Without a doubt, it is a complicated and uncertain time right now for many people like us. As a small business owner, you've seen companies forced to learn how to pivot their small business during the Coronavirus shut down or be shut down altogether. Hopefully, you are one of the lucky small businesses that are allowed to remain open to some capacity. Still, even then, foot traffic is likely down, and sales are dropping. It's hard to say exactly how long this will remain because even when the economy fully opens back up, it begs the question of how many individuals will return to their normal spending habits? And, further down the road, what does it mean for small businesses if there is a second wave of COVID-19, which many experts are predicting?
The fact that you're here, reading this means you won't sit back and watch this happen to your business, which you've worked so hard to build. Still, perhaps you're struggling with where to start and wondering how to market your small business during the coronavirus pandemic. We have put together what you need to know about marketing and pivoting your small business in a way that allows you to thrive and come out on the other side of this, stronger.
Pivot Your Business Delivery Model
Agility is imperative in times of uncertainty, and it is strongly advised you pivot your small business delivery model to survive. The delivery model of your business focuses on how you provide your goods or services directly to your customers. If you have, traditionally, relied on in-store shoppers only, as a retail boutique, for example, you need to pivot your focus to an online business delivery model. Depending on your website capabilities, this could require an upfront investment. Still, it can be recouped in virtual sales, if you follow the outlined steps in this article for how to market your small business during Coronavirus.
To not only survive but to thrive, your business needs to focus on how it delivers its goods and services to customers beyond foot traffic. This can be a curbside pickup option, but beyond this, you'll want to focus on delivery. If you are a restaurant and didn't offer delivery before the Coronavirus, you probably have had some deliveries through third-party services like Uber Eats and Grubhub. The problem with these is that each delivery service takes a large bite out of your profits. And in a time like this, losing profits is not an option. Consider hiring an employee dedicated to deliveries.
Whatever delivery method you turn to, you'll want to make sure profits stay with the business, and don't bleed out to too many other service providers.
Re-Evaluating Your Marketing Campaigns and Budget
You've always had a tighter budget than the big corporations out there. But now your marketing budget may be on a shoestring. So how do you maximize it?
First, we advise that you do not cut it completely. You still need to attract new customers and, in a moment, we'll explain how this can help you communicate with existing customers, too. It's more important to re-evaluate where your marketing dollars and efforts are going. To start, determine your return on investment for your marketing budget. You can do this by looking at what is working to drive traffic, brand awareness, and which marketing channels are providing the best avenues to reach your target audience.
Second, Internet usage has skyrocketed since COVID-19 hit as people have been forced to stay home. This inherently means online advertisements are receiving more attention. These advertisements are also getting cheaper. Why? Because other businesses are looking for ways to save money and are cutting their marketing budget. With more viewers and less competition, your online marketing dollar can stretch even further.
You also need to focus on social media, if you are not already. People are glued to their social media feeds right now to stay as informed as they can and feel connected during this time of isolation. Social media marketing is a great way to promote your goods and services as it directly relates to how you pivot your business delivery model during this time. Let people know they can now access your store online and shop local by ordering take out from your restaurant, to name a few ways.
It is also a way for your business to connect with your target audience on a human level, build a relationship with them, and in turn, build brand trust.
Communicating with Customers to Keep Your Brand Top of Mind
You may now go weeks, if not months, without seeing or interacting with customers. Still, in addition to social media, there are several ways to communicate with customers and keep your brand top of mind. Email marketing is one of the cheapest forms of marketing, and it will help you stay connected. Hopefully, you've been building your email list, but if not, now is the time. Ask for an email address at sales. Either way, it will help you boost communications.
We can't stress this enough, now is the time to increase your activity across your social media profiles. And, to keep your brand top of mind, take advantage of video marketing. Going 'Live' on your social media profiles, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram, your followers will be notified, and it will appear at the top of their timeline.
The goal for communicating with customers during this time, outside of promoting your brand and services, is to add value to their lives. You want to keep them informed of what's going on with your business, yes. Still, more importantly, you want to practice social listening. What are some of the pain points your target audience is experiencing right now? And how can your business offer value to help them? This could be as simple as offering helpful information as it relates to your niche, or simply entertaining them with the content you create.
Embrace the Reset and Focus on Building Your Small Business' Online Presence
It's easy to fret about the current situation. It brings about all kinds of unknowns. However, to thrive, we encourage you to embrace the reset and focus on taking this time to build your small business' online presence. Take this opportunity to mold your business marketing to a new 21st-century approach. By pivoting your business delivery model, re-evaluating your marketing initiatives, and communicating with your customer base, you are pivoting your business to stay relevant, top-of-mind, and come out on the other side of this with a loyal customer base from which you can grow.
For additional help doing just this, make sure to contact the team at Revby. The experts can help customize a Coronavirus plan specific for your small business that will help with how to market during Coronavirus and ensure you thrive in this new world of business.