As the real world changes, the online world does too. More than half the entire world population uses social media and its use increased as people started to get stuck at home.
This poses a dilemma for small business owners.
On the one hand, not 'wasting' money on marketing while businesses are closed, sales can't happen and income is so uncertain seems sensible. On the other hand, others see the value in remaining visible and protecting future sales.
There are also those who have, in a positive way, taken advantage of the crisis to reach out to their target market and ask for their support through this period.
Market forces usually keep the playing field somewhat level and that's been true in the healthy economic climate we have benefited from for years, up to January this year. Now it has now been shaken to pieces.
While saving money is sensible in a down period, being invisible isn't. Companies that best survive in recessions are those that market through it and therefore get sales as soon as recovery starts. It can be fatal for a company to ignore the competition's activities and lose their market share.
If you have been busy surviving and marketing has had to take a back seat (or been left behind), here are some things to think about:
There are various cost-effective areas you can use to reach out to your target market:
If this feels overwhelming or you don't have time to do this yourself, reach out to us. We have two ways that we can help you:
A garden services client of ours also sells Christmas trees. We run a social media marketing campaign for them each November and December, building up awareness and sales of the trees and helping fuel bookings coming in at the end of the winter.
Whatever size and type of business you have, if you need help marketing it and want to grow your sales, get in touch with us.
Are you in a position where you can't sell anything right now?
There isn't much we can say to make that feel any better but we can recommend a distraction that will set your business up to grow as life returns to normal. Now is the time to protect your brand recognition.
There have been many downturns in the world's economies and, while many businesses have plans ready for downturns, forgetting to plan for the upturn can spell disaster. We know this from studying what happens to business before, through and after recessions.
There are many cases of companies going out of business during the upturn. Surely that's something that can be avoided?
Let's put it another way:
If no-one is buying your service or product now and they aren't buying from your competitors either, then you are competitively equal. You aren't losing any more or less than they are.
If they spend the next 4-6 months building up more recognition of their services/products and you do nothing, what will happen if, in six months time, someone needs just what you offer? Will they come to you?
They will have forgotten all about you and you will have lost out to your competition.
We don't recommend asking people to buy from you right not - and certainly not asking people to risk infection by doing so (grrrr....). Regularly reminding customers and potential customers about the services and product you offer is a great idea. (Even we do say so ourselves :)).
Use the same message over and over if you want to.
You want my advice? (I hope so... :))
Say the same thing 20 times. I'm challenging you to do that. Pick a service that you offer or, even better, a pain point that you clients/customers have that you help solve and put the message out to your email and social media lists 20 times over the next three months.
Do you accept the challenge?? :)
Here is one of our message versions. Get in touch with us for advice - a call is free!
Did you see what we added to the title of this blog post to make it come up when someone searches online for local businesses? Yes, we wrote the word 'Danderyd'. We do that a lot. It is also in our name (if you hadn't already noticed that).
If you want to be found online as a local business, create local content.
You have two main choices here:
1. Writing about what you do in the context of your location and/or
2. Your opinion of things going on in your local area.
Whichever you choose, be sure to mention the location a couple of times at least, to let the search engines know where you are. Don't overdo it though, more than 5 could be too many and will make your post hard to read by your human readers.