4 ways to tackle local and community marketing during the pandemic

Times of great challenge require new ways of thinking. As we begin to settle into this the next normal, the value of local marketing has become clearer. Faced with several logistical roadblocks brought on by the Coronavirus, businesses across the country have started to hone in on their local communities to benefit the lives of nearby residents while driving brand awareness in a positive, productive way.

At present, 52% of small businesses1 are taking active measures to prepare for the logical and financial impact of COVID-19. By pivoting your outlook and forming new strategies now, you stand to not only survive but even thrive during these times.

To succeed in the current climate, concentrating on your local marketing strategies is key. Here are four local/community-driven approaches to consider:

1) Community Outreach Campaigns

The spirit of solidary is alive and well in the age of COVID-19. As such, the key to sustainable business success during the pandemic lies in practical, community-driven local marketing campaigns. By considering your local audience’s pain points and leveraging your expertise to offer a direct solution, you will increase customer loyalty while doing something that makes a real difference.

Cloud computing specialist Martz Technologies, for instance, has repositioned its talent and resources to make cutting-edge face masks for the local community while creating hundreds of jobs in the area by recruiting those with sewing skills to help produce them. Smoothie subscription brand Daily Harvest has donated thousands of frozen goods to frontline workers in its locale, working with influential chefs to create some buzz around its new flatbread range.2

Take the time to find out what your community needs and use your current resources or expertise to help. This can be done through surveys, social media, and simply testing different approaches to see what drives engagement. Doing so will make you part of the solution and build brand loyalty in the process.

2) Data-Driven Decisions

Drilling down into the right data will help you fine tune what consumers need right now. By understanding physical world data, you will gain a wealth of data-driven insights into the movements and behaviors of consumers 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 will be able to deliver more targeted campaigns to your audience, whether that’s through push notifications, display ads, email, and more. 

As the pandemic still rests heavy on many, keeping up with the ever-changing needs of your local audience is essential to success, and location-based data analysis can help.

3) Curbside or Contactless Fulfillment

In these times of enduring isolation, the way we interact with the world around us has changed. To tackle social distancing both safely and efficiently, a host of brands across industries have continued operating by offering contactless delivery or curbside pickup options to their local customers. If you are a hospitality brand or a business that sells tangible goods, formulating a curbside or contactless delivery strategy will ensure that you maintain commercial momentum during and after the pandemic.

Additionally, place-centric insights will empower you with the information you need to understand where the most demand is for your services. You will know how far to stretch your contactless delivery service while selecting safe as well as time-efficient curbside pickup locations.

4) Digital Expansion & 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 towards a more digital future, you will be able to connect with your local audience on a deeper, more meaningful level as the pandemic plays out. The virtually limitless nature of digital means that you can offer value to your local audience across a range of touchpoints, from mobile apps to social media, email, and beyond.

Leveraging location-based insights to your advantage, you can develop content that will resonate with your audience and offer direct value, including:

  • Host educational updates and webinars aimed at residents in certain geographic locations.
  • Create information guides tailored to the needs of your specific audience.
  • Share information about your community initiatives and efforts with local consumers across a mix of touchpoints at times or places they’re most likely to respond or engage.
  • Utilize dynamic creative units that resonate with particular segments of your local audience.

While we are living in uncertain times, investing in local marketing and aiming to enhance the lives of your consumers during and after the pandemic will be to your advantage and help you come out the other side fighting.

For more business-boosting bounceback strategies, read The 5R Strategy to Getting Your Business Back on Track.

127% of U.S. Small Business Owners Believe 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