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Coronavirus: Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

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The coronavirus lockdown has forced many small businesses to close permanently. Those that have survived have done so by getting creative and restructuring their business model to fit changing customer needs and expectations.

Here are a few tips to consider in order to keep your doors open.

1. Keep your Customers up to date!

If a potential customer can’t find answers to important question about your business, they’ll go elsewhere. Whether you choose to engage with customers directly on social media, or you choose to focus on Google My Business, be sure that all the information you provide is accurate.

As a small business, you need to answer important questions related to the coronavirus such as: Are you still open? What are your new operating hours? How are you keeping customers and employees safe? How can I support your business?

Update your customers on social media and through online business listings to avoid losing potential customers. Do whatever you can to get the word out to your customers. Post daily and reassure your customers.

2. Review your Marketing Strategy and Ad Campaigns

Now’s the time to go in and review any ads you are currently running on social media.

Update old copy that is no longer relevant, and be sure to change any images that may be perceived as insensitive. Remember, not only are small businesses hurting because of coronavirus, but so are the customers!

You don’t want to come off as too “salesy” or unconcerned of your customer’s current situation. It all comes down to your target customer and understanding their problems. Consider which products or services you are currently advertising and only stick to the ones that are working.

Get creative and be sure to A/B test your images, your copy, and how you present your call to action.

3. Create Marketing Videos and Take Photos

Some businesses and organization are not allowed to remain open given the nature of their services. Some examples include hair salons, churches, retirement and hospice centers, museums, and many “non-essential” businesses.

While doors must remain closed because of coronavirus, many small business and organizations have gotten creative and have begun producing content to engage with both old and new customers.

Virtual tours are a great way to showcase different areas of your business while engaging directly with customers. Virtual tours are great for museums, real estate agents, tour guides, and any other businesses that rely on in-person interactions, which is not possible at the moment due to COVID-19.

Live streams are another great way to engage with customers and the general public without putting them at risk. Some locations, such as The Film Hub, offer creative spaces that can be rented out and repurposed for live-streaming purposes.

Live streams work great for almost any business type, and can be used to share lessons, updates, and showcase products and services. Anything captured during the live stream can then be repurposed in the future for social media posts and blogs.

4. Optimize your Online Business Listings and Improve Local SEO

If business is a little slow, now’s the best time to optimize your online business listings in the wake of Covid-19.

Platforms you should focus on are Google My Business, Yelp, and Apple Maps Connect. These are the platforms people are using to find small businesses during the coronavirus lockdown.

Google Maps and Google Search both pull from Google My Business for information. When performing a search online through Google, your location is used in order to deliver the most useful and relevant information based on your search query.

If information posted on your Google My Business account is incorrect, customers will not receive accurate answers for questions they may have about your business. Be sure to update your hours, share a “covid post”, and upload pictures and videos of you business onto your Google My Business account. Here are additional Google My Business features that can help your business.

Be sure your information is accurate across all of your platforms. Discrepancies between business name, address, phone number, and website address can cause your business information to not show up at all if the Google algorithm has trouble determining what is accurate.

iPhone users primarily use the preloaded Apple Maps application over Google Maps, which means that if your business is not currently listed through Apple Maps Connect, you’re missing out on a lot of organic traffic. The great thing about Apple Maps Connect is that it pulls information from your Yelp business account, so be sure all of you information is up to date and accurate on Yelp.

Be sure to check back on your online listing profiles often as Covid-19 has pushed many of these platforms to make changes and provide free benefits to struggling small businesses. Google My Business has even rolled out ways for small businesses to request assistance and accept help from customers directly.

5. Restructure your Business Model and Pivot

Easier said than done.

But many businesses have managed to find success by expanding into other areas of business they had never tried before.

Take curbside pickup and food delivery, for instance. A few small businesses offered these services in pre-coronavirus, but now almost every restaurant and retail store provides these services to their customers as well.

Coronavirus has forced many small business to evolve and adapts, and to embrace new technologies they had never used before.

Small businesses who shied away from food delivery or online services have found themselves relying almost entirely on these services to stay afloat.

Pull back on providing services and products that people aren’t using right now and focus on the ones that are actually bringing in money. Create articles and ads based on what people are actually using right now. Consider marketing your products on Instagram and the Facebook Marketplace to reach a wider group of people.

Conclusion

These were just a few tips to help your small business survive the coronavirus lockdown. We understand it can be very difficult to keep doors open during this time, which is why we created a special coronavirus marketing relief package to help local businesses. For additional coronavirus small business tips, be sure to follow us on social media. You can also give us a call or send us a message and we’ll get to you shortly.

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