It’s no secret that this current crisis has had a major impact on life as we know it. Almost every small business has suffered major setbacks. We’re all wondering how to deal with this “new normal” and where to go from here.
Some business owners are hunkering down and waiting to see what happens. While this is certainly understandable, it’s not the best approach. Although the current situation is full of uncertainty, being proactive will give you the best chances to make a comeback.
How do you stay connected with your customers during this trying time? The answer is, in part, to revamp your digital marketing strategy and double down on your efforts. Here are a few ways to do it — without breaking the bank.
Spend More Time Online
If you haven’t already pivoted your focus towards increasing your online presence, the time to start is now. Even as the state begins to open up, many people are still more comfortable spending their time at home.
To make sure you’re prepared to meet the needs of your customers, you’ll want to update your business model so that you fit comfortably into the digital space.
Some of the ways you can do this include offering text and chat communications and adopting virtual reality or streaming technology. You may also want to consider updating your website or opening an online store to compliment your physical retail space.
It’s also important to note that social media is becoming an even larger part of most people’s lives. If you’re not truly present on at least one social media platform, you’re going to be left behind. It’s not enough to post every once in a while. You must post consistently, provide value, and interact with your followers.
Reassure Your Customers
Uncertainty is a way of life for everyone right now. You’ll make the biggest impact by offering your customers a message of strength and reassurance. Let them know that you understand their concerns and take them seriously. Take the time to tell them exactly what you’re doing to keep both them and your employees safe.
You can work this into your social media strategy by regularly posting videos, photos, and updates showing that you’re doing everything you can to prepare your business for safe operations. Even if you’re feeling apprehensive, it’s important to present your message in a positive way.
Skip the Hard Sell
You might feel desperate to make a sale, but now is definitely not the time to push. Instead, make sure every communication you have comes from a place of empathy and is focused on building and strengthening your relationship with your customers, employees, and the public.
Now is also a good time to take a step back and examine your company’s overall message. Is it still relevant and appropriate based on our new reality? Will it continue to be so for the foreseeable future?
While things are changing every day, you’ll also want to continue with a long-term outlook. Make sure your communications continually reaffirm your commitment to serving your customers no matter what the future may bring.
Encourage User-Generated Content
This is a great time to encourage your followers to post their own content to your social media platforms. Hold a selfie contest with a branded hashtag or have people post photos or videos of them using your products. Make it fun and incentivize followers to participate by offering some cool prizes.
This type of user-generated content improves brand loyalty, increases engagement, and gives your followers a way to make a more personal connection with your brand.
Increase Your Local Presence
There’s a huge push right now to shop local and support small businesses rather than buying products and services from large corporations. Consumers are actively looking for local businesses to provide them with the goods and services they need, so making sure they can easily find you is an absolute must.
Although you may feel like you can’t afford a marketing budget right now, it’s important to set aside at least a small amount each month to ensure that you’re establishing a strong local presence. Make sure your business is listed in local directories and that your Google my Business profile is set up and up to date.
It’s also a great idea to reach out to your current customers to get their feedback about your products and services. If they point out any shortcomings, spend some time getting things right. If they’re satisfied, ask if they would be willing to take a moment to leave you a review. This will help you establish credibility and attract new customers.
Don’t Hide Your Head in the Sand – Get Started Today!
No matter where your business is right now, there are steps you can take to strengthen your position and give yourself the best possible chances for recovery.
If you’re ready to join the ranks of Bradenton’s best businesses and grow your online presence, we can help. Membership options start at just $25 per month. Check it out today!