The Coronavirus outbreak has caught the entire world off-guard — everyone is scrambling to stay afoot. It is inevitable for many to feel stressed and overwhelmed during this pandemic. During these unprecedented times, we have seen so many startups and small businesses panic and make impulsive decisions, risking their business’ growth.
However, that is not to say that all small businesses are doomed to fail due to COVID-19. With the right steps and impeccably planned out marketing methods, small businesses can stay afloat and see potentially remunerative impacts. While this may not guarantee profitability, this would definitely increase the brand’s awareness and build a stronger loyal customer base. One way would be for businesses to get the help of a marketing firm to boost their sales.
This article will serve as a survival guide for small businesses looking for the right tips to get through the tough times and emerge from it better once the world settles down and gets better. Let’s get started!
What Can Your Business Offer?
First things first — customers look for solutions, not just any products. Customers have a new problem to face now with lockdown measures set, so businesses have to think of a solution to reaching them in other ways. A vital question to ask would be: What and How can your business do to help consumers right now?
Depending on your business, this could be a good opportunity for appropriate promotion, or an opportunity to engage in giving back to the community. Concentrate your marketing on how your business can alleviate stress, provide support during these hard times. For example, businesses in the food industry have given back to the community by either giving away or creating discount bundles for medical, hospitality, and emergency staff.
Find Your Existing Customers
While it is always important to look out for ways to increase your consumer base, it is highly recommended that your brand should not forget your existing one. This is a great opportunity for your business to touch base with your existing customers and strengthen their loyalty to your brand.
You can begin by letting your past customers know that your brand is still operating through email and social media. Take advantage of this low-competition period, and of resources you already have. You will find that with the right online marketing strategy, you can still build a loyal base without having to spend too much.
Be More Empathetic
Remember, small businesses are not the only ones feeling the crunch — your customers are feeling it too. The wave of new conscious consumers has risen higher during these tough times. Customers are more hyper-aware of the brands they support and the content they consume. Hence, repositioning your brand may be the key to stay on many consumers’ “Good List”.
This can be simply achieved by integrating a transparent mode of communication with your customer base. Like in most relationships, consumers look for honesty, and clarity from the brands they support. Putting in a bit more effort to create a relationship and understand your customers can help create top-of-the-mind awareness — something that can help ring in new and loyal customers that are more willing to support your brand; even in the post-pandemic world.
Invest in Digital Marketing
For the safety and health of everyone, public events like roadshows, stalls, physical launches, and networking are all obviously out of the question. This does not mean you should give up on your entire marketing budget though. If you can successfully redirect that effort, you will see huge results and savings.
Like we mentioned before, take advantage of the resources that are right in front of you. Lockdown measures in place have made the majority of the world stay at home and rely on using the internet to get work done and communicate. This means that there is a higher chance that your target audience is online for the most part of their day. Your brand should take this opportunity to invest in search engine marketing, digital advertisements, social media updates, and email marketing to reach your audience. In this digital age, it would definitely serve your business well to stabilize its online presence anyway.
Take Advantage Of Social Media
Let’s circle back to the point we made earlier on investing in social media to build your brand’s online presence. Investing in social media does not necessarily mean spending money. What you can do for your brand to establish a strong online presence is to create a comprehensible page to make it accessible for your consumers.
You can include a link to your main website, include your hotline or an email, announce that your brand will accept direct messages to answer inquiries, and engage with your customers in your posts. With more visitors, there are more chances of increasing engagement, which in turn could guarantee an improved conversion rate. However, this does not mean you have to create something silly and viral to get online attention. You can remain true to your brand’s tone and image, create engaging content that is honest and fact-checked too, For example, you can use your pages to update your followers on COVID-19, hygiene or safety tips, interesting life hacks, etc.
You can take this opportunity to experiment with different online campaigns as long as you have metrics to measure how successful these campaigns are. Keep an eye out on posts that receive more comments, more likes, more clicks on your profile, etc. Not only does this help affirm what campaigns work best, but it also helps you learn more about what your consumers like and you can tailor future campaigns to really fit them better.
Times may be rough now and throwing in the towel may seem like the easy way out. We hope that this article has inspired you to keep your business running. Just remember to take this time to remind your customers that your business is something they can rely on during these times. It may take time, but it gives your business time to grow, take a look at the bigger picture, and re-center. After all, slow and steady wins the race.