The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every industry, resulting in stay-at-home orders, social distancing policies, and nonessential business closures across the globe. These changes have caused problems for companies of all sizes, but small businesses, in particular, have seen a significant impact.
At Zero Gravity Marketing, we understand the challenges that many small business owners face, from navigating changing policies and restrictions to altering operations to provide the safest service possible. To make this difficult time a little easier, we’ve compiled several marketing tips for small businesses impacted by COVID-19, as well as some easy ways you can support local companies while social distancing.
Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
1. Run Your Business Remotely
While many brick-and-mortar stores have been ordered to close their doors, there are still plenty of ways to conduct business online. If you run a retail store, consider adapting your services to offer virtual shopping, where customers can view and purchase products over Zoom or Facetime. Non-retail locations, such as fitness centers, might provide virtual training sessions and classes for clients. This is a great way to continue offering your services while complying with current social distancing regulations.
You should also provide your employees with tools to do their jobs remotely. Slack, Zoom, Asana, and Google Drive are all effective programs for online collaboration.
2. Update Your Google My Business Listing
As you adjust your operations, it’s essential to keep your customers informed. A simple way to do this is by updating your Google My Business listing. Here, you can post your current hours, mark your business as “temporarily closed,” post COVID-19 updates, and more. You should also share all of this information on your website and social media channels.
3. Provide Home Delivery or Curbside Pickup
Restaurants and retails stores that are unable to offer in-store shopping should also consider providing home deliveries or curbside pickup. That way, customers can still get the products they need safely.
4. Offer Payment Solutions
From layoffs to business closures, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial distress for many. With all of this economic uncertainty, consumers may be hesitant to spend money. To encourage your customers to purchase (and help them manage their budgets), try implementing a payment solution like Afterpay or Klarna. These services allow consumers to break up their payments into four interest-free installments.
5. Keep Your Audience Informed
Whether you are adjusting your hours or only offering online ordering, it’s crucial to communicate these changes with your customers. One of the best ways to do this is by posting updates on your website and social media profiles. You should also send informational emails to all customers on your email list. If all of this seems overwhelming or you don’t currently have the means to handle these efforts, Zero Gravity Marketing offers a simple solution. With our COVID-19 Business Package, our team will manage all of your updates, building out an informational webpage, sending weekly emails, posting on social media, and updating your Google My Business listing. That way, you can focus on other important aspects of your business while feeling confident that your customers have everything they need to stay informed.
How to Support Local Businesses
As a consumer, it’s important to support small businesses in your area whenever possible. Here are just a few ways to help local stores and companies during COVID-19:
1. Buy Gift Cards
Unable to shop now, but plan to make a purchase in the future? Gift cards are an excellent option. By purchasing a gift certificate, you can help local businesses maintain their revenue without having to shop in-store.
2. Book Appointments Ahead of Time
Hairstylists, nail technicians, and other appointment-based services will likely experience an influx of reservations as soon as social distancing policies are lifted. Secure your appointment ahead of time by offering to put a deposit down on your service of choice.
3. Order Takeout or Delivery
While restaurants across the country have been ordered to suspend in-person dining, many are still offering takeout and delivery services. Not only do these options help you support local dining establishments during COVID-19, but they also give you a much-needed break from cooking at home.
4. Engage on Social Media
Show your support for your favorite brands by engaging with them on social media. Liking and sharing posts (and encouraging others to do the same) are great ways to drive brand awareness and loyalty that will remain long after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
5. Leave Reviews
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools for promoting businesses. So, take this time to leave positive reviews for your favorite local stores and restaurants.
The ZGM Team Is Here to Help You Market Your Small Business
At Zero Gravity Marketing, we know that this has been a difficult time for small business owners. That’s why our team is here to help you overcome COVID-19-related challenges through creative marketing strategies.