To say that COVID-19’s impact on the world has been devastating can still be considered an understatement. The coronavirus has upended the world as we knew it and many of us are still trying to adjust to the changes it has wrought.
Businesses are far from the main casualties of this pandemic, but there’s no denying that they have been greatly affected as well. Many small businesses have been forced to close down while others are barely scraping by even as they stay open. The challenges of this time can be overwhelming for any business owner, but they can be conquered.
Take note of the tips included here if you want to advertise effectively in the midst of this pandemic.
1. Focus on the Local Community to Encourage Sales
In order to establish or reestablish your small business, you have to start locally. Branching out right now is a risky move. You could end up spending too much only to find that customers from far away are not that willing to engage.
Maintaining a focus on your local neighborhood gives your business better odds of being established immediately. The following tips will help you maximize your local market.
Optimize Your Business for Your Local Market
Your website will continue to serve as an important tool for drawing in customers during this pandemic. The importance of optimizing it so that it maintains greater visibility within your local market cannot be emphasized enough.
Creating pages that detail your product and/or service offerings should help, according to Brainchild Studios. You should also put the time into getting your business listed in any local directories that are available online. Just in case you’ve neglected social media up to this point, now is a good time to create accounts dedicated to your local business. Remember to include links back to your business website after you’ve made those accounts.
One more thing: If your customers are open to providing reviews, go ahead and ask for them. The accounts of satisfied customers will do wonders when it comes to legitimizing your business.
Take Part in Inbound Marketing
Even if people have more time during this pandemic, they won’t want to use it consuming all the content they come across. You have to make your content appealing.
A key element of inbound marketing involves creating content that people will find valuable and interesting. You can start by an appealing logo and branding that will attract customers
Inbound blogging is worth your time and the content you publish can entice more people to purchase your products. Blogs that feature useful information are always crowd-pleasers.
You don’t have to use blogs exclusively. Other types of content such as podcasts can be helpful inbound marketing tools as well. 32% of the US population listens to podcasts monthly and you can take advantage of that fact to boost your business. Just make sure you take the time to decide which platform is best for your podcast so that the locals will be able to find and listen to it easily.
Reach Out via Email
Email may not be as flashy as some marketing channels, but it still gets the job done. Consider combining inbound marketing with email marketing to get the best results.
Send out a newsletter to interested locals in your area to get them to pay more attention to your business. Include a promo every now and then so that they pick up the habit of regularly checking out your emails.
2. Craft a Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital marketing was important prior to the pandemic and it still remains essential. Craft a digital marketing strategy now that will place your business in front of more possible customers.
Optimize Your Website
SEO is still an essential component of digital marketing.
To optimize your website effectively, seek out the relevant keywords and leverage them to your advantage. It’s prevalent to optimize images for better SEO results. Backlinks can also lead potential clients to your business. This article from CrazyEgg notes that improving the speed of your website and providing high quality, lengthy posts will help too. That makes sense as you’ll have a hard time converting leads if they don’t actually stick around when they get to your website.
Give Insight into Your COVID-19 Policy
We all understand that things are not normal right now and it’s okay to acknowledge that. If anything, acknowledging that fact can be helpful to your customers at this time.
If you’ve adopted new policies during this pandemic, make that known right away with the use of a homepage banner. This will give your customers a better idea of what to expect if they decide to purchase something.
You can also use the banner to draw a visitor’s attention to any charitable efforts in the community that you want to support.
Make Good Use of Your Google My Business Page
The GMB or Google My Business page can be extremely valuable. That panel can contain so much important information that will help people decide if they want to do business with you.
Claim your GMB page right away and see if the details it lists are accurate.
Remember those reviews from earlier? Those are going to come in handy now as they will help flesh out your GMB page. Also, consider the Reserve with Google opportunity to increase awareness and enhance booking potential.
3. Provide Your Products and/or Services Safely
The best form of marketing is still providing quality goods and/or services. The challenges brought about by COVID-19 make distributing your products and/or services harder, but those tasks can still be carried out properly.
Schedule All Deliveries and Appointments Online
Minimizing contact is a must during this pandemic. As much as possible, you don’t want people coming into your establishment.
By allowing your customers to schedule their deliveries and/or appointments online, you can cut down on the number of in-person interactions that will take place. While you’re at it, lay out instructions for how the transaction will take place so that there are no issues later on.
Make Yourself Available to Customers
If you’re selling specialized goods, some of your customers may have questions about the items they receive. You don’t necessarily want them coming into your establishment just to ask questions.
Instead of answering their questions in person, you can field those queries via online chat. Your customers will be grateful to see a business owner that takes the time out to provide personal assistance. That will encourage them to return for future transactions.
Allow Customers to Pay and Provide Signatures Online
One last thing you can do to improve the experience for your customers during this pandemic is to accept online payments and signatures.
Tweaking your system to allow for online payments and signatures is a relatively minor change that can make a huge difference. The convenience it provides to customers could lead to them doing more business with you moving forward. Advertising in the age of the coronavirus pandemic is a complicated undertaking. Still, you can make things easier by focusing on your local market, being smart with your approach to digital marketing, and keeping physical contact with customers to a minimum.
Take heed of those tips if you want to provide a badly needed boost to your small business.
This is a guest post by Lidia S. Hovhan,- Digital Marketing expert and SEO guru.