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PR and Digital Marketing Tips to Help Business Owners Mitigate Financial Loss During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Did you know that when the Great Plague of London was circulating in 1665, Cambridge University shut down, and Isaac Newton was forced into home quarantine? Did you also know that during this time he invented calculus, part of optic theory, and allegedly devised his understanding of gravity and the laws of motion?
Above I’m essentially paraphrasing a popular image circulating social media at the moment (today is March 17th, 2020). In my opinion, it serves as a critical reminder that, “opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging – Joseph Cambell”….and boy oh boy is life throwing us all through the wringer right now.
As it stands, every single person and business owner on planet earth is being affected in some way by the Coronavirus. Therefore, right about now, we all have 2 choices:
1. Panic, curl up in a ball and wait for this to pass…
2. Use this time to grow, get creative, and prosper…
There’s never been a better time to invest in upping your knowledge and growing your business because most everyone else right now is choosing #1.
Now is the time to understand and define the unique role your brand plays in people’s lives. It’s time to acknowledge how that may be changing, and how you can adjust to become helpful during this crisis. This is your chance to lead by example, and dare to be different.
Choose #2 and 5 years from now you may look back at this being YOUR turning point and defining moment in achieving success.
So business owners, here are 5 digital marketing and PR tips to help you survive and flourish during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
1. Speak up and lead the conversation
Now, more than ever, the public is being influenced by the Media. So here is a little PR advice, if you have something to contribute to the conversation surrounding the Coronavirus…it’s time to speak up.
If you or your product or service has something to offer – whether that be a platform that allows remote workers to connect more easily or you know how we can best eat to help prepare our immune systems…it’s time to speak up.
We all have a unique opportunity to develop online thought-leadership during these trying times, and some people will reap future benefits from stepping up and leading the conversation now. There’s no reason that can’t be you.
2. Prepare for recovery
History shows us, that this too shall pass. That means that eventually (while the timeline is unknown) we will overcome this pandemic and begin economic recovery. Therefore, now is the time to ensure that you are best set to succeed and accelerate sales once life returns to at least some form of semi-normalcy.
How, you might ask?
Well one huge tip is to mind to and grow your audience (aka your potential customer base.) If you’re a restaurant owner who typically is bogged down 10-hours a day knee-deep in operational tasks, take this opportunity to instead focus on growing your email list online. (Speaking of…feel free to subscribe to mine *wink*) Issue customer surveys. Continue to engage with your current audience, and experiment with creative ways to attract new members so that when this whole social-distancing phase passes, you’re in an even better position than you ever were before all this madness began.
3. Invest in learning
If you’re reading this, great start! I can almost promise you there is at least one (more likely many) marketing and PR techniques that have evolved this year that are not yet on your radar. Thus, use this time in quarantine to up your knowledge level! Whether that be by skimming over the ample amount of free information available on the web, or by investing in a niche program to really up your game, see this change of pace as an opportunity to invest in yourself – your business will benefit two-fold.
4. Offer incentives and get creative
This will depend on your industry, but with a large amount of the population taking pretty hard financial hits at the moment, consider offering discounts or unique promos to incentivize buyers to well, buy. Here are a few ideas…
- Online store owners…offer free shipping!
- Restaurant owners…promote gift cards via Facebook!
- Digital platforms…start a blog or share frequent content to take advantage of the millions of people glued to their screens right now.
- Boutique brick & mortar locations…focus on audience growth and offer 15% future discounts for people to join your mailing list.
- Gyms…offer live virtual workout classes.
Ultimately, tis’ the time to get creative folks! (P.S. Here are some Free Creative Resources for Entrepreneurs)
5. Collaborate digitally
Anyone who knows me knows I love a good collaboration. Guess what, collaborations can be done 100% virtually. So, partner up with another brand or company in a complimentary niche, and launch a digital campaign (this doesn’t have to involve paid advertising either.) As I mentioned in tip number 1, people are non-stop consuming right now, so do something inventive to make them stop scrolling in their feeds!
While masses globally are frozen in panic, be like Newton, and seize this time as an opportunity to stand out, better your business, and ultimately, flourish.