10 ways to communicate with your community during COVID-19

This is not business as usual; we are all living and behaving differently at the moment. Whether it’s spending more time at home or feeling increasingly isolated; it’s important that businesses consider the way they communicate with their communities right now.

In amongst the difficulties and uncertainty, there are many opportunities for our Industry right now. Here are 10 simple ways to communicate effectively with your community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

1.     Keep it positive – We have a product that is in demand right now. People want to spend time in their gardens; they want to exercise, they want to be entertained, they want access to fresh produce, they want to occupy their kids and to create a beautiful space at home. Consider how your business can assist them and communicate these messages with them.   

2.     People are spending more time on line – The simple fact is that people are choosing to spend more at home and inevitably more time online. Make sure you have a strong digital presence and that you are sharing regular content on social media channels, website, blogs and newsletters.

3.     Make it human – there is a lot of goodwill and kindness towards small local businesses right now. Through video and photos, let your audience in to your workplace, let the get to know you and your staff and how your business is being effected by COVID-19.

4.     Educate the masses – There is a huge appetite for gardening at the moment; share short, fun, educational videos and articles to help their garden bloom. Spread the knowledge around.

5.     Consider new audiences – Who are the fledgling gardeners that you can reach? Parents are looking to engage children. Households are looking to keep their pantry topped up. Fitness fanatics are missing their gyms. Tailor your content to speak to them; they will be looking for help.

6.     Support those impacted – If you’re in a position to offer anything to those that are in quarantine or unwell, whether it’s a special offer or discounted delivery, it’s a wonderful story to share with your community and could generate genuine brand loyalty.

7.     Reach out to peers – maximise the reach of your communications by reaching out to similar businesses. Consider starting a shared marketing campaign, sharing one another’s content, delivering a shared special offer to customers. Not only will your message go further but you can enjoy the support of your colleagues.

8.     What’s working? – Spend time online. Look at what similar businesses are doing that is engaging their audience. Is there a # that is trending? Are videos proving popular?

9.     Encourage sharing with customers – encourage your community to share their growing exploits with you and your community, through photos and videos. Seeing what can be achieved by others is a wonderful inspiration and encourages them to have a go. The more the merrier.

10.  Make it pretty – many of you have beautiful places of work, surrounded by plants and nature. Sharing that imagery will inspire some to visit your business (if that’s appropriate) and for others it will make them smile and we all need those right now.

We hope you find this helpful. Spend a little time thinking about your business and the unique things you can offer right now and then tell your story to as many people as you can reach.