We’ve talked and written a lot about 2021 marketing planning. We are only a few weeks away and you need to have a plan…and then a backup plan in case we experience the ups and downs of Spring 2020.

The most important thing is to communicate with your audience – customers and prospects. What you say and what you do not say are equally important when times are uncertain.

Evaluating Paid Media Tactics
As we head into the colder months, health officials are advising people to take precautions and warn that the flu and Covid-19 could potentially be on the rise. As we’ve seen across the country and in New York, that could lead to temporary closures of non-essential, high-risk business and other tactics deemed necessary by government officials to help stop the spread.

The question is – if you have a traditional and digital marketing plans in place – what do you do? Do you stop all paid media? Do you cut back? How do you make this decision? D2 Media can evaluate your marketing plan and help guide you to the best answers for your business. But let us be clear, this is NOT a sales pitch. We do, however, want you to be prepared to answer these questions for your business and we can help you do that.

Staying the Course
We work with clients who offer a variety of products and services, many of whom have benefitted from staying the course with their paid marketing strategy during 2020. Yes, we have made changes to budgets, messaging and placements of that message but we learn, change and adapt strategies. There isn’t a one size fits all answer – it’s about your message and how you want to communicate that with the public.

Shifting Your Marketing Strategy
Not all marketing and messaging is paid. What are you communicating and where? There are many free and effective ways to communicate with customers and prospects including:

Google My Business
If you haven’t already, make sure to claim your business on Google. When someone searches for you, if there is a claimed business with information, Google will display that alongside your search results. Users don’t have to take additional digital steps to understand and access your phone number, e-mail address, hours, current offers, etc. Creating a “post” is also a great way to communicate any immediate changes to your business operations – like temporary hours and special Covid-19 messaging like how you are working to keep in-store customers safe if your business is open to foot traffic or deemed essential.

Most, if not all, businesses have a Facebook Business Page. During times of uncertainty, this is another excellent way to keep your customers abreast of changes with your business. Facebook can be approached in the same manner as your Google My Business page. Additionally, social media was designed to connect with individuals and other businesses. Even if your business is experiencing shortened hours or is (and we hope not) closed temporarily, this is still a free opportunity for you to engage with your followers, let them know how you and your staff are doing and asking how they are doing. During times when human interaction is limited, checking in with someone – even virtually – is always a kind and good thing to do.

Like Google and Facebook, this is the digital showroom or showcase of your business. It’s important that your messaging remain consistent across all places (social media, website, etc.). If you manage your own website, you can add a pop-up or small message on the homepage if there are immediate changes to your business operations. If you use an agency or vendor to manage your website, you can request that a simple message be added to your website and that messaging can direct customers and prospects to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for more constant updates.

We recently did a Monday Marketing Huddle podcast on what business owners can do easily (and free!) to help reach customers online. Check it out!