Top five small business marketing tips during the coronavirus
There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has had a dramatic impact on small businesses. Now that we’re nearly two months into the crisis, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around...
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There’s no doubt that the coronavirus has had a dramatic impact on small businesses. Now that we’re nearly two months into the crisis, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around what’s to come. But if there’s one thing that small businesses can be sure of, it’s that being consistent with marketing has been, and always will be, crucial–maybe even more so during coronavirus.
If you’re a small business currently trying to stay afloat, here are five marketing tips to help navigate coronavirus and beyond.
Whether or not your business is able to operate during this time, it’s essential to maintain communication with customers. Your customers want to stay updated, not only for their own sake but also so they know how they can support you at this time.
Use your social media channels and email list to share regular updates or messages to your customers. Let them know how they can purchase from you, whether that’s delivery or curbside pickup or online only, and keep them updated as soon as things change. Things are indeed changing quickly and often these days, so don’t be afraid to communicate with your customers more than you usually would. Staying connected with your audience now will help keep your business top of mind when it’s time to reopen.
If there’s one slight silver lining of this crisis, it’s that your small business is not alone. Use this time to connect with fellow small businesses and see if there’s a way to work together. When it comes to collaborating with another brand, it’s important to consider how both parties will benefit.
One way to collaborate is to reach out to a small business that offers a different product but serves the same market. For example, if you run a restaurant but don’t currently have alcohol on your menu, you may consider partnering with a drink brand to collaborate on a meal kit that your customers can order for takeout. By including drinks and packaging it as a meal, you’re essentially creating a new product and potentially increasing sales. Additionally, the drink brand is benefitting by being included and reaching a new set of customers. People are more willing to try new things in order to adapt, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to collaborations.
Maintaining an online presence has been increasingly important in the last several years, but now that everyone is at home, it’s even more crucial for your small business to utilize digital communication.
Without a storefront to operate out of, your website and social media pages now act as the central hub for your business. If your online brand doesn’t reflect your business’s current offerings, take this time to make the necessary updates. This includes updating your website with current information and optimizing it for search, pivoting your social media strategy, and producing new, relevant content that’s valuable for your target audience.
It’s important to note that even once businesses are able to fully reopen again, consumer behavior may not be the same as it once was. Even though stay-at-home orders are only temporary, people may be hesitant to rush back into stores. Consider this when working on your digital strategy. Whatever efforts you put in now should be sustainable in the long term should your customers choose to do more business online.
If your small business is still selling products or services, then now is the time to utilize social media ads. While Facebook is normally a go-to for large companies and advertisers, many companies have cut their marketing budgets due to the coronavirus and are no longer spending ad dollars. As a result, Facebook’s cost-per-click is dramatically low. As a small business, this means you don’t have to spend nearly as much on social media ads as you would have before all of this.
Take this time to experiment with ads and see what kind of results you get. With everyone staying at home and being on their laptops, tablets and phones, the chances of you reaching your target audience through social media are much higher than usual. There are a few key steps to running a Facebook ad campaign, including setting an objective and determining your target audience, but once you’ve got those down you can easily run a campaign or two during this time to increase your brand’s reach.
There’s no doubt that small businesses have had to quickly pivot their offerings in order to keep up with the changing times. Restaurants made the switch from dine-in to takeout, brick and mortar shops have had to move their products online, and service-based businesses made the switch to a virtual model in order to continue helping clients.
Even though these changes were unsolicited, some businesses are seeing unexpected success by implementing creative new business models. Think about ways you can pivot your business; maybe you can offer a new product or introduce a new service that’s helpful to people during this time. If there’s anything to take away from this, it’s that being able to adapt is key to seeing long term success.
About Sam Lauron: Sam is a freelance lifestyle writer and a copywriter at Swyft, which has been listed as one of the best PR firms in Austin and a top digital marketing agency in Denver since its founding in 2011. Swyft has satellite offices where it offers PR in San Francisco and Houston.