The outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic has been devastating for both human lives as well as for businesses. With many companies being forced to restructure the way they do business; it pays to think outside the box when it comes to marketing strategies. It is clear that the old strategies will not work anymore. For starters, international supply lines have been severely disrupted, meaning that organizations will have to find new and cost-effective supply lines.
Secondly, social distance rules mean that the way clients engage with your brand has changed as well. For this reason, it is important to ensure that marketing strategies are aligned with this new reality. Here are five marketing strategies to consider if you are running a small business.
One of the critical areas to emerge during this COVID-19 epidemic is E-commerce and the growing importance of the internet. With physical movement restricted, many companies have migrated their services to the net. This includes companies that were either not so involved with E-commerce (basically treating their website as an information tool) or had not really invested in the structures that would make e-commerce possible. Investing in e-commerce capability means ensuring that your business can trade and deliver as per the customer’s expectations.
For small businesses dealing with services, the internet can effectively manage most of the transaction process. For example, a hairdresser can use online platforms to schedule client visits, handle transactions and get customer feedback. This way, the clients only need to show up at the agreed hour for the appointment. This is not only a cheaper way to handle the process but also eliminates most of the contact points that might pose health problems to both staff and clients.
Look for Geographical Opportunities
Every crisis comes with an opportunity and the Coronavirus pandemic is no different. Moving transactions to online platforms has meant that it is now possible to engage clients from a wider geographical location. This is because clients do not have to come to your shop and you can easily take orders and dispatch them via courier. In order to do this, it is important to change some of your SEO settings in order to attract clients from other geographic areas. One easy way to do this is to use content that has keywords that reflect other neighborhoods. For example, you can use blog posts that are aimed at potential clients in the localities you want to target. This way, your clients are far more likely to find you when they search for your services in their locality.
Retain Existing Customers
It is often said that it is easier to retain an old customer than it is to get a new one. What this means is that even as you are expanding your reach to get new customers, you must never forget to retain the existing ones. Even though it might look like a waste of money, especially during a pandemic, appreciating your existing customers at this time can go a long way to ensure their loyalty. One of the things you can do to reconnect with clients is to offer them a small gift either with any purchase or even without any purchase. This puts your brand at the top of your client’s mind and people do truly appreciate a kind gesture. Keep in mind that there is a difference between appreciating clients and bombarding them with unwanted information. Try and walk the fine line between the two to ensure that your clients feel appreciated without spamming them.
Social Media Is Your Ally
Many people, including many potential clients, are idling at home, watching TV and yes, going through social media. In the last couple of months, social media usage has spiked as people browse through Instagram, Facebook and many other social media sites. This means that you should redouble your efforts to make your brand as visible as possible on social media. You can post most of the content that you share on your website on your social media page as well as post fresh content specifically for social media. Such fresh content could be in the form of photos, videos and much more.
Social media is especially useful as it allows you to get feedback from clients in a simple and organic way. This allows you to answer questions and to educate your clients. For example, by being present and active in a Facebook group about caring for parents, a gift shop owner can share interesting ideas about what to gift parents on Mothers or Father’s Day. These sorts of organic conversations are critical in helping potential clients see you as an expert in your field and to be drawn to your online store. If you think that they will help, do not hesitate to go for paid digital ads on social media. They are not only inexpensive but are superbly targeted to be seen by the right kind of audience.
Put More Effort in Analysis
With COVID 19 and the emphasis on digital marketing, all small businesses are undergoing a steep learning curve regarding what works and what does not work. Small businesses can tilt the odds in their favor by ensuring that they are learning quickly through analysis and redefining strategies. This means that the business must be willing to try out new ideas bit must also put in place mechanisms to analyze the impact of any new ideas and to quickly make adjustments where needed. This puts the business at the fore of any innovative ideas and ensures that the business can quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. This allows for prompt action, thus saving time and money.
COVID-19 presents numerous threats to small businesses but also can be a great time for a business to try out new strategies in order to thrive. Small business owners should not be afraid to try out new strategies but must be quick to spot which ones of those work and which don’t.