5 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses During a Pandemic
This year sparked the beginning of a new decade; the beginning of our very own roaring 20’s. However, COVID-19 definitely tossed a wrench in most small business owner’s plans for this year. What seemed to be a promising year full of goals and ambitions has turned into a time of confusion and struggle for many Americans and small businesses. Although it’s still unclear as to when we’ll be out of this pandemic and these mandated lockdowns from the government, there’s one thing that I encourage you to do…don’t give up. Business owners have a certain something that other people don’t, and that’s seeing opportunity where most people don’t.
We want to encourage you to keep dreaming, believing, and working for the future of your business and family. To help out just a little, we’ve compiled FIVE of our best digital marketing tips to help you promote your business to your current and potential customer base. Good luck and remember that we’re always here to help!
1. Build a Strong Social Presence
Since we’ve been restricted from being able to see customers face to face, at least for a moment, it is time to take to social media and your email list to communicate and engage your customers.
Did you know that a large number of small businesses (88%) invest in social media? The majority of all generations rely on social media for their business: Millennials (91%), Generation Xers (91%), and baby boomers (85%) use social media for their business. Since over 2.7 billion people are currently active on Facebook, you can see the amount of attention social media draws. Use these platforms to engage, educate, inform, and keep in touch with current and potentials customers! Social media is not the enemy. Social media is the gateway between you and your customer base. Having your followers on social media and a large email list will help you reach people digital even though physically it may not be possible at the moment. And the great thing about that is that no matter what, you’ll be able to retarget that audience anywhere around the world.
2. use email marketing
Just like social media, we want you to beef up your email audience. While some may argue that email marketing is outdated, most small businesses still use email to facilitate personal connections with their customer base.
According to HubSpot, 80% of business leaders believe that email marketing amplifies customer retention. Nearly 60% of respondents of its State of Email Marketing survey say that marketing emails influence their purchasing behavior.
Do you have a new product? A seasonal item coming out? Cool tips to share with your audience? Is the Pumpkin Spice Latte coming back to your shop? We want to know! Your audience wants to know! And if you can’t let them know by verbally saying it to them when they walk into your store, email it to them! One of the best ways to add more revenue to a business is to definitely acquire new business, but most importantly keep repeat customers coming through the door! Keeping a current customer is just as if no more important than bringing in new customers. Having a lifetime customers provides you with opportunities to resell, upsell, and advocate on your business’s behalf. A great way to reach that repeat customer is through email marketing.
3. advertise digitally vs. physically
One thing is growing your social media presence and engaging with your social media audience, and the other is advertising on social media and other digital platforms. When looking to promote new business, many look to traditional/physical forms of advertising. (e.g, Mailers, Postcards, Billboards, Magazine Ads, etc). We encourage you to RUN from traditional forms of advertisement because it all comes down to one thing… how do I promote my business to people and get them to buy?
Traditionally advertising can be very expensive and the ROI when it comes to customer acquisition and tracking metrics is very low. With digital advertising, Ad space is typically a lot less expensive than putting out a magazine ad or EDDM mailer and it allows you to choose the demographic of who and where you’d like your Advertisement to go out to. Once the Ad is live you can then track it and see different analytics such as Cost Per Website Click, Audience Insights, Purchases Made, and so much more! We highly encourage you to move your Ad spend budget to digital platforms vs traditional forms of advertisement.
4. use video marketing
Did you know that the average user spends 88% more time on a website that has videos? It’s time to dominate your digital marketing videos by creating videos that engage and are informative. Despite this statistic, still, only 32% of businesses are willing to invest in video marketing. This gives YOU the advantage.
Beef up your efforts by post daily behind the scenes on your Instagram Stories, weekly tips on your Facebook and Instagram Feed, and long-form interviews on your YouTube & website. Making videos doesn’t have to be an expensive or extensive process. If you have a good smartphone you’re pretty much good to go because at the end of the day it’s not about the technology or equipment we have, but the stories we tell.
Pro tip: For Facebook and Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat, make sure to record your video in Portrait mode (9:16 for designers) since these platforms are specific for that aspect ratio. Anything recorded for your Feeds can be done in Landscape mode (16:9 for designers).
5. consider eCommerce
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many brick and mortar locations were forced to shut down with the exception of “essential” businesses, although here at 7efex we believe that EVERY business is an essential business. Even with modifications, many small businesses were only allowed to offer curbside pickup or service. That is why we highly encourage small brick and mortar businesses to consider also operating an eCommerce business.
What is an eCommerce business or shop? Electronic commerce or e-commerce (sometimes written as eCommerce) is a business model that lets firms and individuals buy and sell things over the internet. We’ve seen statistically eCommerce businesses explode during the pandemic since people were asked to shelter at home, therefore, giving them more time to be online and…well…shop! We believe, however, that this lockdown has accelerated where business was eventually heading anyway by five hears or so. With our attention being on social media and the internet, businesses like Amazon, Wayfair, Etsy, and others are focusing on the online buyer’s experience; shouldn’t you?
Remember Pier 1 Imports? Pier 1 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in February of 2020 with plans to close up to 500 stores. Pier 1 was out for the count. However, Pier 1 Imports received a second chance online because of eCommerce entrepreneur Tai Lopez. Tai along with his business partners purchased Pier 1 Imports for a steal of $31 million dollars. What is Tai’s plan for the store? To move it 100% online with no physical stores open. How can he do this? Will people respond accordingly and still buy from Pier 1? Well according to Tai’s latest Facebook post, he’s reporting that since Pier 1’s website relaunch that same day there have been 243,715 visitors to the website. Over 200,000 visitors in ONE SINGLE DAY! Image trying to fit that many people into any physical location!
For many, it was a dream to have a physical location, and that dream could still exist. However, we believe it should be in tandem with your eCommerce website for your physical store.
“Marketing is a contest for people’s ATTENTION.”
– Seth Godin
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