Currently, the world is consumed with COVID-19 news. For most of us, the last thing we are thinking about is business marketing. In fact, a lot of us might still be trying to maintain or implement plans created months ago. While some companies will instinctively “go dark” or “hunker down,” others will step in front of the crowd and offer leadership that heals.
At Tingalls Graphic Design, we know our community is looking to local businesses for information. We also know that maintaining communication and connection to your customers is going to be more critical than ever. Continuing to market your business through this type of adversity is not only necessary but essential if your company plans to rebound.
It Takes a Network
“Being vulnerable and offering a ‘we’re all in this together so how can I help’ mentality will be vital to maintaining relationships,” said Tara Ingalls, owner of Tingalls. “Networking has always been my main way of staying connected to my customers and partners, so, being homebound, I have to pivot and think of different ways to continue to share all Tingalls has to offer.”
Keeping your team connected is also important, she added. “Our team has virtual “huddles” to share daily wins, challenges, areas of focus, and one thing we’re grateful for. Everyone looks forward to it, and it maintains a level of contact even if it is only via the internet.”
Business Marketing Nuggets That Help
Because we want to help you stay connected with both your team and customers, the Tingalls team put together some business marketing tips for a crisis. These nuggets of information will help you and your team cut through the clutter, stay connected, and offer leadership that counts.
- Email Newsletters – With details changing so rapidly, utilizing email marketing programs like Constant Contact can disseminate details quickly and get traffic back to your website.
- Leverage Social Surfing – With more time on our hands, people are no doubt on social media more than ever. Craft social media content that talks about your business’ unique position in the market, share before & after photos, client case studies, or share “working from home” selfies. Seeing regular activity on social channels shows your clients you’re still open for business and available for consultations.
- Embrace Technology – Use programs like Slack for messaging and Zoom for video conferencing. It has been instrumental in keeping our team connected while working remotely. We’re also using zoom for client meetings and design kick-off meetings. While utilizing file sharing apps such as Dropbox and Google Docs has helped us not overload our emails.
- Enhance Skillsets – If your employees have downtime, why not use that time for professional development? LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare are two terrific examples of free or low-cost website platforms to enhance skills productivity, sales, and more. What’s on your “list” you haven’t had time for? Now’s the time!
- Product or Process Improvement – Have you ever wanted to develop a product or enhance a process in your company? Solicit input from employees or feedback from clients and use that to emerge from quarantine stronger than ever. Create surveys using Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.
You CAN Manage This!
No doubt managing this crisis is new territory for most of us. We would, however, be foolish not to learn from it. So, remember to keep notes on what’s going well and what needs improvement. Whether short-term or long-term, having a plan to refer to helps you bounce back from the next “event” faster and more robust than ever.
“Having been in business for 20 years, this isn’t the first storm I’ve weathered,” Ingalls explained. “During it all, my team and I are staying in touch with our company’s core values – integrity, compassion, creativity, growth, and even fun. There’s no doubt that we will get through this if we keep those in mind. Good luck, and stay safe!”