This article will identify the key steps outlined in the “Marketing Your Business Re-Opening” webinar presented by Brain Siddle from Strong Coffee Marketing for Business Link in May 2020.

To say there have been a lot of changes the past few months would be an understatement. Many of these changes have required business owners to adapt quickly in order to stay up to date with new information regarding the safety of clients and customers, and the safety of their business. How you communicate effectively with your audience will be critical as you move forward as a business — outlined below are three key steps for keeping your customers informed and setting your business communications up for success.

Step #1: Understanding your Audience 

During the past few months, the needs of individuals have changed. People are less likely to spend freely after many jobs were lost due to the outbreak, and many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Consumers are now spending more cautiously and considering what is valuable to them more than ever before. As a business owner, it’s important to understand that people are looking for different things now, and you will need to adapt to fulfill their needs. The financial future is unknown, and it is crucial that you take this time to ensure you are providing valuable product or service to your consumers. 

Communicating with Your Customers

Step #2: Having a Strong Message 

Communication is key. As a provider, its your responsibility to relay important information to your clientele. Since COVID-19, people are often looking for impactful content from businesses. They want to know how their support will help, what to expect when visiting, and any other information that could affect the customer’s decision to choose you.  

The most important step here is not just having a good, strong message but ensuring that the same message is expressed at multiple stages of the consumer’s journey. You want them to know exactly what you are about when they hear your name, when they browse the website/social media feeds, and when they come in to see you. 

Step #3: Making Delivery of Information Easily Accessible 

This may be the most important step of all. It is more crucial than before to ensure that your business information and social media platforms are updated. If youre a service provider that now has limitations on how you provide that service, your customers need to know what those limitations are. If youre a seller of goods that must restrict the number of people in your space, how many people are allowed? If you are involved with events, what has changed? These are all just some examples of what kind of information people are looking for. Here are a few ways to communicate these changes with your customers: 

Website 

Ensuring that the information on your website matches what you have going on. This does not mean you have to become extremely tech-savvy and totally revamp your website, but remove any information that isn’t relevant and add information that is important for your audience (i.e. Services that have changed since COVID-19).  

Social media 

Like updating your website information, your social feeds should relay the same message: safety. What actions are you taking to help protect the community, your staff, and of course, customers? Know that social media may be peoples’ preferred method of finding current updates from your business. (i.e. Is a mask required?) 

Email/newsletters 

This is a great way to get the most important information out to your customers and to let them know you are back. Services like MailChimp give you the capability to send mass emails to your entire customer base and they can be scheduled in advance.  

Google My Business 

This is a free service offered by Google, and acts as a trustworthy source of business information for consumers. You can update your hours and contact informationadd a link to your website, upload photos of your business or products, and take advantage of Google maps location services and directions – making it even easier for people to find you.  

Signage 

As simple as this sounds, having up-to-date signage can help convey key information to your customers. This can be as easy as hanging a poster on the door that outlines your COVID-19 protocols.  

Communicating with Your Customers

Having a mix of communication tools like the ones listed above helps you reach as many people as possible within your audience. Different customers have different preferred ways of gathering information. It also allows you to gain more visibility by having a variety of tools to use for your business, potentially reaching a larger audience than even intended.

Overall, the process of getting information to your consumers has not changed, but the importance of it has. You still want to understand the audience, share a clear message, and make it accessible. Ensuring that youre not sharing old information is critical. If you have posts from events that happened months ago, but no new information on what you are doing to help protect the community since, people may get the wrong idea and things could go one of two ways: they may engage or they will view the content negatively, by assuming that you don’t care.  

If you have services offered on your website that are no longer offered due to the pandemic, it could harm your operations and push potential clients away. As a business owner, clear communication will be the key to your success. Making sure the information you are putting out there is relevant and trustworthy will assist in engaging with your community and becoming credible during a crisis. 

Watch the Webinar