Small Business Marketing Tips During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Summary: Many small business owners are confused about what they should be doing to keep their businesses afloat while staying connected to their customers. While each business is unique, there are some general tips you can follow to ensure your business is taking the right steps.
The world is a scary place right now. It feels like overnight, our lives changed dramatically. Schools are closed. Employees are working from. Supplies like toilet paper and cleaning products are limited. For those who own a business, the effects can feel even more compounded. Not only do you have your health and family to worry about but also your livelihood.
Many small business owners are confused about what they should be doing to keep their businesses afloat while staying connected to their customers. While each business is unique, there are some general tips you can follow to ensure your business is taking the right steps. Below we share some of the best strategies for small business owners to follow amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Continue investing in your marketing campaigns.
Even though your budget may be tighter right now, we still recommend continuing with your marketing campaigns. For one thing, more marketers are postponing or canceling their campaigns, which means you can breeze right past your competitors. In fact, you may even see slightly lower costs due to less competition.
Second, you don’t want to take your foot off the pedal during a time when you should be connecting with your audience. Your marketing campaigns will keep your brand fresh and ensure continued engagement. When we do recover from this pandemic, you don’t want to have to retrace your steps and try to bring engagement back up.
That said, we do not recommend starting new initiatives right now. People are scared for their health and financial well-being, so it’s not necessary to hard sell new products and services. Instead, offer messages of hope and encouragement, and keep your customers posted on what your business is doing to keep employees and customers safe.
Reassess and reallocate your marketing budget.
While it’s important to continue your marketing efforts, it’s likely that you will have to reassess and reallocate your budget. For example, you probably won’t be attending any trade shows soon, so you can redirect this budget to another channel like social media marketing.
Some clients are also reducing their spend on Google Ads and transferring the budget over to search engine optimization. This way, they can work on improving their placement in the search results, drive more organic traffic to their site and be in a position to overtake their competition.
Once business returns to normal, you can turn your ads back on and enjoy the increased placement you worked hard to secure. If you’re not sure how to allocate your budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact our digital marketing experts for insight and advice.
Adapt your services to the “new normal.”
It’s likely that we’ll be practicing social distancing for a while, even as businesses begin opening their doors. If you have a physical location and you can no longer see customers in person, consider some of the ways you can adapt your services. Can you offer curbside pickup? Front porch delivery? Virtual appointments and chats?
For example, many restaurants are streamlining their menus and offering family meals. This way, they can cook a lot of food at once and attract busy parents who don’t want to cook and clean for the night. Some restaurants are even partnering up with other businesses to give customers more bang for their buck.
If you offer a service, consider promoting your gift cards and gift certificates right now. You can generate cash and ensure a customer later on. Because more and more people are out of work and watching their money, it helps to sweeten the deal with a discount, free product or extended trial.
Show the human side of your business.
It might seem like the coronavirus pandemic will never end, but it will. When this is over, you want your customers to remember you for the right reasons. Now is a great time to show your customers the human side of your business. So many brands talk about this, but now we have an opportunity to put our words into action.
For example, are there ways you can help your existing customers? Streaming services like Disney+ are releasing movies early so that families have new things to watch. Sure, this ultimately puts money into their pockets, but it also sends the message that they care about their customers.
Here are some ideas that you may be able to offer to your customers during COVID-19:
Free or low-cost delivery. Delivery is a helpful solution right now, as most states are on lockdown. Be sure to offer quick delivery, as well as no-contact delivery options.
Bulk purchases. If customers can purchase larger quantities, they don’t have to go to the store as often. You can also offer a discount on bulk purchases.
Partner with another business. Expand your offerings by partnering with a local business. You could get the double the customers, as both of your followings will want to support you!
Extended trials and services. Can you offer more with your services, such as a longer trial period or upgraded service for the same cost?
Create new variations. Toy stores are putting together custom Easter baskets. Restaurants are coming up with new dishes. Can you offer a limited-time product as well?
Help your community. Look for ways to make a difference in your community. This could be by donating supplies, expanding your services, bringing meals to the elderly or fostering a pet.
It’s hard to tell when things will reopen and return to normal, and chances are, it will be a slow process back. In the meantime, make sure your audience remembers you for being caring, compassionate and resourceful. Avoid making a quick buck by exploiting the coronavirus. Right now, this is everyone’s fight.
To discuss your marketing strategy and how to best meet your customers’ needs during the COVID-19 outbreak, contact WSI Net Advantage today. With the ability to work remotely, we are happy to serve our customers while staying safe!