The global COVID-19 outbreak has seen events cancelled, sporting matches postponed, and our way of life altered. Despite the need for social distancing, your business does not have to come to a halt. In fact, it is important for businesses to keep reaching out and speaking to customers during this time.
With the power of technology, there’s virtually nothing stopping you from connecting with your customers and pivoting your approach, if possible, to continue operating.
That said, it is a good idea to use this less-than-normal time to rethink your business plan for the year ahead. Here are some tips on what businesses can do during the MCO in Malaysia:
Reassess your marketing campaigns
A campaign that you planned last quarter may no longer be appropriate – nor possible – given the current situation. This is especially true if you originally planned for out-of-home advertising or on-ground activations.
Use this time to examine all plans for the year, and adjust your campaigns accordingly. Some may need a complete overhaul to focus on a digital approach instead. While it’s difficult to predict and forecast what is going to happen for the remainder of 2020, being nimble and welcoming fresh creativity, new ideas and large adaptations is your best shot to weather this storm.
Making digital a key focus
Amidst the MCO, people aren’t able to gather, shop, and socialise like they used to – which makes things pretty difficult for many industries. If your business is currently brick-and-mortar and you’ve been delaying the inevitable shift to digital, now is the time to scale this, fast.
This could mean a website built with an online store, new social media accounts, and tying this all together with a robust digital marketing campaign to reach your customers where they currently are – in their homes! There will also be logistics considerations here if your business requires home delivery, so it’s important to get the entire business on board with the redirection.
Social media marketing
Now is the time to be creative. With newer social platforms like TikTok gaining traction in Malaysia – as well as increased engagement across Facebook and Instagram – businesses can spend time mapping out strong social media marketing plans. If you had plans for OOH advertising, how can you shift this online in a creative way, beyond static ads and banners?
Put some of your marketing budget behind your social media posts to boost how many people you reach and, in turn, the number of people engaging with your content.
The power of storytelling
People stuck inside all day are craving and consuming content like never before. If you have a compelling story, now is the time to share it.
Has your company been sitting on interesting customer data that you could turn into various pieces of content to drive online sales? Are your business leaders full of knowledge and ready to share their thoughts and opinions via blogs and LinkedIn posts? How will you communicate your stories with your end users – eDMs? Downloadable assets? Videos? You can also consider pitching really interesting stories to the media, but be aware of how to angle this in light of COVID-19, which is dominating the headlines and will be for some time.
While we’re on the topic, here are some tips to keep in mind while you’re hard at work with your business pivot
- DO plan for the worst and have contingencies in place
- DO improve the SEO (search engine optimisation) so customers can find your webpage.
- DO update your customers if there are temporary closures or changes in your business hours.
- DO advertise responsibly. Don’t induce panic buying or try to capitalise on people’s fears.
- DON’T try to be funny about the virus. It’s not a laughing matter and will likely backfire on your brand.
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