It’s no secret that the coronavirus has been hard on the economy, especially small businesses. Many businesses have been forced to close their doors to keep customers and employees safe. While they will hopefully be opening soon, some may never be able to open back up.
The coronavirus doesn’t have to be the end of the business you’ve worked so hard to build. By being intentional about your COVID-19 marketing strategy, you’ll be able to stay afloat even during these trying times. Here are a few of our top suggestions for your business.
1. Connect with Customers Personally
Everyone is feeling isolated right now. If you’re a small business that thrives on relationships, you can’t afford to let those relationships die for weeks or even months. As a business, you should always be taking advantage of social media, but you should be doing it now especially. Connect with your customers online. Encourage your followers to invite friends to like your page.
Right now is the time to empathize with your customers. It’s a rare occasion where you know one of the major things on everyone’s mind. Use that knowledge to your business’s advantage. Show your support for them in a personal way during this difficult time. If you’re investing in your customers even while business is down, they’ll want to invest in your business when things are up and running again.
2. Focus on Local SEO
In the past, have you gotten a lot of business from tourists or other out-of-town visitors? These types of businesses have been hit even harder because travel has decreased significantly. Your most powerful weapon to combat this problem is SEO. Make sure you’re targeting locals who won’t have to travel far to utilize your services.
If you don’t have the chops to handle this on your own, connect with an SEO strategist. They’ll guide you into an SEO strategy that will attract customers who are actually able to get to your business. If you invest in your SEO now, you’ll reap the benefits even when this pandemic is behind us.
3.Offer a Special Discount in Light of Recent Events
It may seem counter-intuitive to offer customers a discount during such hard times. But with everyone more concerned than ever about where their hard-earned money is going, discounting is in your best interest. A bargain of any kind is the fastest way to get the attention of your customers, and it’s an effective way to close a sale.
Think about the product or service you offer that can best serve people right now. That’s the best thing you can discount right now to keep your business going!
4. Refresh Your Website
Have you been putting off updating your website for longer than you’d care to admit? You don’t have an excuse anymore! Make sure the design looks current. Even if there’s nothing wrong with your design, a new design could get the attention of new customers and gain their business.
Are there current photos of your team and/or business on your website? Is the information in your employee bios accurate? Do you also have your current hours listed? Make sure all this information is up-to-date to leave online visitors with an accurate, positive impression.
Could your written content also use some updating? If it’s anything less than captivating, it’s time to hire a professional writer. You’ll get copy that improves your conversion rate and optimizes your SEO.
Do you have a blog on your site? Now is the perfect time to start one or make sure you’re continuously updating it if you already have one. This is another way to make sure your loyal customers or clients don’t forget about you. It will also improve your SEO ranking.
You can also check up on the more technical aspects of your website during this time. Is it running fast enough? Is it secure? Are there any features it could use that you don’t already have? Dig deep and think about how you everything you can do to enhance your online presence!
5. Do What You Can to Help
With everyone hurting a little extra right now, there’s no shortage of opportunities to do good for others. And although you should be doing these kinds of things simply for the good of others, showing your willingness to help will also boost your business’s image.
When people do have a little extra money to spend, they’ll want to spend it on places they know are doing good—make sure one of those places is your business! Even if you don’t have any extra money right now, you can always donate your time by volunteering. You can help the elderly and immunosuppressed by delivering their groceries or hop on the bandwagon of sewing masks. Create a company culture of volunteerism by encouraging your employees to do the same.
6. Don’t Panic
These are scary, unprecedented times. The future is uncertain. But if you go into panic mode, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Just like with any business move you’ve ever made, you should have a well-thought-out strategy. Don’t make rash decisions you’ll regret later. Every business move you make should have a clear line of reasoning.
Although it may be trite, the truth is what’s happening right now is unprecedented. It’s changing often, and no one has ever seen anything like it before. Because of this, your decisions should involve even more careful planning than usual.
7. Plan for a Post COVID-19 Boom
Things aren’t going to be this way forever. Eventually, this pandemic will be over, and when it is, businesses that have survived will likely experience a surge in sales. This does not mean you should spend money you don’t have now based on the promise of future sales. But it does mean you should be preparing to pull out all the stops to bring customers back once you can open your doors again.
It’s important to keep the future in mind when you’re developing your business strategy in the coming months. Everything you’re doing right now to market your business will have an impact later on when you reopen your doors again.
Plan Ahead to Survive
There’s no denying that dealing with the coronavirus is going to be a challenge for businesses in nearly every industry. And it’s going to be that way for some time. But the more you prepare right now, the more likely you will be to stay open and succeed in spite of COVID-19!