It’s no secret that 2020 isn’t going as planned for most of us, especially as business owners. So what can you do to make the most of the situation? You, of course, still have a business to run, even though the dynamic of how you conduct your business may have significantly changed. When it comes to marketing, there are a few ways you can continue to market your business in a manner that is considerate of what’s happening in the world around us.

Here are my recommendations for adapting your marketing plan in 2020.

Go Online

Did you have a big product launch planned for this year? Were you planning to sponsor a city-wide event that’s been cancelled? Can you no longer showcase your business at an annual trade show? While it’s easy to let disappointment overwhelm you, it’s best to think about your next course of action. If you purchased a sponsorship or print media buy, contact your sales rep to negotiate cancelling your contract or deferring payments. It’s best to recoup your money from these opportunities and focus on digital marketing.

Another option is to consider creating your own online version of the event. If you planned on releasing or showcasing a new product at an event this year, create a virtual trade show using a video software such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, or consider going live on Instagram. This is a good budget-friendly way to create hype around your product, and you can plan for an official launch later on in the year when things have settled down.

The good thing about marketing is that there are a plethora of options. If you think creatively, there’s a good chance you can proceed with some of the campaigns you planned for, simply in a slightly altered manner that may even save your business money!

Use Downtime to Make Enhancements

Use this slower period of business to your advantage. If market research is something you’ve considered doing, but set aside to focus on more pressing matters, now is the time to obtain this valuable information. Or perhaps this pandemic has uncovered a certain need your business can help with, or a weakness you can improve. Are you a brick and mortar store with no online option to sell? Or are you a private school lacking an infrastructure to deliver online education? Take this time to develop any new avenues your business can benefit from.

Additionally, you may consider auditing your brand or website to make improvements to content or user experience (UX) design. This could lead to a need for creating new, quality content that you otherwise wouldn’t have time to spend on.

Engage Your Audience

With most people in quarantine or isolation, take the time to truly engage them. Create a sense of community with your customers by finding out what they are doing in their spare time to keep busy. Use features such as Polls and Question Stickers on Facebook and Instagram, and explore other features of these sites you may not already be taking advantage of. By using these types of features, you will get to know your followers on a personal level and also improve your social analytics. You may see an increase in comments, likes, followers and reach. If nothing more, it allows you to maintain a rapport with your customers during this downtime.

Although some adjustments will take more time than others, I suggest prioritizing what your new marketing objectives are. To help you overcome some common challenges during this time, we’ve created our Marketing Minute series on YouTube. Be sure to check it out for quick tips, or contact us today for guidance!