Consumer Behaviour Changes During COVID

As we all know, the world has literally turned on it’s head in the past 6 weeks, with most changes happening very quickly. We’re all dealing with some type of uncertainty and feel the need to maintain a connection with what feels normal. Marketers who have realized this need were quick to adapt and are already doing quite well – an example your business can benefit from as well.

Now is the time to pivot brand communications, messaging and advertising to make a big impact on your bottom line, whether that’s now or when restrictions lift and people are shopping more again. Whether you’re able to continue providing all or some of your previous offering or your business is completely out of commission, consumers need you to show up and be there. They need you to provide direction, distraction, information and support and they will remember it if you do.

There is a huge opportunity for businesses right now to increase sales, build lasting customer relationships and tell the world what you do and why your business is one they should care about. It’s up to you as the marketer or business owner to be creative and capitalize on it.

If you can still sell your product or service, or part of it, do so. Don’t hold back, but do make sure to update your website, advertising, Google page and social media to give clear guidance on what you can offer, how services are impacted, what the process looks like and what measures you are taking to protect your customers and your team.

If you can’t offer any part of your products or services right now, use this as an opportunity to brand your company. Think top of funnel efforts like how you add value to consumers. Find ways to support customers at home if possible. A great example from one of our clients was to provide at home facial recipes and self brow shaping instructions. When your customers can’t get to you, they know you’re still there for them.

Another option is to offer detailed articles, blogs, case studies or videos that help potential customers research your business and/or industry because they have the time to consume them right now. While having more down time, many people are researching their next purchases so position yourself well to be there when they are ready and can make that purchase so it’s from your business.

Either way, now is the time to DOUBLE UP on ad spend, not the time to cool off. Attention is high (social media use & screen time is up 50%), ad costs are down (large companies have pulled their ad spend reducing costs to buy and conversions are up 50%… if there ever was a time to claim your stake in the market, this is it. You have a captive audience right now – use it wisely!

The best way to take advantage of the unique opportunity being presented is to offer high quality, valuable content that your customers and potential customers need right now. Show them you are there, offering support and information they need, and they will build emotional attachments to your brand that will create loyal customers. No hard selling just being helpful. You are an expert in your industry so you have the information they need, you just need to be creative in how you deliver it to match the needs of your audience and the tone of the day.

Also, live streaming is up 1000% right now so this is an excellent way to deliver content. Just remember to be real, authentic and show you are in the same boat with them. No need to dress it up or pretend you aren’t at home in your sweats as well because unless you’re an essential service, we all are.

As a small business, it might sound impossible to increase ad spend or creative efforts right now because it can be tough to have the resources right now. There are tons of options out there though including Facebook’s $33 million grant to help small businesses advertise. There are also numerous funding streams available through the federal government’s initiatives that small businesses can use to keep their business moving forward.

Link’s to more information are below

Whether you are able to brand and audience build right now or continue doing business with some adjustments, the key is being sensitive to the needs of your customers which have likely changed dramatically in these chaotic times. Figure out how you can help and do it. Stay out in the forefront, because now is definitely not the time to take your foot off the gas. Your customers need to know you are there for them and they will repay you with loyalty when things get back to normal.

If you need any help getting your marketing efforts adjusted to meet the new needs of your consumers, reach out to us – we’d love to help!

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