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By now, we are all aware that COVID-19 has interrupted business as usual for nearly everyone – multi-location businesses and consumers, alike. While social distancing is continuing to remain a necessity in most areas, you need to continuously think about how to navigate your localized marketing presence. 

For the past few weeks, your business was probably more reactive rather than proactive, which is understandable given the current situation. However, now is the time to start thinking about how you can be proactive with your localized marketing efforts, and this blog can help! 

Support Local Businesses 

The first thing your multi-location business can do to start developing a localized marketing presence during this pandemic is to support other local businesses. This can be done in a variety of ways and doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to become best friends with your competition. 

For instance, during this time, your multi-location business can: 

  • Partner with other local businesses to raise funds for those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19
  • Highlight local businesses that are doing good in the community. 
    • I.e., delivering free meals to health-care workers or donating to other important causes. Below, Sport Clips highlights St. Baldrick’s Foundation and their efforts to raise money for childhood cancer patients.

  • Waive fees on services that small businesses provide to your company 

While these are only a few examples, the message is clear. During this period of unknown, it’s more important than ever to rally together and acknowledge those who are raising others up during this time rather than promoting our own agendas. 

Consider Your Tone 

Speaking of promoting your agenda during this time, it’s also crucial to consider the tone your multi-location business is using in your content. At first, some businesses may have taken a playful approach when discussing COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order – that is no longer appropriate. As mentioned previously, COVID-19 has severely affected the lives of many people worldwide, and it’s essential to recognize that. 

Your multi-location business should ensure that it doesn’t come across as tone-deaf. For instance, when writing a blog or social media post, consider finding a way to tie in COVID-19. If you are going to write about a new product or service that your business is offering, can you think of a way to promote it, while also tying in the current situation? When considering tone, it’s also important to remember that you may have to be flexible with your existing content strategy. 

Re-evaluate Your Content Strategy 

While you probably already had your content strategy planned for Q2, a lot of that content is likely going to have to be on hold until things begin to resume back to a somewhat normal state. As mentioned above, you don’t want to come across as tone-deaf, which is why you must re-evaluate your content strategy. This doesn’t mean that your content can’t be used altogether, but it must be adjusted to be more in line with what your consumers are going through. 

For instance, if you’re in the fitness industry and were planning to launch a campaign about getting into shape before summer, that may need to be adjusted. Instead, your campaign could focus on tips for working out at home, or how to prepare healthy meals while in quarantine.  SOCi user Anytime Fitness has great examples of adjusting content to the times. Below, they highlight healthy recipes that can be used for meal-prepping at home while quarantined. 

While it may be easy for some businesses to adjust their current content strategy to be more fitting, others may have to re-evaluate their content entirely. At SOCi, we’ve had to do this ourselves. While we would typically be focusing on the importance of more specific localized marketing tactics, we have had to take a more holistic approach to our content. SOCi is now focusing on how localized marketing can help multi-location businesses during this difficult time. Businesses need to be nimble during this time, and open to creating new content ideas at a moment’s notice depending on the climate around COVID-19. 

Keep Consumers Informed on Industry Information

While re-working the content you previously planned for this quarter, you can supplement with information about your business’s industry during this time. Are there any significant changes that are happening due to COVID-19? Is your industry still able to perform its typical capabilities? These are questions that consumers want answered. 

There is already so much confusion happening with businesses having to reduce their hours, work from home, or close completely, that it’s critical to keep consumers up to date. Your consumers need to feel like they can trust you during this difficult time, and turn to you for information. This could mean sharing updates on key search platforms, like Google My Business, and adding a banner on your website with the most recent information about how COVID-19 is affecting your business or industry in general. You could also send out an email blast with similar details, write a blog on the topic, and of course, share it all on social media. The main takeaway from this is to make sure your consumers feel as informed and secure as possible. 

We know how difficult it can be to worry about your business in general, let alone think about how to navigate your localized marketing presence. SOCi can help! At SOCi, we can help you manage a comprehensive localized marketing strategy all from one platform. From managing ratings and reviews, to local listings, to social media, to localized ad campaigns, and more, SOCi has you covered. To learn more about how SOCi can help your multi-location business during this challenging time, email us at [email protected] to find out! 

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