All businesses have been impacted in some way by COVID-19. The marketplace and consumer needs have changed and the implications will have lasting effects for years to come. This provides challenges and opportunities for businesses. In order to survive or thrive, we need to innovate and change how you are marketing your business post COVID-19. It’s time to reevaluate the products and services we offer, and how those services are delivered. It’s time to reconsider how we communicate and connect with our customer base, because simply reaching customers has become a challenge. Here are a few thoughts that might spark ideas for you.
1. Do you need to change up your product offerings or services?
How can we shift our business to respond to current marketplace needs and demand? We see evidence of American ingenuity all over. While restaurants were closed for in-person dining, many shifted to pick up and delivery models to keep the lights on. Adapt Training in Beaverton, OR started offering virtual training services while their physical location was closed. Their “Make May Matter” program allowed them to reach hundreds of new customers who were able to work out from the comfort of their home and not have to spend time driving to and from their location. Now that they’ve reopened, many of those virtual clients have chosen to stay “virtual.” Adapt Training’s “pivot” opened up a new revenue stream and allowed them to reach a much larger audience. In response to the hand sanitizer shortage, McMenamins, a family-owned chain of brewpubs, breweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs in Oregon and Washington, started making hand sanitizer in their Edgefield distillery to fill a need.
And, as more people were working from home or had more downtime, a few businesses actually saw an uptick in sales. Springfree Trampoline saw a 300% increase in sales this April over the previous year which their attribute to more families spending time at home together. They changed their focus to online sales as most of their retail locations were shut down, but due to their pivot, haven’t had to lay off any employees.
Have your customers needs or pain points have changed? If yes, how and then explore ways you can fill that need.
2. It’s time to go e-comm.
If you’ve not made your services or products available online, NOW is the time to do so in marketing your business post COVID-19. People are getting accustomed to shopping from the comfort of their home. If you’re getting ready to take your business online for the first time, you don’t have to do it alone. Fab Brands can help you determine the best e-commerce platform for your business, build the site and implement marketing strategies to help you reach current customers and attract new audiences.
3. Claim your local business listing.
Small businesses are the backbone of our community. They’re our friends and neighbors. They pay local taxes and help keep our local economy going. There’s a rallying cry to shop local and support local businesses, because in the end, it benefits all of us. So, my advice to you is to get listed LOCALLY. Claim your FREE business listing on Google, Bing and more. Clearly state if you offer delivery, take out or curbside service for customers.
4. Figure out your “IT” factor and capitalize on it.
What do you do better than the competition? Is that clear on your website and in your marketing messages? Expand on that and make sure to tout your best attributes.
5. Don’t be shy — stay top of mind with email marketing.
Current and previous customers who already know and trust you are much easier to sell to because a relationship has already been established. Are you emailing current and past customers about your products and services? Do you know what changes you’ve made or if you’re still in business? If you’re not doing this – START NOW. Email marketing is an easy and inexpensive way to stay top of mind with your fans and friends.
Disposable income has shrunk, so consider making your emails value-driven – give your loyal customers first notice of upcoming sales or special products. You can also use your email list for a digital marketing campaign and create like-audiences to ensure your message is being seen by the people who are most likely to be interested in your services or products. Check out our friends at Royle Media for digital advertising help!
6. Explore new ways to connect with your customer base.
Maintaining a personal connection still remains important to people. Perhaps now so even more. Hold virtual events to connect with your customer base, using Zoom, or Instagram or Facebook Live. Wineries all over Oregon’s Willamette Valley are holding virtual tastings to provide a safe, but intimate experience with the winemaker. Do you have special expertise that would be of benefit to people? Is there a way that your business or your personal background can inform and help people during this time. Say you’re a pet store, you could hold Zoom Happy Hour for the owner and their pet and call it Yappy Hour.
7. Media mentions are golden!
The local media is looking for interesting and positive stories to tell. Are you finding innovative ways to change up your services or products in response to the pandemic? Pick up the phone and make a few calls or send an email to key media outlets or reporters. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to increase exposure and drive traffic to your business and website. You’ll find lots of resources online on how to get media coverage.
8. Ask for the sale.
You’d think was a no-brainer, but businesses still fail to Include a call-to-action on their website home page and other logical customer touchpoints. Ask for the sale and create a sense of urgency. Tell people you want their business and provide an easy way to request more information, place an order or schedule an appointment. Call-to-action offers can be as simple as: “Call now for a free quote,” to “Click here to download a free e-book” to “Click here to receive 20% off your first purchase.” If you offer contactless point of sale services, that’s important to include now, too.
9. Quality content is a “must.”
While some may have thought the value of the written word has gone by the wayside, its importance is even greater in this digital age. Think of all the places throughout the internet that the written word represents your company, brand identity and promise to your customers: social media posts, YouTube, blogs, profile pages, reviews, websites, and the list goes on… The mighty pen still wields considerable power and plays a major role in where your website ends up on search engines. Interesting content that has been optimized with keywords to attract search engines is worth its weight in gold.
These strategies just touch the tip of the iceberg on what you can do to weather the storm and marketing your business post COVID-19. If you’d like to talk about ideas specific to your company, just contact the marketing specialists at Fab Brands for a complimentary consult. 503-697-1891 or contact us here.