Nobody ever realized how much of an in-person society we were until COVID-19 slammed the door on most forms of retail shopping, dining and small business. Oh sure, we had some indications with the astounding success of Amazon Prime, but never thought that a totally hands-off society was possible, let alone near at hand.
And yet here we are. States are open, states are closed. Stores are open, stores are closed. And through it all the small business entrepreneur struggles to find newer and more effective ways of attracting customers. E-commerce, curbside pick-up, and online marketing have all leaped to the front of everyone’s business strategy. For those struggling to find ways to reach out and grab customers in the uncertain age of COVID marketing, here are some marketing strategies that might be able to help:
Mailchimp Marketing Support: You might think that Mailchimp in only about sending out email, but they do have a surprising number of resources to help your small business market more effectively in these trying COVID times. Some Mailchimp suggestions:
- Keep people updated and strengthen the bonds you already have with your local community. Use regular email updates to let your target market know what is going on in your business, or create a landing page that offers specific items that can help your neighbors.
- Conduct surveys to find out how you can serve your market more effectively.
- Bring your business to your consumers through online outreach.
- Make it easier for customers to buy your products on your website.
- Use social media marketing to bolster sales of extremely popular items.
- Create Instagram stories to get closer to your customer base.
Mailchimp is also investing substantial resources to support small businesses during the COVID crisis. They are offering $10 million worth of service for existing customers who want to continue using the Mailchimp platform, and investing up to $100 million to help drive new and ongoing business for small business customers through price discounts, product upgrades, add-ons, and more. A new Local Business Directory connects shoppers with customers in their area.
Facebook for Business: Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses during this challenging time. Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries will be able to receive a grant from Facebook. To be eligible to apply, your business must:
- Have between 2 and 50 employees
- Have been in business for over a year
- Have experienced challenges from COVID-19
- Be in or near a location where Facebook operates
Facebook also offers numerous resources including tips, training and more to help you stay open and connected to customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Check out their information for ways to use your Facebook page more effectively during COVID.
Neil Patel offers great insights on how to adapt your marketing during the coronavirus. His strategies include:
- Help others selflessly.
- Paid ads are really cheap.
- Improve conversions.
- Offer education-based training.
- Diversify geographically.
Small Business Trends unveiled its three key marketing trends showing how to adapt in a time of COVID:
- Comply with Tightening Safety Rules
- Make Your Products Available Everywhere
- Make Your Products Findable and Shoppable by Voice
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers a Coronavirus Small Business Guide including coronavirus coverage that is updated daily with new resources to assist you and your business. Available resources include:
- Steps to Reopen Your Business Safely
- A Guide to Reopening Your Business
- Insights on Paycheck Protection Loans
- Workshop Wednesdays
- SBA Resource Guides
Business Insider also provides information on proactive business moves small businesses can take to market themselves in a post-COVID-19 world.
It certainly looks like the COVID crisis is around for a while. What seemed unthinkable just three months ago is now a routine way to conduct business. It might require your small business to take steps that were not in your original marketing plan, or learn new technologies to help you keep in contact more efficiently. Accept the challenge, be part of it and spread the word that you are open and ready for business.