6 Positive Small Business Marketing Ideas To Help You Through The Coronavirus Outbreak
We’re all aware that Covid-19 has created a lot of uncertainty for many small business owners. You’re probably concerned about how this will impact you and whether anything can be done to help.
We’re heading into unchartered waters, but small firms, need to try and adapt as much as possible to weather the storm.
It’s now time that a big focus needs to be placed on what marketing businesses can do, with the least cost whilst producing the maximum ROI.
We will talk you through 6 practical marketing tasks that you can take to try and alleviate the impact as much as possible.
1) Focus on your current customers
With any marketing, enticing a brand new customer to use your business for the first time is usually the hardest.
Once you have loyal clients, it’s now a time to keep in touch with them. It’s much more cost-effective to retain an old client than to find new ones.
Focus your content and marketing messages on what makes your company special, how you can help or solve a problem and that you’re still around to do business.
Use the channels that you have at your disposal.
Ramp up your social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn plus other social networking channels.
Depending on what your business does, many of your customers may have more access to social channels as they will be working remotely from home.
Increase the number of posts and improve the content that you put out there.
Also as well as pushing out general posts, look to get more engaged with conversions with your customers.
Remember it’s social!
One key element is to understand that many of your customers will have their own worries.
Your content needs to take this on board and needs to be sympathetic.
Using email marketing is a great way to further enhance your presence in these difficult times.
If you have a list of client emails and have permission to contact them, then send out regular updates.
A great free tool (up to a point – depending on the number of emails) to do this is with is MailChimp, which will allow you to send newsletters and email updates.
Ensure that your emails are personalised and targeted towards each customer or group.
By automating this process it will enable you to get it done fast and focus your efforts elsewhere.
In challenging times, it’s good to hear a human voice.
Contact your clients to see how they are doing and ask if there is anything that your company can do to help them.
Don’t go all guns blazing with a heavy sales pitch.
As mentioned above you need to understand most businesses will be fearful at the moment and won’t respond very well to this type of approach.
Calls again should be conversational, helpful and above all leave a positive feeling with your customers.
Like the above, it could be an easy way to get in touch with customers.
It will allow you to quickly send them updates without too much intrusion.
One key tip is to not bombard a customer through all these channels at once.
You need to be sensible about it and get into a routine that won’t annoy anyone and is easy for you to manage.
2) Review your products and services and adapt to market changes.
At this time, your business needs to be as flexible as possible and adaptive to the current situation.
As an example, if you run a restaurant and your customer numbers are steadily dwindling, look at what you can do. You could for instance:
- Offer a takeaway delivery service.
- You could adapt your prices slightly to offer a special discount to the older population.
- You could even change your menu to offer something unique such as meals that are already frozen, so when delivering, people will buy more and stock up.
- Streamline the menu on standard dishes and offer more vegan or gluten free options increasing your potential customer base.
In reality, every business is different and the impact of COVID-19 will be unique depending on the industry that you’re in.
Look at what your client’s concerns are and what they need and want.
Change your approach if needed.
It could be as simple as changing your opening hours to suit demand, reducing some of the products that you sell and stocking up more items that are presently more desirable.
However, you need to adapt to your business, above all market your message to your customers so they are aware.
3) Flexible payments, finance and ways to pay
One area of concern for probably most people is how long this will last and what financial impact this will cause to them.
One barrier that a lot of businesses will see is a cost barrier to non-essential products and services from their customers.
With financial uncertainty, people will be watching their money like never before.
If it seems like something isn’t needed then there may be risk that they are ‘put-off’ the purchase.
If you can, try and offer flexible payment plans, credit facilities and show that you take credit cards allowing customers to spread the cost, that could be a lifeline to you.
For non-essential and luxury purchases, it could make it a lot easier to swallow and could be the difference of making that sale or not.
Again market your new flexible payment plans/updates.
4) Move from a normal brochure website to ecommerce
Some businesses out there only have a brochure style website with common pages such as a home, about, products and contact pages with no ability for a customer to purchase online.
If you offer products and services that can be bought in a physical shop or delivered directly to a customers door then it may be worth considering the shift over to an online store.
As more and more people are self-isolating and with a potential UK lockdown coming soon, people won’t be able to get to you.
Even if a full lockdown never happens, people may still be a little nervous about visiting places where a lot of people go.
By changing your website to one that allows a customer to safely browse your products, buy online and get them delivered in a few days could make all the difference.
Obviously, it depends on the type of business, some service-based businesses won’t be applicable.
However, with a little clever thinking, most businesses could adapt, bringing what the customer wants directly to them.
For example, if you run a nail studio, your physical shop appointments may drop. You could offer an online booking service where a customer can arrange and pay for a home appointment on your website.
Again this is adapting to customer demands and needs.
Don’t forget to let your customers know about it!
5) Keep working on SEO improvements
After the worst has passed, life will get back to normal. In this time of great unrest, it’s a good idea to not drop off with your SEO efforts.
As you may know, getting your website ranked highly is very important for the terms that your customers are searching for.
The further down the ranking, the less click-throughs, the fewer sales.
You’re also probably aware that any SEO practises will take time to have an impact on your website, weeks but more than likely months.
When things do improve, you need your website and business in general, to be in a strong position.
Don’t sideline SEO.
6) Try to improve your conversation rates
We’ve covered this in more detail about improving a conversion rate, however, it’s probably never been a more important time to really focus on this.
In essence, it’s all about increasing the percentage of people that buy from you or perform the action that you want them to take.
As an example, if your website has 100 visitors a day and 1% of them buy from you, you can try and improve this to 2%, 3% etc.
“Squeeze as much juice from the orange as you can.”
We sincerely hope that everyone remains safe and well and that your business can learn to adapt to these challenging times.
There is a bright future on the horizon, but for the time being, keep at it, don’t let things slide and we’ll all come out of this together.