What steps can business owners take, from a marketing perspective, to ensure businesses thrive as Covid restrictions are eased?
The one-month delay to easing Covid-19 restrictions, confirmed on Monday evening, comes as a blow to those businesses desperate to resume ordinary trading activity.
As with many aspects of this pandemic, some businesses are in a much better position than others.
But for those businesses still subject to trading restrictions (or even a complete shutdown, in the case of nightclubs etc.), another month in limbo will prove incredibly tough.
Communicate with customers
From a marketing perspective, clear communication is now more critical than ever.
If I were running a business impacted by the remaining Covid restrictions, I would be spending time now communicating how things are run and what this delay to easing means.
A mistake we all make is to assume too much knowledge on behalf of our customers or clients.
By going back to basics and putting ourselves in the shoes of our users, we can avoid missing the sometimes obvious and restore confidence on the part of our customers.
For example, any hospitality business right now would benefit massively from a video or 3D virtual tour of their premises. The ability to show prospective customers what to expect when they walk through the door, including Covid-safety measures, is hugely beneficial.
We expect some sectors to bounce back strongly as restrictions are lifted this summer, but it pays not to be too complacent.
Without a consistent and creative content marketing programme designed to showcase your offering, you are unlikely to take full advantage of the pent-up enthusiasm for getting out of the house and back to normal.
It’s never a smart strategy to be too reactive in business, even when we have a reasonable expectation of consumer demand for what we do.
For businesses that were closed for a time during the past year or so, creating and sharing valuable content is essential to remind your target audience that you exist (!) and that they should come back to you.
Spend some time now reviewing the contents of your website and social media accounts, bringing photography and videos up to date, and building a calendar of content ideas designed to educate, inform and entertain your target audience.
There are some fantastic opportunities ahead for those businesses that have weathered the storm since last March.
To fully embrace those opportunities requires a few simple steps.