How to Approach Marketing in Lockdown

Over the past 12 months, many marketing strategies have been abandoned. Every business has had to rethink. Adjustments have been made to what’s offered and how this is effectively communicated to customers. With change the only constant, how can you approach marketing in lockdown?

Local Marketing; Be Part of the Community

One of the major shifts has been in favour of local businesses. ‘Shop Local’ initiatives are familiar, but in lockdown, this has grown in strength. Quick to respond in the first lockdown, local businesses have shown their value in the community. Whilst based at home, consumers are discovering what is on their doorstep, so make the most of this opportunity.

Google My Business

If you haven’t already, now is the time to ensure that your local listings are up-to-date. The first thing to check is whether Google My Business show your current location, opening times and contact information? If you feature in other local directory listings, take a look to see if changes are needed.

Local Groups on Social Media

It can also be useful to join and contribute to local groups on social media. This will help your business to become more visible in the community. If you offer valuable advice and recommendations, it builds trust and showcases your knowledge. (A comment on a community post has resulted in my latest enquiry.)

Print Media Marketing

Featuring in local publications and door-to-door leaflet delivery may not have been on your radar a year ago, but these are different times. People have more time to read what comes through their letterbox. Personalise your message so it resonates with residents.

Geographically-specific Paid Advertising

If your marketing strategy includes paid advertising, focus on your local geographical area. It is possible to specify individual postcodes. The benefits of a local focus are highly targeted marketing, less competition and, therefore, lower per-click costs.

Customer-focused Content

Whether B2B or B2C, every one of your customers has experienced change. As a result, what they want from you has altered. Has your written content been adjusted?

The keywords that you were promoting for search engine optimisation may need to shift. Metaphorically speaking, are you still promoting smart suits and party dresses whilst your target audience are browsing casual clothes? Beyond products and services, check that the outcomes you were promoting are in line with current desires.

When preparing your marketing message, Google Trends and other online tools offer data on what people are searching for. This can provide generic awareness to inform your blog content or social media posts.

The best approach is to get in touch with your customers. Give them a call, send them an email, even write them a letter! Gather feedback on what you offer and what they want; then use this to inform your marketing strategy. With customer feedback in mind, does your web page content need a freshen up? What would be helpful information to include in your next blog?

Keep it Relevant

These are strange times and we can’t simply carry on as if nothing was out of the ordinary. Any marketing message should reflect the current situation. It might suit your brand to approach this with humour, empathy, distraction or practical information, but tailor a relevant message.

Improve Home Life and you are on to a Winner!

In lockdown, those four walls can feel restrictive. Working, schooling and living in the same space is something we are still adapting to. Through the winter months, even getting out for exercise is less tempting. If your business can offer anything to make home life more tolerable and enjoyable, you could be onto a winner.

This approach isn’t limited to those selling craft kits, DIY products or office furniture. Our TV Licence letter included instructions for a paper-folding trick – perfect!

Here are a few ideas:

  • Use the back of that flyer that you are designing for doorstep delivery for a fun activity
  • Post a monthly challenge on social media
  • Include a printed template on your shipping boxes
  • Create a resource or competition that supports the curriculum – Pod Point and Fresh Air Fitness were two companies who have taken this approach.

With a little creativity, you can make things a little easier; that will put your brand in a good light.

Content Writing Services

As an Aylesbury-based, freelance content writer, I support local businesses to keep their message fresh and relevant. If you need content writing services, please get in touch:


Does your Marketing Message Still Hit the Mark?

Through this challenging year, every business has had to adapt. Have changes been reflected in your marketing?

If your business has experienced change, it is fair to assume that the same applies to your customers. Priorities have shifted, along with where and how we work. Plans may have been put on hold as we focus on what’s needed to keep afloat.

Whether you serve other businesses or consumers, what they need and expect from you now is probably different from a year ago. Does your marketing message still hit the mark?

Is your Website Content Current?

If you have adapted processes, changed your product range or have new ways of accessing services, has your web page content been updated to reflect the changes?

Beyond your website, take a look at your business profile on social media platforms, directories and other marketing tools; are the details accurate? As uncertainty continues, it is worth reviewing this content regularly.

Responsive Marketing

During times of rapid change, communication with customers is essential. Keeping in touch and encouraging open conversations provides valuable insight. This enables your business to tailor services and marketing in ways which address customer and organisational needs.

In many cases, those quickest to respond to the Covid-19 lockdown were small businesses. Knowing their customers and community, they were responsive. As they shifted their offer and message to meet needs, they attracted new business.

As you welcome customers back through the door, have you communicated the steps you’ve taken to keep them safe? Do they even know that your company is still operational? Email marketing and newsletters are an effective way to reassure customers, retain their trust and keep everyone on your database informed.

Retain Customers with Direct Marketing

Direct communication with existing customers can pay dividends. We know that it takes a lot more effort to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. As many companies and individuals are facing difficulties, what will it take to keep those loyal customers?

A change in financial situation could mean that previously regular buyers can no longer afford your services. Rather than lose this business, do you have an alternative option or can you agree on new payment terms?

Bring your Content up to Speed

As a small business, there is always plenty to keep us busy. I encourage you to find 30 minutes in this week’s calendar to review your communications and marketing messages. Is your content relevant or does it need bringing up to speed?


Business Story Telling

As a freelance copywriter, I like to meet my clients in person. My aim is to gain a deeper understanding of their business values and to uncover the story behind their service. Why is this important for creating web page content?

Barry Scott or Levi Roots – Who would you, buy from?

Marketing used to be about your products. Maximise exposure, blast the message out across the media and come up with a catchy tune that no one could get out of their head.

Let’s call this the Barry Scott approach. It’s loud, in your face and quite frankly annoying. Cillit Bang – ‘BANG and the dirt is gone’. Whilst I remember the slogan and can picture the bright purple bottle, I have no intention of making a purchase.

Marketing is now about connecting with your customers, providing what they want and telling your story and engaging on a more personal level. It’s a shopping experience.

Let’s call this the Levi Roots approach. Levi is one of the Dragon’s Den success stories. Peter Jones didn’t invest in the bottles of sauce; he invested in Levi’s story and his personality because he knew this was what consumers want. In Levi, we gain the tale of bottling his grandma’s secret recipe, the colours and flavours of the Caribbean and a twist of Reggae music – ‘Put some music in your food’. It’s a tempting combination.

Standing out from the Competition

The internet has transformed marketing. No matter what products or services you offer, the competition is only a click away. What differentiates you from everyone else with an identical menu of services or product range is your story and your reputation.

A business story doesn’t need to be highly emotive or personal, but take a moment to think back. Why did you set the business up in the first place?

There must have been a reason to step off the ‘safe’ path, to move away from someone employing you, sorting out your tax, contributing towards your pension and paying a steady salary. Were you:

  • Able to spot a gap in the market?
  • Full of spark and read to break free from restrictions?
  • Desperate for a better work/life balance?
  • Willing to put out all the stops and reap the rewards?

There may be many other reasons why being your own boss was appealing and this is the start of your story.

Underpinning Business Values

Was your business formed through the development of a new product or did you see an opportunity to enhance the customer experience?

When you set up a company, you can’t simply copy another business and hope to win customers. There has to be a plan of how you can offer something that the competitors aren’t. This typically feeds into your company values. Did you intend to:

  • Reduce environmental impact?
  • Focus on exceptional customer service?
  • Approach business with a modern, dynamic twist?
  • Reach out to an untapped niche market?

Do your initial values and aims still hold true, or has focused evolved as the company has grown? It would be interesting to find out if your employees have a clear idea of your company values.

Write an About Us Page

I still see websites without an ‘About Us’ page, along with plenty of ‘About Us’ pages which actually tell you nothing about the team, their expertise or the values of the company. This is a missed opportunity. Whilst your values should be communicated across your website, it really is important to write an About Us page that differentiates your company from the competition.

In Summary

Tell your story. It helps people to identify with your brand. It helps your company to become familiar, approachable and personable. Even if you never meet your customers in person, it offers a means of building trust and rapport. It will entice people to call, complete an enquiry form, visit your premises and buy – surely that’s what every business wants.


What can I Write About?

Compelling content may be an integral part of your marketing strategy, but what should you write about? When it comes to blog writing and preparing social media posts, where do you start?

The answer is simple; you start with your CUSTOMERS.

Any marketing campaign should focus on engaging with your ideal customer, so what matters to them? Below are five options to inspire you to get started with blog writing.

Respond to Frequently Asked Questions
Is your company regularly asked the same type of question? Now you have the opportunity to provide a full response. On several occasions, I was asked what should be included on an About Us page, so I decided to write a blog on the subject.

If you keep a record of the blog titles and when they were posted, it is easy to send a link to future customers who ask the same question.

Provide Product Reviews/ Recommendations
It’s difficult to make a decision when there’s so much choice, but you can help by providing clear information that enables customers to compare and evaluate the options. By helping to filter down the selection, you can help customers to find the best option to match their requirements. That can be incredibly helpful.

Present Aftercare Advice/User Guides
Aftercare can help your customers to get the most from your products or services. From practical guides, to ‘did you know?’ posts that explain specific features and how they can be used, the customer can get greater value from their purchase. Other related ideas include serving suggestions, design ideas or related recommendations.

Share Recent Case Studies
A great way to illustrate the difference that your goods and services make is through recent case studies. Remember to include the problem, as well as the solution (supported by before & after images). Case studies help your potential customers to understand the value of what you offer and the difference it can make.

Celebrate Success
To build trust in your brand, it is great to share tangible success. If your company have gained accreditation or have been publicly recognised in business or community awards, let others know. It is also great to share the success of your suppliers, employees and customers.

REMEMBER: When you publish a blog, add posts and links to the article on your social media profiles.

If the task still feels overwhelming and you’d rather focus on other areas of the business, my blog writing service could be of value.