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Gulfport and Biloxi's number one digital marketing agency

Published On: June 2, 2020
Author: Eric Oliver

Market Your Business During COVID-19

Learn to become a better business during COVID-19. Here are some marketing tips that can help businesses succeed during & after COVID-19. Let's get started.


How does COVID-19 affect your business? Are you losing sales, employees, or customers? If so, looking into your marketing may be the answer to your problems. I know this is a long read, but trust me, it is worth it.

Learn from our agency what it takes to survive during COVID-19 as we slowly start to reopen businesses. Take the lessons here and apply them to a post-COVID-19 world as they will matter even more then. Prepare your business without expert opinion and techniques to help boost your marketing now and keep the traction later.

Help Others When You Can

You are not alone. There are millions of other businesses in the same situation as you are. Help others when you can. Businesses that are putting people over profits are trending in all major social media platforms.

If you can, donate sales proceeds to a local non-profit or your local first responders or give away extra clothes, extra food, or just be there when someone needs you. Right now, all businesses are struggling but your customers are struggling even more. Most are out of work with no income plan. Don’t add to their struggle if you can help it.

People will remember your business at their worst a lot more than they will remember it at their best. Find something or someone you want to support and let it be known that your business helps during a time of need.

Paid Ads Are Cheaper, So Invest

I am not just saying this because we create marketing plans around paid ads but because we are in the trenches every day with businesses and their ad campaigns. We have seen a dramatic increase in ROI for paid ads since COVID-19. Prior to COVID-19, ROI hovered around 30%, now it is around 50%. That means your ads have a 50/50 shot of performing well.

Your audience is stuck at home…and they are bored. Social media has become an outlet for most people and it gives them a way to communicate with each other and support local businesses. Since more people are spending time online and on social media networks you have more people viewing your ads and driving down the costs per click. Take advantage of this and get your message in front of consumers.

Some industries will still experience a lower conversion rate during this period, but the majority of businesses can use this time to bring awareness to their brand, even if it means not getting a sale. Sometimes, brand awareness means long term customers compared to customers right now.

Reassess Your Current Marketing Plan

Pre COVID-19, your marketing plan may have included getting people to come to your store. Now, that has changed completely. If you are allowed to open and have customers coming in, great…but your numbers will still be much lower than they were. Take advantage of this. Don’t make customers come to your store. Go to them.

This is where a website comes in. Having a website for your small business could mean the difference between feast or famine. If you are a restaurant with limited space, ramp up your online order / curbside ability or if you are a dress boutique, put all of your products online.

Social media is great for brand awareness and online traffic, but not so much for brick and mortar traffic and sales. You need a way for people to purchase your product, services, or food. You just can’t do that with social media.

You will also run into customers who do not want to leave their homes yet because they are not comfortable. That’s ok. Don’t leave them out. You can still sell to them. They want to pay for your product or service…give them a way to do it quickly without contact.

Take Amazon for instance, did you know that since COVID-19, Amazon makes 10K per second. This is because they provide a way for consumers to order from them without a storefront. They are leading the way for a future without brick and mortar, make sure you stay on board.

Change Your Marketing Delivery Method

Like the previous tip, you cannot face a post-COVID-19 world using the same marketing delivery you once relied on. If you have noticed drops in sales because you were relying on print for marketing, change it up. Go digital! If you were advertising on social media and were driving people to your store, switch it up, and offer discounts for curbside.

There are a lot of methods you could use to improve your marketing delivery, but it relies on your business model. If what was working is not working now, change it. Do it now, because there is a real possibility that the landscape for business marketing has changed and will never go back to the way it was per-COVID-19.

Try out new marketing methods like:

  • Google Ads
  • Facebook and Instagram Ads
  • YouTube ads
  • A fresh website
  • Phone ads
  • Discounts for curbside or pickup
  • Discounts for online orders only
  • Sell your product on Amazon or eBay
  • Do your own delivery service (restaurants)
  • Build an app that takes online orders

There is a lot you can do online now that would not have been as successful a few months ago. The landscape and customer expectations are changing. Make sure your business changes with them.

Focus On Existing Customers

One thing that you may not realize is…you have a customer base. Email or message them online. Find out how they are doing. Show that you care…because you do.

Your existing customers got you to where you are today. They worked with you, ate your food, tried on your clothes…reward them. Everyone is looking out for themselves and their family, so show that you care and reach out to them. You don’t have to sell them anything, but you would be surprised how far goodwill will take your business when everyone is hunkered down trying to survive. You may not see it immediately, but when the economy turns around, they will remember.

Your ROI may not be the same as it was, but it can be a lot better if you show people you are thinking of them.

Socialize

Any business nowadays will fail if they do not have an online presence. This is different than paid ads…this is the real you. Talk to your customers and/or fans online. Host webinars and provide the information they may be interested in.

If you own a restaurant, maybe you could do a real-time cooking show showing off some of your food. Use that time to give recipes or tips on how to prepare food as you do. If you own a boutique, show off your clothes or accessories. Have a try on day where you showcase some of your favorite designs.

Both of these scenarios put you and your business directly into the spotlight. You can use this as a way to offer special discounts or offers to your audience. You can use this as an opportunity to host a give-a-way on an item you showcased. Draw more people in by being a real person, not just a business.

Conclusion

In the end, your business is in the same situation as millions of other businesses. You are a customer at one of these businesses…so what could they do to make themselves more memorable. Put yourself in the position of your customers. What would they need to do to earn your trust and limited income?

Rethink how you marketed your business before because the game has changed. What is happening now, will most likely continue for a very long time. After COVID-19, these changes will still be there because consumers are learning these possibilities exist and make their life easier. Change your marketing to ensure that when people are ready to spend their money, you are at the top of their list.

Other Resources

CARES Act – The CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers and families, small businesses, and preserves jobs for American industries. If you have not applied for your EPP or EIDL, you can do so here.

OSHA – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a very detailed workplace preparation guide for the virus.

BBB – The Better Business Bureau has collected a multitude of resources, including the top six coronavirus scams plus tips to help identify and avoid them.

If you are interested in learning more about how this topic can help your business, please contact our agency on our contact page or call us at 1-888-964-4991. We publish a new article once or twice per month so make sure to follow us on social media and allow for push notifications if you want to stay in the loop with our agency and digital marketing.


Posted In: Branding, Business, Marketing


Eric Oliver, Chief Executive Officer

About the Author

Eric Oliver

Chief Executive Officer

With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.