For many businesses around the country, there are plenty of questions about whether or not they should advertise during this time of uncertainty. Business owners are facing closures or the need to pivot the way they do business. It may be uncertain how your customers are going to respond to the current crisis.
That presents the question: Should you keep advertising during this uncertain time? How should you change your marketing in light of the current crisis?
While you may face uncertainty right now, you shouldn't question whether not to continue to advertise. Businesses who continue to advertise in the midst of turmoil will see many benefits from their efforts--some immediate and some when the crisis resolves.
Why You Should Continue to Advertise
Advertising is the best way to keep your business top-of-mind with your customers, while also reaching new prospects. While the times may be different, the motive of advertising your business remains the same.
Your ads help provide normalcy in an uncertain time. Your customers are used to seeing ads from your business and connecting with you on a regular basis. When you continue to advertise, it provides your customers with a sense of normalcy and stability during this time.
Advertising keeps your business going. Many businesses are still operating even in the midst of the pandemic. Your customers won’t know that you're still operating unless you let them know. Continued advertising efforts will let your target audience know that you're still operating and what they can expect from you during this different time. Advertising can also help you reach new customers who might benefit from your business right now.
Keeping up with your advertising efforts keeps up your momentum. You've put a lot of effort into your advertising momentum, from creating multiple touchpoints for your customers to raising your search ranking. Maintaining your advertising efforts during this time helps keep up that momentum--and makes the lift easier when things return to a new normal.
Your continued business operations can help the economy. As your business continues to operate, you're still spending: supporting your advertising partners, your vendors, your subcontractors, and more.
How to Advertise the Right Way
Throughout the pandemic, you need to use new strategies for tailoring your messaging. Across the country, many companies have already made substantial changes to their advertising efforts, from Walmart's commercial showing associates singing "Lean On Me" to Google's commercials showing continued support for its customers. Adjusting your marketing to the current climate can help create a sense of confidence in your customers as well as showing them that you genuinely care.
Tailor your messaging to be sensitive and empathetic. Ensure your messaging reflects the current times and what your customers are dealing with.
Offer ways you can help your audience and your community. Show the steps that you're taking to support the community as a whole, from offering curbside pick-up options to donating supplies to the community. Let your customers know how you're giving back--and how they can take advantage of those efforts or donate along with you.
Encourage your audience. Remind them, as in Google's ads, that they aren't alone--and that this crisis will eventually end. Give them information about the positive things that are happening around the community. Your brand can serve as a critical voice of positivity in the midst of an otherwise trying time. For example, Colgate’s latest ad encouraging everyone to smile from behind their masks so that soon we can smile without them.
Provide resources and answers on your website. Your target audience may need help getting the information they’re looking for, from the latest requirements for shoppers in your area to the steps your business is taking to help protect your customers. Let them know about the precautions you're taking to keep both them and your employees safe, then provide them with access to further resources that fit their needs right now.
Continuing to advertise throughout a crisis isn't a negative thing. In fact, your continued advertising efforts can provide uplifting moments that help raise morale while most are seeking normalcy. Timely, empathetic ads during this time will benefit your business in the long run. This season won’t last forever, so make sure that your ads are tailored to help bring your business through it.