2020 was a very tough year for many businesses. Some haven’t been able to weather the challenges and had to close up shop. While many companies are hurting during the coronavirus pandemic, some small businesses are seeing lots of new and returning customers.
One thing is true. Necessity is the mother of invention. Those businesses that have survived during these Covid-19 times have listened to their customer’s changing needs and marketed to stay in touch with them.
Here are proven digital marketing strategies to thrive in this Coronavirus pandemic.
- Be a Reliable Business They Can Trust. In uncertain times, customers need to know that their hard-earned dollars and going towards something worthy. Find ways to prove to customers that you live up to the promise. Share testimonials. Offer a make it right guarantee. Deliver on time. Generate the results you promised. Having a deep sensitivity for customers who are vulnerable financially, emotionally, and health-wise is so critically important now.
For instance, safety is a huge concern now. That’s why Plumed Horse restaurant in California’s Silicon Valley introduced “black glove service.” The wait staff replaces the black protective gloves they wear while serving customers after every dish is served. That’s a promise of protection that brings peace of mind to customers.
- Uplevel your Marketing. Some businesses make the mistake of pulling back on their marketing when times are tough. Nothing could be more wrong. When business is lean, marketing is your lifeblood to sales. During tough times you should double down on your marketing. Be consistent with social posts. Keep in touch with email marketing.
Be creative with packaging and offers that meet the current situation. Many restaurants now are struggling to find ways to keep customers. Restrictions are warning people to avoid indoor dining. There’s no restaurant pandemic playbook with how to survive this. Businesses offering pick up and contactless delivery services to their services have seen a strong uptick in demand. Advertise this to your customers. The latest warning to avoid crowds and practice social distancing is keeping customers away from restaurants and meal events in droves. Hang a banner that says “pick up available” on your store. Update your Facebook cover image to tell customers you offer this. Offer specials on social media that are easy and fast to order. For example, you could have Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday specials. Think of offering a pay it forward campaign. For example, here’s how one business owner found a way to give back during the pandemic. Ever since the early days of the pandemic, small business owner Mario Hernandez had a burning desire to be part of the solution. He has run a family-owned tile-care business for over 30 years. After many of his close family members and friends were contracting the virus, He used his own money to start a new business using a safe, non-toxic product disinfectant to sanitize high touch surfaces. He provides this service free of charge to area non-profits including Boys and Girls Clubs and Hanson House, a residence for families of patients getting treated at nearby hospitals. He says some of us can give time, others can give money, but if we all give back a little we will have a better society. Giving back to your community is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business. It creates feelings of good.
- Share the Love. Now is the time to focus on compassion in your internet marketing strategies. Be real, caring, and thoughtful. Reach out individually to customers you see are going through a situation. Consider helping front line workers. Reach out to a family who just lost their home in a fire.
For example, through their Love Promise and Subaru Loves Pets initiatives, Subaru retailers are hosting adoption events across the country to help local shelter pets find loving homes. Since 2015 they have impacted over 230,000 animals in need across the country.
- Ramp up Website. Your business’s website is critically important now in this pandemic time. Since many customers are working remotely, homeschooling, and staying home, they are shopping online. Give your website the attention it deserves, and it will deliver results to match.
Does your website have these capabilities?
– Can customers order directly online?
– Do you allow customers to set up appointments online?
– Are you able to accept payments directly on your website?
– Will they find answers to their frequently asked questions?
– Is there a chat or support feature to provide immediate assistance?
– Can you consult with customers virtually via Zoom or video chat?
Also, it’s important to have local SEO in place to help them find you when they search for the products and services you offer. With so many businesses closing down and people scared to venture far from home, local search optimization is crucial. People will search to find the closest and most convenient options.
Take a look at your website from your smartphone. How does it measure up? Is it easy to navigate? If not, you can upgrade to a mobile responsive site. That way when customers are on the go, they can still find you and learn more about your business.
- Market with Facebook Ads. With so many people home, much of your ideal customers are likely spending time on Facebook. Using Facebook Ads is an affordable way to reach thousands of potential new customers. These ads can build brand awareness, help you find new leads, grow your email marketing list, and do remarketing.
- Tell Customers You Are Local. American consumers’ interest in supporting local, independent businesses is on the rise. A “buy local” campaign can boost your business and that of your local community. Join together with other local businesses and start your own movement. Name it. Create a logo, slogan, brochure, and website. Grow it by spreading awareness through social media, email marketing, and word of mouth. Together you can raise awareness and grow each other’s businesses.
Here are some top hashtags for shop local:
#buylocal #smallbusinessowner #smallbuisness #locallymade #shopssmall #shopsmall #shopsmallbusinesses #shopsmallbusiness
- Show Empathy. Now is not the time to engage in hardcore sales. With so many hurting, afraid, and feeling vulnerable, having a gentle empathic approach is more effective. Customers resonate with messages of comfort, resilience, and positivity. Show how we are all in this together and will survive.
Gucci created a “We Are All In This Together” campaign. They are standing with the global community to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by making two separate donations of 1 million euros each to crowdfunding campaigns. Their hashtag is #Guccicommunity.
These trending Covid-10 hashtags share that message:
#stayinspired #togetherathome #stayhome #strongertogether #inthistogether
Setup your Business for Success by Pivoting your Digital Marketing Strategies
While times are tough if you lean in and innovate your business can survive. Now is a time to reset and provide meaningful, empathetic internet marketing that connects with customers. During these unprecedented times, those who listen to their customers’ needs and offer compassionate solutions will succeed.
That’s why I’d love to offer you this free guide “7 Steps to Recession-Proofing Your Business: Leverage Your Business for Long-Term Success”. It’s a step-by-step blueprint to help you shift your priorities and take advantage of opportunities. Grab your free copy here: Free Marketing Book | 7 Steps to Recession-Proofing Your Business