So you're a little gun shy on spending cash on ads right now. I get it. It's a scary time for people, and for businesses. But, there's been a 30% increase in the time spent on social media since March in the US and that's hard to ignore. Maybe it's not the right time for you, but maybe it's the perfect time for someone else. Here are a few tips I've gathered and gleaned as we've been moving through this.
Check Your Messaging, then Check It Again
People are hypersensitive about all sorts of things right now. A great example: there has been a 30% dip in social media ads that feature hugging, kissing and holding hands. Don't be the company that shares an ad that was clearly built before this all went down because you didn't take the time to check your messaging, or just figured you should roll with it anyway and pretend it's all normal. Prospects will turn on you, hard (ask that at-home exercise bike company...). There's no room to be tone deaf. Get your whole set of lenses out and check that message from all the angles. Then have your co-worker do it too. It's a minefield of raw nerves and you need to watch where you step.
Leverage the Tools You Have
This may not be the ideal time to invest a couple grand into high-production videos. But, that doesn't mean you need to abandon the idea of video. Don't be afraid to get a little cheap on recording equipment (literally, use your phone - but HOLD IT SIDEWAYS PLEASE!), and shoot from the hip. This is the time to let your brand come through, not just what you sell. Video is being consumed at insane amounts every day. Or just get pics of your staff doing the same things we're all doing - puzzles, walks, whatever. Don't put too much pressure on it being the most polished. Just be on brand and make it work. People will get it.
Offer Something Old, but New
Maybe you think you're the type of business that is totally S.O.L. in this stay-at-home situation. But smart businesses are dialing in on what they do and shifting how they deliver it. A DIY craft studio makes take home kits. A gym develops online classes to keep members engaged. An auto shop offers vehicle pick up and delivery. A photographer offers front porch sessions. In the words of Ross Geller, "PIVOT!" Think outside the box.
This may not be something you continue doing after we start normalizing, or it might be a great extra revenue driver you never thought to try. Even if it doesn't stick, it shows prospective customers a little something about your company, a little behind the curtain. Be bold. Innovate. Consumers are being forced out of their normal adoption curve. They're more flexible and willing to try things they might not have five weeks ago.
Don't Give Up the Ship
This is not the time to abandon marketing. (I fully appreciate that the sentiment is unsurprising since I am in fact a marketer, but I believe it!) This is the time to use your marketing dollars in smart and exciting new ways. A time to experiment and throw some spaghetti at the wall. But the thing I can't emphasize enough is that this is the time to show people you're more than just a company - you're a brand with a personality, built by smart people that are paying attention to the world and their contribution to it, not just the profit margin.