We should meet today with braveness and readiness to challenges dictated by the current marketing landscape. While the world is paused due to the global Coronavirus lockdown, many small businesses are thinking over new approaches to management and online promotion in order to survive during the downturn.
The lockdown has added even more value to online services and digital marketing. As per Fundera, 91% of customers have been visiting offline stores because of an online experience even before the crisis. Today, the digital business presence and promotion have started playing a crucial role for small business survival.
Here we will talk about the challenges that are close and familiar for every small business owner. The situation requires us to react instantly by taking immediate measures and optimizing business processes for new conditions.
The Challenges Dictated by the New Normal
The coronavirus recession has most affected three main categories of small businesses: personal service, retail, and hospitality. As we can witness it today, the smaller the venture, the harder the hit. Businesses with fewer than 20 employees are the most impacted because they lack cash flow and capital. Besides these pitfalls, entrepreneurs might face other hardships mentioned above.
Changing Market Demand
Due to the access control and movement restrictions, your customers are now staying at home without any possibility to reach your offline business. The quarantine measures are shaping new market demands.
If your customer needs have changed, your business offering must evolve too. The business should be highly responsive to the market changes to be able to survive in these turbulent times. The flexibility and adaptivity are the keys to business success. Today companies should adjust their offerings for digital customers, move all the business into an online mode, and re-think of what their audiences need today. Probably, they don’t need what you’ve offered offline earlier, and here new demands have arised. You should consider alternatives that can be accessible via the worldwide web and delivery services.
The whole world is now staying at home. Many businesses have faced temporary shutdown, while others have continued operating, incorporating an intelligent “work-from-home policy.” It includes various solutions and practices that allow businesses to keep delivering products and services while both their employees and customers are staying at home.
Migrating to the digital world can help you tackle many issues. From live video consultations, online workout sessions, and business coaching to online food ordering and e-Commerce retail – there are plenty of ideas of how you can empower your business during the lockdown and continue providing value to customers even now.
When something goes beyond its schedule, we tend to feel tension and anxiety. Try to step into customer shoes, see the situation as they do, and give them the support they need now. People might have new questions about the product delivery method, timeframes, your service alternatives that are now available, etc.
Businesses should stay in touch with their customers online, answer all the questions timely, and continuously update them about important information to reduce psychological tension evoked by the uncommon situation. It will help you retain customers and increase their loyalty to your business.
Gaining Quality Leads and Visibility
You must offer extra-value and keep your business active online to attain new customers and draw the target audience’s attention. In other words, you should invest your time and effort in building a robust digital presence that includes an attractive and well-optimized website, investing in local
Many small and medium businesses don’t accept the urgent necessity of building an online presence. However, it’s, actually, the only way to grow your small business online visibility and gain new leads, mainly when offline business activity is impossible in the current conditions.
After considering the small business challenges caused by the coronavirus, you might wonder how can you promote your new offering to customers, regain their loyalty, and update them about all important information at the wind speed?
Digital Marketing Is the Answer
Businesses must employ the power of digital marketing to keep the head over the water in times of uncertainty. A good content marketing strategy can help you not only save your business but make it the market leader. It helps to draw the customer’s attention, build a positive brand image, increase customer loyalty, and multiply sales. The current situation requires us to keep businesses active online and use digital marketing, and especially on social media.
In fact, customers who engage with a business on social media spend up to 40% more with them in the long term. The same source shares that 96% of small businesses say they already use social media in their marketing strategy. To stay competitive in the market, you need to be well-aware of social media marketing essentials and significant trends.
Personal Branding as the Top Social Media Trend for Small Businesses
Today a lot of companies boost their success by communicating their brand message to the target audience via individuals associated with a company. If you are a small business owner, then this person can be you.
The personal brand is an image that centers around you as a personality and describes what you do and what your company stands for. Building your personal brand, you can do both to save your existing small business or start one as a Solopreneur.
It’s also a great way for you, as a business leader, to cheer customers up on behalf of the whole brand in these challenging times. Let people feel connected with you personally and increase loyalty to your business.
Social media is the first place where you should start creating your personal brand. Information is spreading at the fast speed there, and it’s a perfect medium for creating your own community of dedicated followers who can be converted into long-term customers in perspective.
Enhance Your Social Media Marketing With the Right Tools and Educational Resources
We understand that it may not be easy to start building your personal brand or promoting your small business on social media without having the needed marketing expertise. Fortunately, there are plenty of social media management tools and educational resources that might help you to cope with this. B2B SaaS companies that have created this kind of software commonly offer the accompanying educational courses that may help you manage your business’s social presence.
I would particularly recommend the Social Media Marketing Academy by PromoRepublic. It’s an educational course focused on social media marketing for small businesses that includes some crisis management tips, which can be especially useful during the COVID-9 recession. Moreover, it gives free access to several super-helpful social media management tools.
The Bottom Line
It’s difficult to predict the scenarios that will play out during and after the Coronavirus pandemic. The only thing we know for sure is that we should adjust business processes to market changes and new customer needs. It is particularly essential for small businesses. Despite it’s challenging time for all of us, it is not a reason to give up. There are plenty of actionable practices, tools, and sources of knowledge and inspiration that will help you effectively manage your business even during the lockdown.
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