4 ways to approach local and community marketing during the pandemic
Times of great challenge demand new ways of thinking. As we begin to settle into the next normal, the value of local marketing has become clearer. Faced with several logistical hurdles brought on by the coronavirus, businesses across the country have begun to focus on their local communities to benefit the lives of nearby residents while building brand awareness in a positive and productive way.
Currently, 52% of small businesses1 are taking active steps to prepare for the logical and financial impact of COVID-19. By pivoting your outlook and forming new strategies now, you are set to not only survive, but even thrive during these times.
To succeed in the current climate, it’s essential to focus on your local marketing strategies. Here are four local/community approaches to consider:
1) Community awareness campaigns
The spirit of solidarity is alive and well in the age of COVID-19. So the key to lasting business success during the pandemic is practical, community-focused local marketing campaigns. By considering the pain points of your local audience and leveraging your expertise to offer a direct solution, you’ll increase customer loyalty while doing something that makes a real difference.
Cloud-computing specialist Martz Technologies, for example, has repositioned its talents and resources to manufacture cutting-edge face masks for the local community while creating hundreds of jobs in the region by recruiting people with sewing skills to help produce them. Subscription brand Smoothie Daily Harvest has donated thousands of frozen goods to frontline workers in its region, working with influential chefs to create buzz around its new line of flatbreads.2
Take the time to find out what your community needs and use your current resources or expertise to help you. This can be done through surveys, social media, and simply by testing different approaches to see what drives engagement. This will make you part of the solution and build brand loyalty in the process.
2) Data-driven decisions
Exploring the right data will help you narrow down what consumers need right now. By understanding data from the physical world, you’ll gain a wealth of data-driven insights into consumer movements and behaviors in a specific geographic area as stay-at-home restrictions begin to lift across the country.
If you can tap into the location-based trends and actions, you’ll be able to deliver more targeted campaigns to your audience, whether through push notifications, display ads, emails, and more.
With the pandemic still weighing heavily on many people, keeping up with the ever-changing needs of your local audience is critical to success, and location-based data analytics can help.
3) Curbside or touchless treatment
In these times of enduring isolation, the way we interact with the world around us has changed. To combat social distancing in a safe and effective way, a host of brands across industries have continued to operate by offering contactless delivery or curbside pickup options to their local customers. If you are a hotel brand or a business that sells physical goods, formulating a curbside or contactless delivery strategy will ensure you maintain your business momentum during and after the pandemic.
Additionally, location-centric insights will give you the insights you need to understand where the greatest demand for your services is. You’ll know how far to extend your contactless delivery service while selecting safe and fast curbside pickup locations.
4) Digital expansion and transformation
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that in the digital age, even when we can’t be together physically, we are still connected. By migrating to a more digital future, you will be able to connect with your local audience on a deeper and more meaningful level as the pandemic unfolds. The virtually limitless nature of digital means you can deliver value to your local audience through a range of touchpoints, from mobile apps to social media, email and beyond.
By leveraging location-based information to your advantage, you can develop content that will resonate with your audience and deliver direct value, including:
- Host educational updates and webinars for residents of select geographies.
- Create informative guides tailored to the needs of your specific audience.
- Share information about your community initiatives and efforts with local consumers through a mix of touchpoints at times or places they are most likely to respond or engage.
- Utilize dynamic creative units that resonate with particular segments of your local audience.
In these uncertain times, investing in local marketing and aiming to improve the lives of your consumers during and after the pandemic will work to your advantage and help you step out of the other camp.
127% of US small business owners think the coronavirus will impact revenue.Small Business Trends. March 18, 2020
2Here’s how brands have pivoted since the COVID-19 outbreak.Forbes. April 20, 2020