Henry Ford once said, "A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time."
A lot of businesses have been forced to be closed and there's not much that can be done to help those types of businesses.
However, if your business is allowed to operate in any way, whether it be via curbside pickup, delivery or appointment only, then you have 2 big challenges right now:
1.) You have to let people know you are open for business
2.) Convincing people to use your business
With both of these scenarios, Henry Ford's quote about advertising comes in to play. With business down, it is tempting to stop advertising in order to "stay afloat." However, this is the most important time to advertise to let people know you are Open for Business. The type of advertising is a key though.
There is no magic bullet when it comes to advertising, but different types of advertising have different purposes. Some advertising is meant to build a brand, so that your business is recognizable down the road when someone is looking for a product or service you have to offer. Pretty much any type of advertising will build your brand as long as you continue the advertising for an extended period of time.
Billboards are fantastic branding tools.
Some advertising is trying to achieve a call to action right away. Some are more effective in doing this. The best example I can think of is Waze, the navigation app. The ads pop up while you are driving to get you to pull over on the next exit to visit the restaurant, convenience store or whatever it may be.
Having a good strategy and offer is the key during times like this. Ads having COVID specials, promoting sanitary measures, delivery options or promoting that you are locally owned.
In times like this, solutions would revolve around internet advertising like Display Ads, Email Ads, Waze Ads or even Over The Top Television (Ads on Streaming Platforms.)