Suffice to say that we have all had to adapt to the new normal, both in our everyday lives and in our professional ones also. As a small business, you are working twice as hard to keep your productivity, demand and sales high, and a tried and true method of successfully reaching customers both new and existing is through marketing.
Here are a few tips to effectively market your small business during COVID, that you can take with you, continuing to implement once we have come out safely on the other side.
For small businesses, your customers are the backbone of who you are. That community of people who believed in you and your services will continue to see you thrive through the worst of things - if you open up to them.
Part marketing technique, and part honesty - give your customers a behind the scenes look at how you have had to change your approach during the current pandemic. This can be anything from your new working from home set up to how you are adhering to government safety guidelines as you manage an outflow of goods and services. Take a step back from the stylised images as you keep your customers updated. Remind them that you are new, you are growing, and that their help is instrumental.
There is no shame in being honest, open and humble. Take advantage of that personal touch larger corporations become detached from and see it as a chance to forge and strengthen a community that doesn’t want to see your fall.
In 2021, telling you to utilize social media seems like a moot point, but did you know the average person has more than eight social media accounts?
There are the platforms that feel standard as new business set up shop; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but you could be missing out on new customers by only staying within those limitations. Now is a great time to experiment with other social media sites that haven’t been tapped into by competitors, platforms such as Clubhouse, Reddit and Pinterest.
As a small business, unlikely to have a dedicated Social Media Manager, you might be wary of adding more to your plate, but the good thing about most platforms is their cross integration. You can connect accounts so when you post on say, Instagram, it automatically posts to Facebook. This allows you to spread your reach without costing you time.
Social Media is always growing and reshaping, as proved with the recent announcement of Bebo’s return to the market. Seize these opportunities to be at the forefront of a new stream to generate consumers.
For those who operated physically, then having a social media presence may keep your audience engaged but, on its own won’t provide financial support. As all non-essential shops are currently closed, then temporarily transitioning to provide goods and services online is the way forward, and thankfully couldn’t be more simple.
There are a number of sites that will easily facilitate an online transition that means your customers can still come to you for what you need - digitally.
The online course provider Udemy, will allow you to teach paid classes online whether that be yoga, mathematics, music or languages. Online market places like Etsy takes the stress out of having to set up your own website if you normally sell your items in a store, and a print on demand service such as Redbubble will allow digital artists to continue to sell their designs.
If you would rather have complete control, then building and setting up an eCommerce store through Wix, Squarespace, WordPress or another hosting company is another alternative.
Letting your customers know that they can still gain access to your goods and services will prove beneficial in the long run. It keeps your business relevant and in the mind of your customers and markets you as flexible, able to provide even in the most trying of times.
We are all in this together. It’s important to remember that everyone has their struggles to contend with, and as a small business you can help to alleviate some of those pressures by offering discounts.
It works two-fold. By decreasing product costs, you will entice consumers to make a purchase and at the same time ensure a steady stream of demand for your products.
At the start of the pandemic, Adobe offered everyone currently subscribed three months free, gyms did the same. Although they didn’t make any money they also didn’t lose subscribers who they couldn’t have been assured would have returned to them after things went back to normal.
We’re all human, and we remember and appreciate these niceties from businesses. It shows empathy and breeds loyalty.
As we mark past the first year COVID entered and shook up our lives, we can no longer remain naive to the situation. Nothing should be off the table, especially as a small business when it comes to marketing your brand. Create a strategy that will ensure no matter how the winds change, your business will remain unshakable.
Of course, using the Streams platform allows to quickly discover and understand what content really works and drives engagement and is a sure fire win to save you time whilst delivering a boost to your marketing.
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