The coronavirus situation has created a huge turndown to the Australian economy and every small business can feel the pinch. These are uncharted territories for every business owner who needs to choose – whether to hold on or let go. Here’s a small overview of the traffic growth and decline over the last few months due to COVID-19.
Every industry has been impacted by COVID-19 and the severity is unprecedented for small businesses and startups. The hasty response by small business owners is to cut back on expenses, marketing budgets, lay off employees, etc., and go into a shell. However, you might create more damage to your brand in the long run so we recommend you follow these coronavirus survival tips.
As we mentioned, having an open channel of communication is crucial for businesses and there are ways to do it at a minimal budget – as low as $100!
1. Re-Research Your Market
As a business owner, I’m sure you know your audience or customers. Typically new businesses fail to identify their main target audience (the bullseye). This is the ideal time to understand the needs of your audience and do something special for them. For instance, if you run a coffee shop and a new customer or one of your regulars pops in, it’s the ideal time to ask them for their feedback and study their habits – what kind of coffee they order, what age they are, how they found out about you. This will enhance your ability to anticipate your customer’s need and adapt your business accordingly.
Also, keep an eye on your competition to create new USPs for your business. All these will keep your inner circle stronger and will allow you to expand later.
2. Turn email into your big gun
Email marketing is an immediate go-to for startups or small businesses. Using platforms like ConstantContact will cost you around $80/month with up to 5000 contacts. Email marketing works, especially with people staying and constantly using the internet. It is a great tool for you to communicate about your business, offers, and how you are tackling COVID-19 as a business.
In study after study, consumers regularly say that email is their preferred channel for brand communications. MarketingProfs.com conducted a study that revealed for nearly one-third of all consumers, email is the communication channel they prefer when it comes to marketing.
3. Optimize your online appeal
This is an era of digital transformation and its surprising to see a few business owners stick to traditional old-school marketing like word of mouth. Today, a business that is not online is almost invisible. 90% of consumers research about products, services or companies through various sources before making a purchase decision. This holds even for small businesses or a shop across the street. Also, with word of mouth moving online in the form of reviews – it’s more important than ever to ask people to leave a review on your Google or Facebook. Use platforms like eKomi to manage the online reputation of your business.
It is the right time to further optimize your website to load faster, have a good design allowing customers to reach you easily, get listed in local search directories, have attractive social media pages, post more often and create a community for customers within your business.
4. Be strategic in advertising
Understanding your audience better will also enable you to reach them easily in a cost-effective way. Are they on LinkedIn or Facebook? Do they read emails often? Are they on Instagram at all? Do they follow influencers on Instagram? Answering such questions might allow you to eliminate costly ad networks like Google Ads or LinkedIn Ads or you might end up using only Instagram or TikTok because that’s where your prospective leads are.
Once you finalize on the platform, define a goal, segment your audience and then target them with low budgets – say $30 or $50 per week to start. The advantage with this is you can always adjust your budget based on the response and ROI.
5. Content marketing & cross-promotions
Content is one free tool which every business can use. Instead of posting unplanned content on random platforms, have a strategic content marketing plan in place. This can be done across Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium.com, your blog, Google My Business, etc., in the form of articles, images, videos, GIFs, memes, and many more.
It is also a good time to realise the importance of supporting other businesses and cross-promotions. Identify businesses that are an add-on to your product or service, like selling local hair products in a hair salon. This can be further extended to online promotions or campaigns on social media. Maybe competition and a giveaway by collaborating with niche influencers or other businesses on Instagram & Facebook.
All these will not only bring in more customers today but will also enhance your brand equity in the future. At Boost Social, we push our clients to get these basics right before moving to bigger strategies. We’re always ready to help you with our FREE 30-minutes strategy session. This is your exclusive chance to have a one-on-one with Managing Director of Boost Social, Elisha Fiorentino and ask those burning questions, you’ve been dying to ask.