As the news of successful coronavirus vaccine trials surface, countries and companies all over the world are gearing up for reopen.
The road to recovery will not just require the restoring processes halted by the coronavirus lockdown. Organizations will also need to introduce several new strategies to reenergize their workers and re-systemize their operations.
It has been a challenge for businesses to survive during the lockdown. It is going to be an even bigger challenge to restart. In order to survive and thrive, you will need to be flexible and adaptable to the changing needs and buying preferences of your audience. At the same time, you will need to look for new opportunities from a different and open mindset.
In this article, we will underline some of the factors to contemplate, along with a few rock-solid marketing strategies, to get your business ready for reopening.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER
1- Understand the Rumors & Guidelines
Don’t trust every piece of information you get to hear. During the pandemic, fake news and rumors were making a buzz.
So, consume news and information from authentic sources only. For example, the US Chamber of Commerce, federal agencies, state-level agencies, local authorities, authentic news channels or apps, and local radio and TV stations.
You can also get reliable information about the spread of the virus from the websites of public health organizations.
Learn and understand the guidelines for reopening your business. There are different guidelines for different businesses and industries.
To be specific, you will need to put the safety of your employees, suppliers, and customers on top of your priority list. Every business that has been allowed to reopen has to abide by the terms that they will practice social distancing and the highest level of cleaning and hygiene at the workplace.
For this, you might want to follow the CDC’s recently released cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene recommendations for businesses.
Stock essential equipment and gears – for example; PPE kits, gloves, masks, face shields, goggles, etc. – that you and your employees might need while at work. You will need to create a safe and virus-proof environment for everyone who enters your premises.
3- Frequent Health Monitoring
You will also need a couple of thermometers to measure the body temperature of people visiting your workplace every day.
Those who have above normal body temperature should be asked to take rest and work from home. Your health and safety measures should clearly discourage employees to not to come to the workplace if they do not feel well.
You should also have a proper plan for monitoring the health of your employees on regular basis. For this, follow OSHA’s guidelines to prepare your workplace for unprecedented situations and manage if a case of COVID-19 surfaces on your workplace.
MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR BUSINESS REOPENING
When you plan to restart your business, it is vital that you inform your customers that you are back. There are many ways you can do that.
You could use social networks to update your followers. Or else, you can show a popup or a bar on your website that mentions you are operating now.
You can also shoot an email to your customers stating the same, like TobaccoPipes.com did before re-normalizing the delivery of orders in the second week of July 2020.
With that email, you can offer a discount to woo your loyal customers. If no discount, you can recommend them to new offers based on their buying or browsing history. Don’t forget to mention your operating hours and the measures you are taking for the safety of your customers.
If there are changes in your payment, shipping, return, or refund policies due to the pandemic, do mention them in your updates, emails, and on your website.
#2- Reinforce Your SEO, SMO and PPC Campaigns
If you had paused or stopped these activities at the beginning of lockdown, it is time to make a solid comeback here.
Start with updating that you are back and talk about your experience during the lockdown and pandemic. Do listen to what your customers are talking about. Engage with them as much as you can. Empathize with them. Respond to their comments and inboxes. If you are getting (replies on your) emails, don’t take forever to respond. These are the basics of restoring your active online presence.
Now comes the technical part. Monitor the performance of your SEO and social network. Perform a quick analysis to identify the aspects that demand your attention.
Also, perform keyword research to find out the currently trending keywords in your industry. Work on high volume keywords to bring back the traffic you lost after the lockdown.
Since the competition is down, you can gain a competitive edge and some new customers with the help of PPC advertising. Here are some of the PPC best practices.
Email is still a powerful tool to gain traffic, leads, and sales. It never disappoints us, the marketers. Reignite your email marketing campaigns as well. But before you start your email campaigns again, it would be wise to validate, update, and segment your email database.
For SEM, SMO, PPC, and email marketing, run different campaigns to analyze the outcomes and develop the best-working post-pandemic marketing strategy for you.
#3- Fortify Customer Support
Thank your customers for commenting on your social media timelines and also, for being a loyal customer. Give your website a chat feature that connects them to customer support which helps them in buying and finding the product(s) they are looking for.
Don’t forget to send a thank you message along with the order confirmation email notification. For the ease of your customers, you can also consider simplifying your website’s layout and navigation.
To support your customers further, it is advisable to simplify your checkout process. WildlifeShowroom.com made it as a benchmark and simplified their checkout process recently. Every page or step in your checkout process should be simple; it should provide the right information to the user.
Do ask for reviews and feedbacks from your customers. If your past customers haven’t rated you on Google My Business listing or Facebook, this is time to reach out and encourage them to do this favor.
These small implementations have the potential to influence customer behavior in your favor.
As the virus is still there, it is crucial that you read through the guidelines issued by the government before you reopen your business. This will help you ensure the safety of your employees and the health and functioning of your process.
Check-in with your team members, and don’t leave them, as they are the real backbone for your business. Support them as much as you can. Listen to the problems of your team, partners, suppliers, and customers and have a plan to help them address the challenge they face.
Monitor how visitors behave on your website. And keep analyzing your sales and traffic data to modify your strategies and approach accordingly. This way, you will find the best working marketing strategy for your business.
Guest post courtesy of Smith Willas