Everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know that many small to medium-size businesses are feeling particularly vulnerable right now.
Whether you're a brick-and-mortar retailer that’s temporarily closed your doors or an online business that’s experiencing a spike you weren’t anticipating, we're here to help you identify the best next step for your business.
We're all in this together, so try to set aside some time to share with others, trade information about what's working well, and build a stronger sense of camaraderie with your peers.
It’s also important to stay connected to your customers and supporters, too. Here are a few ways you can do it:
• Keep people updated. No matter what type of business you’ve got, there are plenty of people out there who want to hear from you. Consider adding a signup form to your site and sending regular email update campaigns to keep the conversation going. This will keep customers informed about any changes to your hours or product availability, but it’s also a great way to let them know how they can support you, and how you can help them in return, during this difficult time.
• Right now, a lot of people are adjusting to new daily routines. For some, that might mean working from home, for others, that might also mean taking care of (or homeschooling) their children. If you’re able to provide any resources or services—even if it’s just a free, downloadable coloring book to help keep kids entertained—consider creating an additional resource page or blog on your site to help you easily share.
Steps you can take today:
Even if you’re not able to operate your business as normal right now, there are still things you can do to help navigate all of the uncertainty and set yourself up for success in the long-term.
• If you don't have a website, consider building a shoppable landing page where customers can buy from you online. You can even use it to sell gift cards available to buy now and use later on when the situation improves.
• Landing pages can also be a great way to collect contact information from your audience. Create a page with a signup form, share the link across your social channels, and then start sending regular updates to keep customers informed about everything going on with you and your business.
• Already have an online shop? Work on optimizing your integration for seamless use and better product presentation.
• If your team is just getting started with online collaboration, consider available services carefully and make sure you have proper support ready to aid you in navigating your new workplace. Integration is key, and the simpler the better. Education on new practices and processes can be hard, but we are here to provide you with useful tools. View our resources page to find helpful links to help your business get started online.
Alternatively, maybe your business has experienced a dramatic (and unexpected) increase in online traffic and sales. For you, it’s about being strategic in your response and understanding how you can continue to meet the needs of your customers.
• If you’ve got a product that’s been particularly popular, consider setting up social media ads to boost awareness among your existing customers and brand new audiences. Pay special attention to your analytics to best target your potential customers.
• Are you seeing increased traffic to your website because the content you offer is resonating right now? Be sure to capture that data so you can use it to make informed marketing decisions (while staying true to your brand) down the road.
Plan, prep, publish.
With so many people confined to their homes right now, many people are spending more time online. Focus on creating meaningful content that resonates with your audience. Be sure to consider the context and timing, however; not every message is appropriate for every channel.
Here are a few examples of the types of content you could create:
• Plan social content campaigns that provide audiences with a look at the human side of your business, for example: a weekly “employee of the week” feature that introduces your team or a behind-the-scenes look at how you make your products.
• Send an email or create a social campaign to let your customers know you’re thinking about them. Make sure you have welcoming emails when customers sign up to your mailing list, acknowledge current events, stay relevant, and make sure that every customer feels as if they are paid attention to.
• Instagram stories can be an interactive way to connect with your audience. Try posting a few to show off your upcoming products, discuss your plans for the coming months, or just chat about how you’re doing.
If you find that these methods are effectively resonating with your audience, consider adding them to your long-term or regular marketing plans. Any strategies you put into place now will make your business stronger after this crisis.
We’re here to help.
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone. We don’t have all the answers, but we’re committed to providing you with accurate, relevant, and timely services that to aid you in navigating through the uncertainty ahead. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can help you take your business online.