Try to Stay Positive – It Will Get Better
As a business owner, you’re likely looking for ways to survive the wave that has Americans shifting their budgets. The COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on daily business and consumer behavior. Our world is facing a very serious challenge, but there is hope on the horizon! Our communities need each other now more than ever. People need support, understanding, education, and resources. We have outlined for you some strategies and tips on marketing your business during COVID-19. You want to make sure you focus on:
- Keeping connected with your customers on social media
- Improving your online presence
- Adjusting to meet your customer needs
- Perfecting your brand identity
- Investing in your marketing
- Preparing your business for a bounce-back
Businesses that remain proactive and use progressive thinking are likely to outperform others that pull back substantially during this time. By doing this, they better position themselves for success once everything stabilizes again.
Check Out These Helpful Resources From The U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
- List of Small Business Resources for coronavirus assistance
- State-by-State Business Reopening Guide, with interactive map
- Customizable Flyer Template for businesses to communicate with customers
- Paycheck Protection Loan Guide
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Guide
- Employee Retention Tax Credit Guide
- Coronavirus Response Toolkit for Businesses
- CARES Act Guide for Independent Contractors and 1099 Workers
Connecting With Your Customers During These Critical Moments
Your customers may be on self-quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected and continue providing excellent service. More people are on social media now while stuck at home, scanning for updates and trying to stay connected in a suddenly isolated nation. This is a time to really show empathy to others and help out where you can. It is important to be sensitive and not too salesy or pushy. Whether you’re posting about the virus specifically or trying to offer light, positive content to help take people’s minds off the panic, it can be helpful to increase your posting frequency to ensure you are showing up in their news feeds.
- Let customers know what you’re doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Send an email to your customers and post signage in your store to assure them that you’re doing everything you can to protect their health when they visit your store. Share any increased cleaning, disinfecting and hygiene protocols you’re following. If you are altering your hours or closing your store for a deep-clean, you should let your customers know that, too.
- Focus on serving your customers through digital channels: You may already offer phone and email support to your customers, but now is the time to increase your customer service capabilities and ensure your patrons can reach you — no matter where they are. Social media is a good place to start, as you can offer the option to chat via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other instant messaging platforms. You can also offer video conferencing options through Skype or FaceTime, so your customers can get that “face-to-face” feel without actually being there in-person.
From ramping up your social media presence to offering online deals, there are many ways small business owners can stay engaged with customers and keep sales alive during COVID-19.
Improve Your Online Presence
Anything online right now will be consumed more than ever before. This is not the time to be hidden online! Marketing your business during COVID-19 would be a smart move. More people are online right now than in their cars or walking the sidewalks. Search traffic has increased significantly over the past week and will continue to climb as we hunker down. We’re all glued to our computers and phones looking for updates within our community. We’re also looking for entertainment and ways to pass the time. For many, that includes shopping online. This leaves good opportunities to market your business in a way that doesn’t come off as pushy.
Remember that digital marketing has one significant benefit over most other types of marketing. It doesn’t require any face-to-face interaction. That makes it easier marketing a business during times of isolation. It is also one of the more measurable types of marketing. Try tackling these tips to market your business and improve your online presence:
- Create a Social Media Account: If you haven’t already, creating a free Facebook Page and Instagram Business Account is almost essential now a days. These tools enable businesses to tell customers who they are and what they’re able to offer, especially during these times.
- Use Existing Channels to Communicate With Customers: Take this opportunity to include information about safety measures, the handling of customer inquiries, any expected shipping delays and more on existing channels like a company website or customer emails.
- Turn a Planned In-Person Event to an Online Streaming Event: At a time where businesses have had to postpone or cancel events they’ve invested time and money preparing for, Facebook Live and Instagram Live have emerged as key tools to help businesses transition events from in-person to digital.
- Update Existing Content or Create New Content: Adjusting business hours and service methods to accommodate changes caused by coronavirus safety measures may put existing content out of date. Consider reviewing your content to make sure it reflects your most recent business changes.
You can market your business online by using Facebook Live and Instagram Live to help creatively engage, entertain
or inspire your audience.
Musicians and orchestras are streaming free concerts to audiences, fitness studios are scheduling classes on live channels so people can work out without leaving home and educators are hosting lessons online for students who have experienced school closures.
Adjust to Meet Your Customers Needs
Successful businesses move quickly and adapt to the circumstances. There is little point continuing your marketing as normal if consumers are unable or unwilling to buy your usual products at the moment. You need to be nimble and adjust to your customer needs.
Smaller businesses may have to modify their operations for the situation. Maybe you own a gym that has to close its doors for a while. You might want to make some videos of exercise routines your clients can do at home. Make sure to upload them every day to YouTube. Keep your customers engaged!
Perfecting Your Brand Identity
Invest In Your Marketing
Now is the time to invest more, not less in your marketing budget. That is how you can gain a competitive advantage in the months and even years to come. Do you want to experiment news ways in marketing your business? Have you been wanting to test new ad creative to see if your audience engages better with specific imagery and messaging? Now might be the time to test out a new creative on a variety of audiences. You can gather information that will make your future campaigns more effective.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is a Smart Move Right Now: It probably depends on your industry, but now could be the perfect time to increase your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. More people than ever are on the internet. This gives a greater chance for your ads to appear before relevant pairs of eyes. This can give you a tremendous competitive advantage. And it’s a great chance to save some money within your digital marketing budget. On average, cost-per-clicks have decreased by 6 percent across all verticals.
- Improve Your Site’s SEO: It’s all very well having an improved digital presence, but that is worth little if people can’t find their way to your website. Any business with a website needs to operate good SEO principles, if they don’t want to end up lost amongst the competition. SEO is a powerful way tool in marketing your business. It helps your business increase organic traffic to your website and move past your competition. You want to be on the front page of the Google SERPs so that when your customers search for certain keywords you’re the company they end up calling. To climb to the top of the SERPs takes time and strategic optimization strategies. Visit our services page to explore the different options we have to help put your website on top. Our team members are Google certified and ready to tackle any project or challenge you are facing.
It is important to stay ahead of the curve and do whatever is possible to keep your website updated and optimized. Remain proactive with your digital marketing strategies in order to help get your site rank higher than your competitors.
Prepare Your Business For the Bounce-Back Surge
Just because you may feel stuck at home, doesn’t mean that you can’t plan for things once the Coronavirus crisis comes to an end. Many business owners want to market their business but complain that they are always busy. They haven’t got the time to do such things as analyze their website performance and check on their SEO. You have to remember that SEO is more of a long-term strategy. That’s where we come in. What you do today for your SEO campaign will affect your organic search traffic two months from now.
Now is an ideal time to plan your future marketing. How will you get yourself back up and operational again? Successfully marketing your business requires dedication. Depending on your situation, you may have to plan your marketing rebirth on a shoestring budget. Digital Marketing doesn’t have to be overly expensive. This is one of the reasons you still need to keep your website up-to-date. Keep on updating your social pages. If they still exist, you won’t have to spend time rebuilding them from scratch when the world comes back to life again.
Here To Help Keep Your Business Shining
Spend the time to check the current performance of your website and existing marketing. Make appropriate changes as needed. You could also begin to plan out your recovery content. Sketch out your future campaigns or write scripts for videos. Anything that you can do by yourself without being in your full work setting. Once you are comfortable with your brainstorming, seek professionals to help properly execute and advertise your business. Contact our experts at ARA Digital Marketing to get a customizable package that fits any and all business needs.