The Importance Of Online ReviewsFebruary 25, 2020
Beyond SBA Loans: Help for Small Businesses Through the COVID-19 PandemicApril 21, 2020
The coronavirus has disrupted many organizations’ operations. We’ve come up with a few marketing ideas for small businesses to help you pull through this tough time.
1. Offer A Gift Card Promo
Even if your establishment is currently closed or working within confined restrictions, gift cards are a great way to go. You can offer them online so your customers can make a no-contact purchase. This gets you money now and helps ensure you’ll see customers later when the world goes back to normal. When executed well, a gift card campaign can be a win-win-win for everybody involved.
Consider allowing the public to purchase gift cards that you can give to front-line workers and first responders. This will keep money flowing into your establishment while simultaneously helping people feel like they’re making a difference during these tough times. Not to mention, it’s a great way to bolster your PR credibility because you’ll be seen as a business that cares about the people who are doing the tough jobs right now.
You can advertise your promo on your own website, social media pages, and places like LinkedIn and Nextdoor to maximize your exposure.
2. Stay In Touch Via Social Media
Let your audience know what you’re up to, how you’re dealing with things, and what sort of products or services you’re selling. Don’t be afraid to engage with their questions and comments; this will help you build your brand and enhance your online reputation. Social media management is always important, but now with social distancing, it’s more important than ever.
Be sure to keep people apprised of any updates as they come down the pipeline. For instance, if you’re offering carryout or can deliver cocktails with the purchase of a meal, these are things you want to tout about. Similarly, if your business is considered essential and is open like it would be otherwise, make sure you let people know. This is a great time to get your feet wet with social media, if you haven’t already done so, because everybody’s at home and online right now.
3. Make Videos Of Your Process
Let people in on the daily workings of your profession. If you own a bakery, consider putting to-go packs together, coupled with a how-to video to help people re-create your sweets. If you’re a hairstylist, head to YouTube and offer a quick-tips video to help people get their manes more manageable during the lockdown. No matter what you do, videos offer help for small businesses, unlike any other medium.
4. Convert Your Operations For The Cause
Creative folks around the country have really set their innovations into action. We’ve seen liquor distilleries change their operations so they can make hand sanitizer all over the country to help fill the gaps that happened when the shelves were cleared off. Other innovative people have put 3D printers to work, printing shields that help protect first-line workers during these scary times. Some sewing companies have switched their operations to focus on making masks for health professionals and the general public alike.
If you have a business and are looking for ways to get your brand out there, seek ways to make an impact that helps doctors, nurses, and your surrounding community.
5. Hold Webinars
That’s right, friends. It’s time to embrace the power of your computer in ways you may have avoided previously. This is the age of the webinar, and it’s the perfect time to introduce yourself to the world. Schedule webinars or “go live” meetings so your customers can get to know you. During these sessions, you can answer frequently asked questions, demonstrate how to use a product or service you offer, and generally connect with your audience.
If you’ve been receiving requests or inquiries, stash them away in a pile so they’re easily accessible when you’re ready to go live. Remember, customers are feeding you the type of content they want to hear about; it’s up to you to take it and run with it.
6. Make Use Of Your Access To Industry Stores
Nobody said restaurants can’t sell rolls of toilet paper. In fact, the establishments that are doing so are bringing in a little more money than they otherwise would have. Plus, they’re becoming the go-to place for customers because people remember them when they have the money to order out. The same goes for things like cat food at a hardware store, dog food at a gas station and fresh veggies at your friendly neighborhood watering hole. It’s all about working with the stuff you have access to and providing it to people who may not be able to find their basic needs at their regular stores.
Use the access that you have to the things people need to your advantage. You can enhance your store’s offerings during COVID-19 to accommodate the needs of people who can’t get regular items elsewhere.
7. Offer Two-For-Ones
Another promotion to consider is a two-for-one. For every purchase made, you’ll donate the same thing to a hospital, fire station, or police station. People are generally happy to patronize businesses that are taking care of first responders right now, so this type of promotion will build goodwill and make your brand stand out in the minds of your neighbors. Yes, it’s difficult to think about losing money on the donation, but donations are tax write-offs, and this is really just a form of advertising, which is an essential practice for every business.
At The Barbauld Agency, we’ve got small businesses covered during this crisis. If you’re looking for direction for your organization, reach out to us for a free consultation! If you’ve already converted your operations into an anti-COVID-19 machine, we’d love to hear your story!