We were all ready to get back to normal! Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus is still active and dangerous. Back inside we go! But you still need to promote your business during COVID-19.
What’s different now in July compared to March when we first shutdown is the increase in computer literacy. We’ve all created a new relationship with our computer, tablet, and/or smart phone. Virtual meetings are the norm for business and family interaction. Stodgy executives and elderly grandparents alike have increasing comfort with communicating like The Jetsons. We’ve all become pros in ordering online as well. Now that (almost) everyone has been trained, take advantage of that with these three tips to promote your business during COVID-19—and there are more where these came from.
Amplify your promotion by including one or more partners for these endeavors. You’ll share your customers with one another and share the reach for a much richer campaign. I’ve listed the collaborators that come to my mind under each tip. Use the options that are best for your business.
Here are three no-contact ways to reach out to your customers during the COVID-19 shutdown:
Create a Webinar.
If you are used to meeting with people face-to-face to explain your product, now you have the opportunity to do it with several people at once. Invite your list of prospects to hear what you have to offer on a 30-minute free webinar. Make sure you invite them to take the next step with you. Offer a discount to people who sign-on to your program during the webinar.
Collaborator: Offer this through your local chamber of commerce or other local business association. There are neighborhood business development associations searching for speakers and good content all the time.
Host a Contest.
It’s summer and people can’t travel as they’d like, can’t go to amusement parks—or any parks for more than a walk, can’t see extended family, no movies, no parties, no camps … they are BORED! Making videos is easy these days and if several people are loading videos about your business, there’s a multiplier effect that is more valuable than what you can likely afford. Pick a theme related to your business and create a hashtag for people to use when they share their videos on Facebook and Twitter.
Offer a $25 gift card for any video that earns more than 100 Likes. Example: if you run an insurance company, then ask your clients to post a video about their favorite item they have insured with you—their boat, their home, their prized stamp collection, their business. Ask for a quick 15-20 second message that includes three words to describe their chosen item, the name of your company and don’t forget they have to use “#YourCleverHashtag” when they post to be eligible for the gift card.
Collaborator: The gift cards can be from a restaurant you insure. Maybe the restaurant will give you a discount. Take the competition a step further with a grand prize drawing for all the people who earned 100 Likes or more. It can be a gift card in a larger amount or perhaps a discount on their insurance premium. Who wouldn’t love that?
These days we look forward to deliveries of all the items we order online like no other time I can remember. Add an unexpected treat to people’s mailboxes. Whether you use the U.S. Postal Service, UPS or FedEx, it doesn’t matter. Send out some samples of your product to your past and prospective clients. Food, drink, widgets, or some inspiring token that represents your services.
Be creative! If you own a restaurant with a famous spinach dip, send a small envelope of the spices you use in it or a bag of chips to enjoy with the dip the next time they order it. Include a coupon for 10% off their next online order. If you are an image consultant, mail a small mirror with a list of ten tips to prepare for a virtual call. Anything that will make a connection between you and the recipient. It’s a small gesture with big returns.
Collaborator: Ask your insurance company (See Tip #2) or some other essential service to help with the mailing costs. Include a brochure for their services.
No matter what, you need to concentrate on forward momentum and find new ways to be relevant through this phase of the pandemic.
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Leslie A.M. Smith founded McCormick L.A. in 1994 offering public relations and marketing consulting to nonprofits and businesses of all shapes and sizes.