There’s no doubt about it, COVID-19 has impacted many people across the world, especially small businesses. However, many small business leaders simply don’t have the option of riding this virus out; they need to keep running their business somehow. Failure to do so can mean the closure of their doors for good. Thankfully some places are slowly starting to ease restrictions however either way we can be proactive as small business owners.
So, what can be done?
The following list includes five ways small businesses can utilize digital marketing to keep their companies alive through this COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Don’t Push Sales, Push Compassion
The reality is that this is no time to push sales on people or pressure them to commit for later deals. Everyone is going through a rough time, whether they’ve tested positive or not. However, this does not mean you should disappear completely.
As a business, you need to make sure that you are constantly in the minds of your customers. A great way to accomplish this is to utilize social media to spread your name as well as help people. This is a unique opportunity for brands to demonstrate to the public that they aren’t in it just for the money. Trust people will remember this time and thus will help you create stronger brand loyalty that can last for years.
2. Conduct an Online Audit of Your Business
This is no time to have issues within your website. People, due to stay-at-home orders, are now spending more time online than ever. Your website traffic may have increased. They are reading up on the latest news regarding COVID-19, interacting with family and friends, and yes, even doing some online shopping. Therefore it is important to conduct a quick audit of your website to see if it’s functioning properly. Things to double-check on are your check-out process, navigation system, and product description accuracy.
3. Review and Implement SEO Keywords
With more and more people being online than outside, SEO keywords have never been more important. This is no time for small businesses to limit their online exposure. SEO keywords are used to push your site up the search engine listings. The closer you are within the first page, the more chance that people will find you. Remember, your competition is fighting to survive as well, and SEO keywords are a great way to place yourself in front of the eyes of customers before they do.
4. Offer Promotions & Discounts
As stated above, most people are going to be facing some form of hardship. The most common of these include financial hardship. With so many companies having to close down for an in some cases unforeseeable amount of time, revenue is way down or non-existent. This means lower or no incomes for a lot of the population. This has led people to reduce their expenses and pull back on luxury items that they wouldn’t normally think twice when purchasing. This, of course, hurts small businesses as they are having fewer and fewer people buying their products in some cases.
So, what can be done about this? In order to keep a steady stream of revenue coming into your business, it is highly suggested to run promotions and discounts. Not only will your customers appreciate this, but turning over some stock at least may just get you to a better place. This can help get customers back through the door initially and then bring about some loyalty.
5. Improve E-mail Marketing
Although the CDC states that mail is safe to handle, some are not taking the chance. Therefore, you should perhaps avoid sending out so much physical mail for the time being and focus on improving your e-mail marketing. Use this time to gather data, promote upcoming products, or simply provide your customers with free e-books or how-to videos to create a following and trust.
These are very difficult times for both many around the world, including small businesses. It is recommended for small business leaders to utilize the information above in order to remain competitive.