For the month of June, Veugeler Design Group will be sharing a series of posts about effective communication through both traditional and digital marketing. For this week’s post, we tackle how to effectively communicate your business’s reopening plans following quarantine due to COVID-19.
We live in a time when it’s easier than ever to communicate with each other. In fact, we’re inundated with all types of communication every single day: texts, emails, phone calls, social media posts, commercials, video conferences, Slack messages, billboards … the list goes on. In fact, the recent events of the coronavirus shutdown proved to us all just how important communication is since we were forced inside and social distancing became a very real reality. And while it’s easier than ever to send a message, it’s getting harder to tell just how well that message was received — especially for businesses.
From traditional marketing efforts (signage, mailers, brochures, billboards, etc.) to digital marketing options like social media, email marketing, and incorporating website sliders and banners, businesses have so many options for communication at their fingertips. However, haphazardly slapping up a quick post on Facebook or putting together a newsletter with little thought to the overall design or how it will be received and perceived by the customer will no doubt only hinder your overall goal: to communicate your message effectively.
Now, more than ever, clear communication is imperative to successfully navigate the rough waters of a post-quarantine world. The spread of COVID-19 impacted businesses around the country, including ours, leaving many to make difficult decisions as they adjusted to a new normal. Some businesses chose to pull back on marketing efforts and shift their focus in-house in order to simply survive. And we get it: No one, no matter how business-savvy, was prepared for a worldwide pandemic.
In its guide to pandemic response planning, EY says that effective, consistent communications during a crisis will help you maintain customer trust, restore employee morale and confidence, and retain market stability.
As the waters begin to calm and businesses work to reopen, businesses must take the reins and navigate a successful return. In order to do that, we must shift our focus to how to communicate to customers that they’re not only reopening, but that they are doing so safely and effectively.
Which brings us back to our original point: How do we communicate this message effectively? During the times of COVID, effective communication requires making clear to customers your expectations from them and what they should expect from you. Here are some ways you can incorporate digital and traditional marketing to communicate your reopening strategy with customers:
Craft a Unified Reopening Message Across Multiple Platforms
- Post your COVID-19 safety guidelines on your website and social media channels in a static place that can easily be found by customers. These can include, but are not limited to:
- A pop-up window on your homepage.
- Message or graphic on your About Us pages.
- A slider linking to a dedicated page with COVID-19 business updates.
- A pinned post at the top of your social media channel.
- Incorporate email marketing to announce reopening plans to customers. This is a great place to go into more detail about all of the safety precautions that are being put into place, your reopening plan, as well as offer any incentives to entice customers to return.
- Incorporate signage at your business’s physical location with the safety guidelines you are following. Signage should be clearly visible. Be sure to incorporate similar messaging that you used on your website and social channels. Types of signage include window decals, a sign on your front door, and a yard sign in front of your business, among others.
For StillFire Brewing, we created graphics to post across social media channels that not only clearly articulate the brewery’s plan to reopen, but also that it was doing so with a number of safety precautions in place. The brewery could then go into more detail about their reopening plans in the post itself.
For another client, we created a pop-up on their homepage that announced the business was open and included messaging that spoke to their safety protocols.
Here’s a great example of an effective email campaign for reopening that includes detailed information as well as an incentive to customers:
Incorporate Great Design to Make Announcements
Not only does design help attract attention toward your marketing, but it also enhances the overall quality of your message. One of the best ways to differentiate your brand from the crowd is through exceptional design. There are so many advantages to great design, including:
- Makes a meaningful first impression.
- Boosts brand awareness.
- Can increase ROI.
According to Adobe, when customers are given 15 minutes to consume content, 66% would prefer to view something beautifully designed versus simple and plain. Great design uses color, layout, and smart typography to connect to their consumer in emotionally driven ways. Incorporating an impactful connection with the visual display of your brand is the best way to show the world who you are and what your brand stands for.
As you roll out your reopening plans, whether it’s through announcements on social media, neighborhood flyers, eblasts, or other types of communication, be sure to incorporate good design principles so you don’t get overlooked. This can even be applied when announcing rescheduled or reformatted events or community announcements.
By thoughtfully approaching your marketing and communication strategies, businesses can work toward a successful reopening phase of the coronavirus pandemic. If you have more questions about your reopening communication strategy, or if you’re interested in learning how a digital marketing firm can provide additional assistance, contact Veugeler Design Group today for more information.