These are uncertain times for all of us.
For all of us that own small businesses, a pandemic was one of the last risks we considered when opening up a small business… but here we are with COVID-19.
Most of our friends in small businesses feel frozen in time. They aren’t sure what to do as their doors continue to close and are having a difficult time figuring out what the future holds. Because of this, marketing seems like the last thing on all of their minds.
In fact, we have talked to some small businesses that are actually feeling guilty about marketing their business right now. With everything going on in the world, marketing just feels like something so unimportant and selfish.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Marketing your small business right now is more important than ever, you just have to think about it a little differently!
Focus on brand, providing value, and doing your part
Most of the small business owners we have spoken to over the last few days have talked to us about a feeling of guilt. They don’t want to continue to market their businesses in the fear of seeming insensitive or trying to profit from a bad situation. While there are certain situations where this might be true (like the guy who bought thousands of hand sanitizers to sell for profit) most of the time it’s a great idea to continue your marketing efforts.
Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to change your strategy at all. With many places being forced to close their doors, and consumers being laid off from work, doing call-to-actions and asking for people to buy might not be very effective. Instead, focus your marketing on providing value to people and growing your brand and communities. For example, if you are a personal trainer, it might be a good idea to provide quick 15-minute workout videos or to run a few virtual group classes for free. This allows you to keep your business name in front of other people while giving them something of value. Even just making posts that are meant to make people smile is providing value. We all need a laugh in today’s world.
Find creative ways to engage your audience
The one thing that is undoubtedly true about this entire situation is that most Americans are spending way more time at home than ever before. The concept of social distancing has left us locked inside with our only form of real interaction coming through social media. People are looking now more than ever to engage, join conversations, and feel like they belong to something. As a business, this is your opportunity to step in and engage your fans in new ways and build a deeper relationship with them so that when this all does blow over and people come crawling out of their homes, you will be the first person they want to visit.
Need some creative ideas?
- Fire up Facebook Live for the first time ever to give tips on exercise
- Teach people how to make their favorite menu items at home
- Just to Check in on everyone and see how they are doing during this time
- Run a contest with gift cards as prizes that will incentivize people to come in when you are open again
The possibilities are truly endless!
We are stronger together
At times like these, we are stronger when we work together. Making connections with other small businesses in your area and combining your audiences allow you to continue to grow your network even when new customers can’t come through your doors. To start, simply start reaching out through direct messages on Facebook, Instagram, or any other platform. And don’t feel like you need to be limited to just other businesses in your industry. Reach out to companies that are both related to your business and companies that you normally wouldn’t think to work with. Whether it is just creating a promise to share each other’s posts, or something bigger like a contest or collaborative content, creating that relationship can help you both grow during these times.
We have some good news. This isn’t going to last forever.
Someday soon, everyone will be able to go back to their normal daily lives and you will be running at full speed! While this time can be extremely hard, emotionally and financially, the best thing you can do with your marketing is continue to push forward. Giving up on marketing your business will not only impact you now, but when the pandemic is over. So keep pushing ahead towards the better days on the horizon, keep a positive mindset, and focus on building your business in the minds of your community when they need you the most!
Free Marketing Help
Here at SocialSurge Marketing, we’re trying to help small businesses as much as we possibly can in our local communities of Milwaukee and Racine. We’re currently blocking 20 minutes out of each day to give back to small businesses that need a little free marketing help. Help with talking about how to use this downtime to still have a positive impact on your business, branding, or anything in between.
Here’s the link to set up a time for our free marketing chat.