5 Tips to Improve Brand Reputation During Quarantine
And here we meet, during a time of need-- a need to stay safe and healthy, and a need to keep small businesses thriving.
While we all practice social distancing, our schedules and daily lives have taken a turn, and people are adopting new ways to think and communicate; we are all searching for more ways to connect...
Is it crazy to think that this quarantining has brought us all to one key point?: we are all in this together, so why not support each other?
Because of that, we want to give more, we want to communicate more, and we want to be more real and authentic.
So, what can you or your brand do today that will help your company tomorrow?
1. Don't underestimate the power of giving something away for free. Yes, free.
Link this back to the 80/20 rule; 80% of your content should focus on entertaining or educating, while the other 20% should focus on sales.
During this time, no one wants to have sales pushed in their face. Customers are money conscious and aware of their essential costs. As a brand, you should show off the ways in which you can or do give to your customers-- how are you supporting your target audience?
If you're a fitness brand, pop out some at-home workouts for your following to use. If you're a chef at a restaurant, show your customers how to make similar, yummy meals at home. No matter who you are or what your brand is, you have something to teach people. And this is what your customers will value right now-- not what they can buy from you.
2. Create surveys for customer feedback.
Your goal right now is to stay connected to your target audience and show them what value you bring to the table. What better way of doing so than to listen to their concerns, requests, wishes, etc. and then act on those very things?
Quarantine or not, customers want to be heard. A great way to get your questions answered is to create and advertise surveys for customer feedback. You can try this with polls, questionnaires, call-to-actions in your social media posts, and more. Ask your customers what they need and solve that need.
Get creative. Keep the question(s) short and sweet. Understand what your customers needs are during this time, and regurgitate that into your products and services.
3. Speak and communicate personably.
People, especially customers, want to know that you understand them, that you can sympathize with them, and that you are willing to help THEM personally. Your customers are not just your next buyer, but your next seed in the soil to keep your business growing.
When you plan out your upcoming content marketing, be sure to include lingo and language that your target audience will enjoy. Include pictures, words, or stories that the same group can relate to. Don't be afraid to throw in some newsjacking with pieces about quarantining; we're all in this together!
Start a never-ending conversation. This is the time to do it, and to really connect to who you're speaking to.
4. Be real with your customers in terms of updates and impacts.
Although majority of us are still working from our at-home desks in our pajamas everyday, we do in fact have a bit more time for brainstorming: what can you improve on?
Let your customers know how this time effects your brand: shipping struggles and backed up orders, limited hours of operation, etc. People will respect you for being honest and transparent. Plus, customers always want the insider-scoop on their favorite brand or business.
This might even include something as thoughtful and beneficial as an email newsletter which includes updates and other needed information. Constant Contact or Mail Chimp are both great options to get you started.
5. Nail your crisis management efforts.
We are in a time of crisis and chaos. As brands, we need to be the soft spot to land. AKA don't give your customers (if you can avoid it) a reason to leave a bad review.
If your business is struggling to send out orders, let your customers know. If you have run out of and cannot produce a chosen product by a consumer, give them a discount for when it becomes available again. Just take care of your customers.
And if you do happen to receive a negative review, you should do these three things:
1. Respond immediately or as fast as you can (reviews can pile up if you aren't careful; negative reviewers will feed off of one another)
2. Be personable in your response and include the customers name
3. Specifically mention and address the ongoing issue... avoid the "we're sorry to hear that. we'll get back to you!"
With these 5 tactics mastered, you are on your way to quarantine marketing success.
Keep your head up, your connections real, your efforts high, ...