We’ve all been hit by the pandemic – physically, emotionally, psychologically, socially, and of course, financially. Much like the individuals, several businesses and organizations have borne the brunt of this massive financial calamity caused by COVID-19. As social distancing prevails and stay-at-home becomes the new normal to keep the deadly virus under check, all businesses, particularly small ones, find it difficult to sustain.
Despite the lockdown being lifted in many parts of the world, people are still advised to stay and work from home where possible. On a larger picture, remote working will continue for a long time and may soon become the norm for several organizations. Although there’s nothing much that you can change about the post-pandemic crisis, there are ways to sustain your business during these trying times.
Post-Pandemic Marketing Tricks that’ll Work Wonders for Your Small Business
With almost 110 million Americans fully vaccinated by May 2021, things are changing this time around, but certainly with some restrictions. Changing circumstances, audience, and requirements call for new business strategies that’ll stand the test of time. Below, we have come up with some effective marketing tricks that’ll prove fruitful for your small business, especially during this pandemic.
Ensure Maximum Exposure
There are a variety of ways for businesses to respond to the current COVID-19 crisis, but our biggest suggestion would be to be proactive and reach out to your existing customers. To retain your loyal consumers, consider providing goods or services relevant to their unique needs. For instance, if they make a refund request for any prepaid services (such as beauty salons or car hire services), give it a thought before blatantly refusing the request. This may reduce cash flow in your business but can help you have a loyal customer base in the long run.
Besides your regular ad campaigns, attractive flyer designs, hoardings, emails, newsletters, and business cards, you also need to try something different like commercial TV ads, interesting short videos, Instagram/Facebook stories, webinars, and podcasts episodes. Ensure your products, services, and offers reach as many people as possible. Also consider providing extra features and membership facilities like home delivery, instant booking approval, and easy returns to hold on to your customers’ trust and loyalty.
Reassurance is a Must
As the world gradually recuperates from the deadly claws of COVD-19, there’s a significant change in consumer behavior. They constantly look for clarity, assurance, and safety, more than ever they did before. In order to thrive and grow post-COVID, you need to adapt to these changing customer expectations.
When communicating with your existing and new customers during this time, always practice empathy and express your company’s collective efforts to curb the deadly virus. The best way to calm their anxiety and encourage buying is to communicate periodically and keep them informed about your safety measures. For example, if you run a rideshare business, highlight the measures you’ve taken to ensure your passengers’ safety. This way, you instill a sense of security in their minds, which encourages them to travel with you in the near future. Use social media and offline ad materials like flyers and billboards to spread the news of your latest service changes. Your tone should be relatable and empathetic that we’re all in this together.
Optimized Online Experience
As the world went into a sudden lockdown mode with everything shutting down overnight, there was a dramatic shift towards conducting almost everything online. From doing regular grocery shopping to attending online classes and working from home, our life today revolves around Zoom calls and global superstores like Amazon and Walmart. People today have become accustomed to online shopping, socializing, learning, working, and even exercising, which has raised their expectations of online experiences.
With such a huge shift in the online search and consumer purchase behavior, consumers expect only well-designed, mobile-optimized, easy to use, and secure websites. Since the competition is fierce and you have less than 0.03 seconds to impress a website visitor, you better work on improving your sites’ UX.
Remember, a website doesn’t need to be too complicated or over the top to impress your customers — it just needs to provide a good user experience. It should look clean, load quickly, and provide relevant content to serve the visitors’ purpose.
Security is another concern for customers during the post-COVID phase, and your website is the key platform to build trust with them. In order to reassure your customers about your site’s security, you need to provide your verified contact details, an SSL certificate, trusted payment method/methods, and security certifications. Working with a professional website design agency that offers built-in security features is the perfect place to start.
Strengthen Your Online Presence
With the coronavirus still lurking around and more and more people shifting to the online marketplace, this is the perfect time to work on your business’s online presence. An online presence refers to how easy it is to locate a brand or business online. It’s crucial for building your company’s reputation, boosting customer awareness, and increasing visibility for your products or services where people are searching for relevant keywords.
According to a reliable source, 63% of shopping processes start online. With such an alarming figure, it only makes sense to take advantage of this consumer behavior. Here are a few ways to give your brand an online boost.
- Build an Email List
One of the best and easiest ways to improve your online exposure is to create and improvise an email list. This’ll help you in engaging with your existing and potential consumers on a daily, weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly basis.
- Tap on SEO
With search engine algorithms changing every now and then, practicing search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to boost your online engagement. For example, if your company sells organic baby products, you want your website/webpage to appear when someone looks for “organic baby clothing” or “organic baby food” on a search engine.
- Enlist Your Company on Local Directories
When you submit and claim your listings on local directories, your potential customers have access to your business details without visiting your website. For example, someone searching for a beauty salon in a particular area is more likely to use Google’s local directory (Google My Business) to find out and compare their options, simply because it’s easier and faster than visiting each restaurant’s website.
- Provide valuable content
The more relevant and quality content you produce, the greater are your chances to rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). Having a strong online exposure is all about showing up on social media, search engines, and video websites like YouTube. Firstly, decide on the areas you want to target. Is it Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Poshmark, Etsy, Amazon, or Goodreads? Once you prioritize the sites your target audience is frequently active on (based on research), start creating unique content that’s best-suited for those platforms. For instance, you need to create useful video content for YouTube and relevant photos with catchy taglines and hashtags for Instagram.
- Bank on Online Ads
For those who want to improve their web presence instantly, online advertising is a good option. Ads on online platforms like Google, Facebook, and YouTube can help increase brand awareness, website traffic, social media followers, and revenue in a short time span. However, the catch is that you need to pay an amount for the desired results. The good news is that this method operates on a payment scheme suitable for businesses of all sizes, particularly small and mid-sized ones. Here, instead of paying a certain fee set by someone else, you have full control over your ad budget. You decide the payment amount for someone who has responded to your ad, by simply viewing or clicking it.
Don’t Miss Out on Contest Marketing
The marketplace is more crowded and competitive than ever before, thanks to the COVID-19. There are countless businesses with their creative websites, banner ads, flyers, blogs, and social networks ready to distract your customers from making a purchase. Rising above the competition to get quality leads that’ll convert into sales is pretty challenging. Contest marketing does this by capitalizing on the consumers’ desire for free stuff. The joy and excitement of participating in the contest is a reward in itself and motivates others to participate in the event despite the narrow chances of ever winning.
Contest marketing is a branding strategy based on contests, giveaways, free gifts, sweepstakes, or lotteries to enhance brand awareness and reach new prospective customers. It can take place both on and offline, spanning traditional and digital marketing platforms. Here are a few smart ways to do it.
- Run contests on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
- Put together packages of correlated items that can attract people’s attention and entries. For example, festive fashion and beauty makeovers, weekend getaways with complimentary breakfasts, and others are attractive.
- Run website-based contests that gather customer information through a collection form.
- Organize giveaways in collaboration with social media influencers with a huge number of followers. Influencer marketing s is quite easy to execute (for a price!) and provides good results in terms of business leads and revenues.
- An in-store contest directly encourages sales. Although this isn’t something very suitable or encouraging during the pandemic, it can have good results if done with the necessary precautions.
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store that was temporarily closed for months or a newly launched online business, these post-Covid business marketing tips can be quite effective. Since the catastrophe was huge, you cannot expect things to go back to normal immediately. For now, simply focus on building a strong connection with your customers through assurance, encouragement, discounts, giveaways, and easy customer experience. The trick lies in holding on to your customer’s trust, so when things go back to normal you’re the first person they return to.
Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.