients (rock stars as we call them), but for any local businesses who need help and advice during this unusual time - just reach out to us and we'll do whatever we can to help. We're all in this together.