COVID-19 has forced many small businesses to drastically evolve their online presence. With many stores, restaurants and offices not running business as usual for over a year now, customers have accepted that they need to find their products and services in an online world.
Whether your small business already has a digital presence, or is just starting out, we’ve highlighted some key ways you can adapt your marketing strategy in these trying times.
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Make sure shipping policies, return policies, and other business services/products on your website are up to date based on COVID-19 restrictions and delays. You can create pop-ups, banners, pages, and sections across your website to further reflect any information or announcements related to COVID. For instance, informing customers on how your business has adapted to COVID-19 sanitation and social distancing requirements.
Here is an example of a COVID-19 banner that our client CPCA is using on their website.
If you’re a local business, firstly, you should be on Google Maps! Although people realize there are closures, limited hours, or limited in-store interactions, many customers are looking to support small and local.
Be sure to update your information such as business hours, health/safety precautions, delivery/curbside pick-up options, etc. This makes it quick and easy for customers to inform themselves and take appropriate action when interacting with your business or making a purchase.
Below is an example of a local restaurant, Clocktower, effectively optimizing their Google My Business listing during the pandemic.
Lots of businesses are making the mistake of going silent or being absent on social media during the pandemic. If you haven’t built a presence already, this is the perfect time to start. If you already have a presence, keep things consistent. Your audience wants to know how to support you and what you’re up to while they stay at home and look to the internet for information about their community.
You should make it a point to post at a minimum once a week, if not every day on the platform(s) of your choice. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even TikTok! And remember, people want outlets and forms of distractions from the harsh reality of the pandemic. Denny’s has been tapping into this extremely well. From sharing fun Zoom backgrounds, to tweeting light-hearted and funny content, Denny’s was able to create entertaining and shareable content during tough times.
No matter your email newsletter strategy (short form, long form, pictures, no pictures), do not ignore COVID-19. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on your business and to keep things transparent with your subscribers. Informing customers on COVID-19 updates, tips, discounts, product promotions, blog posts, or simple and comforting messages to reassure customers are all great uses of your email list during this time.
Here’s an example from StubHub and how they haven’t shied away from sending newsletters during the pandemic.
Lastly, if you’re looking to grow your mailing list, think about creating a pop-up on your website that offers users incentives if they provide their email address and sign up to your newsletter. Something along the lines of “Enjoy 10% off your next order” or ‘’Get access to this free ebook’’ are way more powerful than a sentence that says ‘’sign up to our newsletter’’.
Responding to COVID-19 as a small business needs careful attention and practice. You may find one form of marketing more effective than the other, but the above tips are a great start when it comes to reshaping your online presence during the pandemic. Evaluate your industry and personal business goals, and try to build a marketing strategy from there.
If you wish to reach out to our marketing team for coaching, strategy work, or implementation, book a discovery call and get started!
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