How to Market your Business During the Crisis
It’s clear that COVID-19 is hitting small businesses and people who don’t have the luxury of operating from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection the hardest. Businesses must adapt to survive when the only access to customers is online. The average American spends 7.3 hours a day online due to the current crisis. Businesses must be quick and creative on ways to stay relevant and provide what they’re seeking. Digital marketing has gone from “a” marketing channel to “the” marketing channel overnight.
Think Big Websites is a South Florida based web development and digital marketing agency. We are experiencing this crisis along with you and feel it is our responsibility, to help our fellow small business owners with the online and marketing knowledge and resources we have. Here is what we determined to be the most useful advise for businesses to survive in the age of the Coronavirus.
Find deals that will provide resources for your business…
Watch this video from our subsidiary company South Florida’s Best and take out a free listing to get your business online.
Think Big has scoured the internet and compiled a list of the best tips for small businesses to enhance their online presents
#1 Show Support
Learn how you can get your business online during the covid19 pandemic.
As the world retreats into their homes (and onto the internet) the space is getting saturated with business after business fighting for the average social media scroller’s online attention. This is not lost on consumers and is not effective. Rather than continually promoting your brand, try sharing a post by a fellow business owner or showcasing your company’s benevolent efforts for those being effected most by the pandemic. During times of crisis, consumers value for community support increases greatly. The term “cause marketing” refers to the idea that, by supporting your company, the customer is in turn are supporting your philanthropic efforts which has shown to be extremely effective strategy.
For those who feel they need additional support, there are many resources available for our residents in South Florida who are in need of mental or emotional support during this time.
Please call 2-1-1 to access the Broward 211 Helpline. You can also text your zip code to 898-211 for immediate attention and information. If you live outside of Broward County, the Florida Department of Health has compiled a list of organizations and resources that offer mental and emotional health support during this challenging time.
If you are in an area outside of Florida and or if you are looking for a way to support others, we are proud to recommend Samaritan’s Purse.
This is an organization that travels all over the world to help people. Here is a recent email we received from their CEO
These really are desperate times. We’ve never seen anything like this before. Our teams on the ground in New York and Italy need your prayers. Healthcare workers around the world do too as they work on the front lines battling this horrible disease. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”(Psalm 46:1).
Please consider supporting their efforts by donating to Samaritan’s Purse COVID19 Response.
#2 Explore the Digital Options and Try Something New
Now is the perfect chance to try and reach people in a new way. If you’ve been waiting to open a new social media channel, create marketing video for your business, or otherwise find new ways to reach your customers, this is the time to do it.
Experiment and find your groove in new ways. Think Big Websites offers a service that will embed a virtual meeting feature directly to your website. Customers are able to schedule a video meeting directly from your homepage without using any third party service. We found this to be a great feature for lawyers, doctors and consultants.
Do your research before selecting a video chat platform. Many have learned this the hard way with the recent privacy concerns affecting the popular Zoom platform. There has been numerous reports of people having issues with security. Here is a recent audio news story that Apple shared online about the growing concern of using Zoom.
Consider running an ad letting people know that you are “virtually” open for business. However, be careful on the types of ads you run. Here is a good resource from emarketer on effective and noneffective ads during pandemic or crisis.
If Facebook is more appropriate for your customers then check this out:
Facebook Offers $100MM In Advertising & Grants
Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and advertising credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Now is a great time to use this virtually free adspend from Facebook.
#3 Perform a Content Audit
Take a look at your company website. This serves as the home base for your business and provides all the key information that a customer will see the moment that they search for you online. So, does your page content best reflect who you are, and the services you offer? In other words, are there products or services you provide that you don’t have page content for? Now is the time to address that by creating new content. You can also double-check to make sure that your images look sharp, the links on your website are operational, and that the current content makes sense. Read through your website with a critical eye, and make sure that you make edits as you see fit.
Also, make sure your contact information is accurate. You are now most likely working from home so make sure you have your phone number changed to your cell phone or forwarded to your home office. You should also consider making sure your website looks good on mobile devices. Approximately, half the people searching for your business, product, or service or doing so on a mobile device. So, make sure it looks good on those devices! Your mobile version of your website doesn’t need to have everything that your non-mobile version does. We recommend you prominently display your contact information, call to action and your most critical information that you want to convey to your customers.
Content audit also means to make sure you are staying relevant. Many websites aren’t providing an covid19 update. This is important so that your customers know that you are engaged in what is going on in the community and that you are taking the necessary precautions and more importantly will be there for them when this pandemic comes to an end.
We have created a few covid19 related images that you can use on your website.
#4 Think about your SEO
If covid19 has forced you to get your business online, you will need to start with your branding. Branding is important but don’t let it stop you from taking action. I will share more information about branding later in this post. But, let’s start with the taking action part.
Start Blogging! This is still one of the best ways to create search engine friendly content. We always tell our clients that it helps you to cast a wider net. There are plenty of industry phrases that won’t come up naturally in the content of your web pages. If blogging isn’t your thing, utilize business directories such as Angie’s List or Yelp to provide more organic optimization for your site. South Florida’s Best is an online business directory that specializes in South Florida businesses and is currently running a special that offers their Pro listing package for $17.00 due to the crisis.
Now back to branding. A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Our friends at Yoast have a great article on all aspects of branding. Visit this Yoast article on branding here.
You’ll learn that branding consists of more than just your logo. As you build your online brand make sure to consider the images you use, the colors and tone you create. This is all part of your brand.
#5 Don’t Be Shy, Reach out to Your Customers
Let your clients know what you are doing for them during the pandemic, whether it’s working remotely, creating an app for delivery, or offering free access to your courses. During these times when the average American doesn’t know what tomorrow will hold, knowing that you are there for them will go a long way. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will create a brand loyalty that can survive any future crisis.
Secondly, you need to be responsive and show you’re ready to solve the challenges your clients are facing during this crisis. For Think Big Websites, it was implementing Video Meetings for our clients that are in essential services like Assisted Living Facilities and Medical Clinics.
If you would like to see our solution for reaching your clients while maintaining your social distance, book a free 15 minute video consultation.
Funding and relief resources for businesses impacted by covid19
Federal stimulus package details
Learn more about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the relief package that provides lump-sum checks to many Americans, defers payroll taxes for eligible small businesses, and more.
What is the Paycheck Protection Program?
Help determine loan eligibility, learn how to apply and how much you may be able to borrow, and get information regarding repayment or forgiveness terms.
Essential COVID-19 Resources from Mammoth HR
For a limited time, QuickBooks partner Mammoth HR is offering free HR resources to all employers.
In addition, Forbes has produced a series of programs designed to help businesses during this uncertain times.
If you feel you need getting your business online, then don’t hesitate to contact us, we are just one call away.
The Best Course Of Action For Online Businesses during Covid19 Pandemic.
We strongly feel that now more than ever you need to have an online presence. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a custom website. However, you need to have a virtual store while your physical store is closed.
You have many options. It can be as simple as creating a Facebook business page, or taking our a free directory listing on our South Florida’s Best website. This will give you the ability to communicate with your customers, offer creative ways to make sales and be best prepared for when life returns to normal, which is will!
Use this time to create your sales strategy, and find ways to bring value to your clients during this stressful time. Treat this as an opportunity to:
- Build your brand
- Connect with clients
- Increase your social reach
- Create a goal bigger than covid19
- Bring value to your existing customers
Remember, we are ALL in this together. If you use this time to grow roots in your community then you will be able to weather this storm and your business will stronger than before.
Please reach out to us if you need any help at all getting your business online.
Think Big Websites
Ps. this post will be constantly updated so check back often for the latest information that can help your online business during this difficult times.