Should you continue to market to your customers during lockdown?

Short answer: it depends.

While COVID-19 has left many Aussie SMBs unsure of what’s coming next, it doesn’t mean you should shut down your communications altogether.

Web traffic is set to increase dramatically over the past weeks, as more Aussies work from home and binge-watch Netflix. It’s pretty likely that this trend will stick around as the nationwide lockdown continues—which means there are still going to be plenty of opportunities to keep in touch with your customers through digital means.

Marketing during lockdown can help you stay relevant in your customers’ minds, but it’s important to be smart and tread lightly. If you’re looking to communicate with your customers during this time, here are some tips to help you go about it in the best way possible.*

Should I send this out?

Planning to launch marketing communications at this time? Before diving in, take a second to double check that your message is relevant and appropriate.

Here’s a handy list of communications that could be appropriate to send out during lockdown:

  • Information updating customers on your business hours, delivery options, or new health and safety procedures you’ve put in place.
  • Useful information in your industry that would help customers during lockdown.
  • Inspiring communications that make your customers feel better or lift their spirits.
  • Products that might help people pass the time or manage their mental health.
  • Special offers or discounts for your customers (provided it’s done a sensitive way).
  • Any actions you’re taking to support the local community.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to communicate, sit on it and revisit it with a clear mind. Better yet, ask your friends or team members how they would feel if they received the message.

Be helpful.

It’s a tough time for many Aussies. The number one rule for marketing during lockdown? Be kind and be helpful.

Offer genuine support and advice to your customers, as well as the broader community. Think about the main problems or challenges people will face during these times that are related to your industry—then try to create helpful content to address these.

If you’re not quite sure how to start, here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:

    • Hairdressers and beauty salons: create a blog post or video with tips on home remedies and beauty routines.
    • Fitness centres or gyms: try offering free online classes or short workouts to help people keep fit during lockdown.
    • Tradies: create blog posts or videos highlighting common issues around the house, and how to fix them.
    • Vets: provide essential advice on looking after your pets during COVID-19, as well as tips to ensure your furry friends are looked after in case you’re unwell.
    • Accountants and lawyers: create FAQs to answer your clients’ most pressing questions around COVID-19, such as for government benefits or new tax laws.
    • Florists: brighten peoples’ days with images of floral arrangements, or even do a surprise delivery to some of your valued customers.

Need more inspiration? Check out what other brands are doing and find what works for you.

RELATED: Content ideas for every industry

Which marketing channels should I use?

As working online and staying at home becomes the ‘new normal’, more people will be spending time in front of the screen. For that reason alone, these digital marketing channels are a must-have for any small business during lockdown:

  • Use social media to keep customers informed on business updates, and show support and solidarity — even if your physical store is closed.
  • Keep your website updated, particularly if your opening hours have shifted or your way of going about business has changed.
  • Tap into email newsletters for announcements and promotions, or to provide helpful advice (like our very own Hello Yellow newsletter):

RELATED: Important information to include on your website during coronavirus.

Be thoughtful about tone of voice.

What you say matters as much as how you say it — particularly during these times. Opt for uplifting, inspiring and supportive language, like you’re speaking to a friend.

When it comes to tone of voice, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Acknowledge the times and how you’ve adapted.
  • Be empathetic. Use phrases like ‘we understand this is a difficult period …’ and ‘we offer our support during these unexpected times …‘.
  • Express gratitude to your customers, and remind them you are there for them.
  • Tread carefully with jokes. While it can be tempting to try and lift people’s spirits, some social media posts that come across as light-hearted might be taken the wrong way.

Need help with your digital marketing during lockdown? Yellow is here to support you through these difficult times. Discover our digital marketing products here.

*We endeavour to provide accurate material for Australian businesses consistent with Australian Government Health and Safety Guidelines. However, this material is for reference only and is not designed to be, nor should it be regarded as professional advice.