During these uncertain times, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for small businesses to justify marketing. With more and more restrictions on business, a lot of companies are wondering how it’s possible to effectively pivot their marketing efforts and business practices. Historically, businesses that don’t panic and who quickly pivot their marketing efforts are the ones who end up coming out stronger on the other side. So here are some practical marketing strategies for dealing with COVID-19 or any crisis!
Because we want to practice social distancing and with government agencies placing restrictions on certain industries such as restaurants, bars, and personal care businesses. We have to be creative in how we continue to do business and bring in money while we can’t provide our normal services.
While you may not be able to provide in-person services right now, you can focus on selling and shipping products until restrictions subside. We are already seeing restaurants shifting to take out only, but other services can shift as well. For example, spas, salons, and estheticians can sell persona care products online and ship the product directly to their customers.
If you don’t already have an online store, it’s very easy to set up an e-commerce storefront on Square and link to it from your current website. You may also consider prompting your clients to call you to order and then send them an electronic invoice through Square or PayPal.
Many businesses may not be able to sell products right now, so it’s the perfect time to promote gift card sales. You can promote discounted services for a future date so it incentivizes customers to buy those gift cards NOW instead of waiting till everything subsides. If you can give a 10%-20% discount on gift cards you can give you customers a great deal and get some cash flowing in now to hold you over.
If you don’t already, you will want to make it super easy for customers to buy those gift cards. If they have to call you, it creates a barrier for them to want to buy them. It’s super simple to create a gift card portal through Square and link that on to your website. Which will also make gift cards much easier to sell through social media and email marketing.
Many in-person only services are heavily affected at this time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t connect and help your customers! We have amazing video conferencing software companies like ZOOM or WebEx that have made it easy to continue to consult your clients even if you can’t be in person. Many of my clients have started to offer online skin and cosmetic consultations, financial and business coaching. Even businesses like professional organizers can use video to help their clients implement solutions and to teach them new tips. And if you’re a coach of any kind NOW is the time to offer free or cheap webinars to feed leads into your sales funnel.
It can be difficult to think about strategies to make money right now, but let’s not forget, you have a current or recent client base already at your disposal to market to. And they will want to stay informed, especially if you have had to close your business during this time. Send out updates, or promote those gift cards through email to make sure you stay top of mind with your current customer base.
The absolute worst thing that could happen is your current customers thinking you have gone out of business permanently and moving on to a competitor that is still sending out messages. It’s FREE to send out posts on social media. It’s FREE to go live on Facebook and Instagram to offer your customers some value during this time. So use this time to really connect with your customers and get their feedback.
Let’s be honest, as small businesses it can be incredibly difficult to continue justifying spending marketing dollars right now. But think about it, this is the perfect time to build your lead funnel! Folks are all at home, bored out of their minds. Most are insanely active on social media right now and if you can offer them something for free, they are very likely to take it, to get their mind off things.
Plus with all kinds of businesses canceling their marketing efforts, pay per click advertising is now cheaper! Remember pay per click is a bidding system and if there are fewer bidders that means less cost. Some companies estimate costs have gone down by as much as 6%! So take advantage of discounted marketing.
If you are one of the businesses that have more time on their hands now that you have to social distance, it’s the perfect time to start building up your online content. Write new blog posts that educate your clients and potential customers. This is an awesome opportunity to create content to help you rank better on Google and boost your SEO.
Don’t forget about re-writing old blog posts. If the information on your old blogs has changed or needs some updating, take this time to update and re-vamp those old blog posts. I know with my posts, technology and software change all the time, so it’s always good to go through them to make sure they still contain relevant information. Also, take a look are your website as a whole, is it in need of some tweaking? Now’s the time to read through everything and update as needed.
Remember this too shall pass and you’ll want to be prepared for a business surge after we go back to normal life. Create processes and systems to stay organized in your business. Create a simple sales funnel so no new leads fall through the cracks.
And if you did a great job at selling those gift cards for future services, prepare to be very very busy. I like to use online scheduling software so I can make sure I don’t accidentally double book a client. This empowers them to schedule their own time with you and allows your employees to make sure they don’t overbook you if you place appropriate restrictions on your calendar.
Most importantly, we want to remember to support each other and come together as a community. This is the time to connect and say hi to those people we care about that we haven’t talked to in years. Our mental health is more important than ever so I want to invite you to take some time to do some self-care and relax.
Stay strong my friends, we will get through this together. And if you need help implementing any of these ideas, I am inviting you to schedule a FREE 1-on-1 discovery call and consultation.