In most parts of the country, we’re slowly emerging from stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns. But it’s hardly “back to normal” or “business as usual.” The way we interact, shop and travel has changed.

So it only makes sense that marketing needs to change, too – both the methods and the message.

From a tactic standpoint, homeowners are spending more time at home – so that’s where we need to reach them. Traffic is up across every social media site from Facebook to YouTube to Instagram and Twitter. If you don’t have a comprehensive social media strategy, you need to develop one now (more on the messaging below). It needs to include content marketing (as we explored last month).

But more importantly, let’s talk about the message.

Recognize the moment

COVID-19 doesn’t need to be the point of your marketing, but you should be incorporating it into the outreach you do.

An obvious step for any remodeler is a post about how you are working to keep your team and clients safe. We’re asking homeowners to invite us into their homes for days, weeks or months. They want to know that is going to be safe. Hopefully, you’re following all the recommendations from OSHA and NAHB about jobsite safety and cleanliness. Highlight that information.

If there are any changes to office hours or availability of your team, share that info as well.

Think about the imagery you use in your marketing. Stock photos that show people failing to follow social distancing guidelines could open you up to criticism from your customers. Avoid clichés like “work hand in hand” or others that imply physical closeness.

Promote comfort

In times of crisis, people crave the simple, things that give them a sense of normalcy. Look at the massive boom in baking. Most stores can’t keep yeast on the shelf.

People are embracing the safe and comfortable. For most homeowners, that’s their home. For example, for several clients, we’ve been highlighting projects that helped their customers get more enjoyment out of their home during the shutdown, such as an addition or a new sunroom.

Highlight expertise

The ability to convey a sense of expertise, being a remodeler they can trust is important. It’s time to talk about being part of the community, your long history of taking care of homeowners in the area.

There’s still great interest in home improvement, but you can highlight the importance of hiring a professional to do that work. Have some fun with DIY fails or common mistakes homeowners make. It’s OK to offer a little entertainment.

Avoid the hard sell, but make it clear you are here for the long haul. Be that resource whenever they’re ready to talk about the next project.

Be agile

A social media and marketing plan is important. A calendar of scheduled posts, for example, helps make sure you stay on target.

At the same time, be ready to toss it out the window. We’ve all seen the marketing that is jarring in how out-of-step it is. You need to react at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s protests, coronavirus or some other unforeseen item in the news cycle, what seemed like a good idea at the beginning of the month may seem totally out of touch today.

The most important strategy is … keep marketing. Keeping your message in front of customers is crucial!