Getting your message in-market as you adapt your business

2 minute read

For small businesses, the challenges that have stemmed from COVID-19 are real. Many owners have had to close their doors and implement curbside pickup; others have gone from bricks-and-mortar to entirely e-commerce. With survival being the priority, many entrepreneurs have instinctively put marketing on the back burner. It’s time to start thinking about getting your message back in-market.

Now more than ever, businesses need to be in touch with customers and prospects. Establishing your brand during the next phase of the pandemic is key to thriving now and during recovery. Start here.

Focus on your website

If you weren’t e-commerce enabled before, you probably are now. Not all businesses need a full e-commerce site – a shoppable landing page could be enough for you, but make sure you clearly identify your products.

Consider adding a chatbot or live chat box to your website now. Anything to enhance your customer service is a good investment at this time.

Invest time in search engine optimization (SEO) too. More of us are spending considerable time at home and online, so customers who weren’t previously looking for your products may be now. Make sure everyone can find you easily.

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Partner with other businesses

Could you bundle your products with another retailer? If you sell perishables, for example, research local providers or farmers with complimentary offerings. Your baked goods with their preserves; or your craft beer with their food boxes.

If collaboration isn’t feasible, consider advertising each other’s products on your website and social channels. People in the market for your goods might be interested in another category of products. Supporting each other could generate business and awareness for both of your companies.

Change the way you use social media

Brands that focus on engagement as much as sales can make themselves memorable and generate loyalty beyond COVID-19.

Develop videos related to your products. Whether that’s online tutorials for YouTube or a shareable clip for Instagram or TikTok, social media engagement is up and shareable content gets your message out.

Use your channels to engage with and strengthen your local community. Share relevant news and provide resources and shout-outs to groups and other businesses doing good things for your audience.

Tell your COVID-19 story. How did you revamp your space for employees to social distance? Did you put up partitions or frame the doorway for curbside pickup? Record those changes and post them. Don’t be afraid to tell people how your business is having to shift and change. If you’re open and honest, your story will resonate.

Prepare yourself – and customers – for a reopening

Before you’re up and running, a direct mail campaign can help drive traffic into your store and onto your website. Tell people about the safety precautions you’ve taken in-store and include a promotion.

At a time when many businesses are advertising digitally, print helps you stand out. Research also shows that print motivates people to act.

No one knows just yet what ‘business as usual’ will look like, but businesses can survive this next phase and thrive when it passes. To do that, they need to stay engaged and keep their marketing strong.

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