If you find yourself searching “COVID-19 small business marketing”, trying to brainstorm ways to keep marketing your spa, this blog is for you. Just because non-essential businesses are closed doesn’t mean you can’t be working to nurture existing customers, gaining new leads, and putting yourself out there online. Digital marketing might have been thought of as a luxury before for small businesses, but now it’s essential. It’s one of the few mediums thousands of businesses across the world have to stay afloat and market their products and services during COVID-19. This article will cover seven small business marketing ideas to try in 2020.
The retail landscape has transformed completely in a matter of weeks. What your business does during this “downtime” makes the difference of coming back with a boom or falling even further behind when doors open back up. Let’s make sure you’re ready to take flight again once we return back to normal life. When it comes to COVID-19 and small business marketing, here are a few things you can do while you stay safe at home:
1. Apply for Facebook’s Small Business Grant
Good news for small businesses around the world- Facebook is giving out $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to small businesses around the U.S. Applications open up for eligible cities across the nation starting April 22, 2020. Check if the grant is available in your city and make sure your business is eligible to apply: Facebook’s Small Business Grant.
2. Connect with Current Customers
You already have a client base and email list that you’ve worked hard to build. Don’t lose the momentum! Keep the conversation going and let them know what you’re up to, how your company is taking extra precautions during the COVID-19 crisis, and you could even offer them deals for when businesses are up and running again.
Keeping your brand top of mind makes the difference between hitting the ground running versus crickets when the time comes to open up the doors again. Just because you’re at home and not going into the office every day doesn’t mean you should disengage. This time is critical. It’s all about adapting and pivoting the best we can.
3. Take Advantage of Free Social Media Platforms
Instagram alone has 500 million daily users. Facebook has over one billion active users. Those are just two platforms but these stats show the number of eyes you could get in front of. Considering these major platforms are completely free to have and use, there’s no reason businesses shouldn’t be taking advantage and showing up.
Stuck on what to post about? Think about how you can help people right now. Is there anything that you can do to make the lives of your current/potential customers easier? You’ll get the biggest return when your content is all about your ideal clients, what they actually want, and not just what you think they want.
4. Audit Your Current Marketing
Now is the best time to review and reassess your brand’s marketing. Consider this spring cleaning. Go over what’s working and what isn’t. Here are a few ideas of where you can start:
- Make sure your profiles are updated (pinned posts have relevant information and hours and contact information are updated)
- Look at what posts performed well by seeing which ones had the most engagements. Don’t look at just likes and comments but also shares, saves, and sends for Instagram posts
- Reassess your marketing goals. Did you reach them? Why or why not? If you don’t have goals, this is a great time to set some. If you’re a brand new small business, your goal might be just to put your company out there and build brand awareness.
5. Make It Personal
Think about the last time you received a handwritten note. It’s all texts, Slack messages, and emails these days. If you’re a non-essential business owner finding yourself with more time on your hands than you know what to do with, write notes to loyal customers, partners, and suppliers. Showing your support and expressing your gratitude doesn’t have to be complex or expensive.
A handwritten note is simple but can go a long way. It will help your people know that you’re still thinking of them and will set you apart from all of the electronic noise that constantly bombards them. Don’t be just another email or notification.
6. Content, Content, and More Content
With all of this downtime, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have content scheduled out for at least the next two months. We’ve all been there- so busy keeping our businesses running, making sure clients are happy, and then finding ourselves scrambling last minute to post. There are not very many times (if ever) that the whole world shuts down. We’re all ready to go back to normal, but you may as well take this time to get ahead and get your content marketing up to par.
Keep showing up and providing content that’s informative, entertaining, or somehow valuable to your dream clients. If you’re in the health and wellness space, share a client’s results (with their permission, of course). Don’t be afraid to mix original with reposted content whether it’s a quote or video. Some people believe that this isn’t beneficial but it’s a win-win for both you (since you’re not having to only post original content that you produced by hand) and for the original creator because their post is getting in front of more eyes. Just be sure to give credit to the original owner. Here’s an example:
7. Invest If You’re Able
Tons of competitors are stopping their marketing efforts completely. The cost of Facebook ads, for example, is down by 50% right now. Taking advantage of the lowered competition and prices would push you past competitors who may have put everything on pause. If you already have ads running and are able to, try to decrease the budget instead of stopping them completely. When you stop them, you will lose all of the learning and traction it might have been getting.