COVID-19 has no doubt seen blows to small-business-owners who have seen their revenues decrease drastically, for some, incomes disappear overnight. To make matters worse, small businesses have been affected disproportionately by the pandemic. Because they’re more likely to be in industries hit harder by restrictions on movement including restaurants, cafes, and recreation. As a result, many business owners are probably wondering how to rebuild and grow their businesses post-COVID. At Gerald and Rose, we strongly urge businesses to get more creative and engaged in how they use digital marketing to attract more customers as we return to life before COVID-19.
Digital Marketing Tips for Post-COVID Recovery
There are several things that you can do to raise your profile, engage with your current clients and present your offerings with little to no investment. We have identified several digital marketing tips you should be addressing right now.
- Re-examine and identify your Products, Customers & Keywords
- Get some new images
- Refresh your current Social Media Channels
- Establish new Social Media Channels
- Update your website
- Add new meaningful content to your website
- Write a blog or two
- Establish a Google My Business
- Market yourself in Business Directories
- Get everyone to be engaged with your business
Let’s look at these in turn.
Step 1: Re-examine and Identify your Products, Customers & Keywords
Identifying Your Products
The first thing we need to do is get a clear idea of what products or services you offer. You can start by asking yourself the following three questions:
- Which products are selling and which are not?
- How long does each product take to sell/restock?
- Do a review of your books. What is the cost/benefit analysis of stocking/selling the product/service?
If the products aren’t selling; or the cost/benefit analysis isn’t favourable, you should probably get rid of them. It’s a very human tendency to hold onto things for no apparent reason. But if you want your business to grow, you need to learn to let things go.
From here, you should end up with a rough idea of what your future products/services look like, which you can then categorise. The goal here is to categorise your offerings in such a way that makes them easily identifiable, concise and understood by everyone involved in the business and by your customers.
Once they have been sorted, make sure you use these in all your digital marketing activities.
Identifying Your Customers
After reviewing your products/services, you can now identify your customers. You may think you already know who your customers are but if you’ve either changed your products/services, pricing and/or shopping methods (i.e. from brick and mortar to online), chances are that your customers have also changed.
A simple way of identifying your customers is to an ideal customer avatar or buyer persona. These avatars represent a certain customer group by using variables such as their demographics, personality traits, goals and responsibilities, frustrations, needs, motivation, a brief biography and what social media channels they primarily use.
Combining all these factors will ultimately impact how you market your products/services and ensure you target and communicate with your customers in the most appropriate method.
Once you have reviewed your products and customers, you need to identify your new keywords. Keywords are ideas and phrases that define what something is about. They need to be relevant and specific so that they clearly identify the topic but not too specific that very few will search for or understand them. Think about what a future customer will type into a search engine to find your product? Your products/services and how your customers would describe/search for your business/offerings are a good starting point.
Top tip: Our environment and societal habits are constantly evolving and adapting, be it market trends, technology or our day to day activities, and ultimately so will your offerings. Best practice is to review these categories at least once a year – and hey if they haven’t changed over the year, it means you’re still marketing effectively!
Step 2: Get Some New Images
Get some new images, clean the old ones up and get your products looking their best. Images are one of the most important elements in modern digital marketing – social media, article directories and blogs are all image based mediums so we need to ensure that our products and offerings look good. Real good. So blow them out or edit them down as required. Feel free to take photos yourself or get them off royalty free sites such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels.
Top tip: Take new photos of your building, your interior and your staff. Look through the photos you have taken over the past couple of years and see what can be used for marketing.
Step 3: Refresh Your Current Social Media Channels
Remember, social media channels are the front line of your business’ digital marketing. They should be clean, tidy and active. First impressions really do count.
Make sure you have updated all the details on every social media account. Some of the most popular social media apps include Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Twitter. COVID-19 has given us more of a reason to stay on top of our business’ social media accounts – according to a study out of Datareportal, internet users aged 16-64 were spending 43% longer times on social media due to the pandemic. This makes it the perfect time to refresh your channels and make your business appealing for every user on the internet.
You can learn more about the top social media apps to find which channels are best for your small business. Moreover, update the images, the links and the general content. Reassure your customers that you are still here, open for business, and available to help them with their needs. Be as active on social media as you can.
Top tip: Stuck on coming up with ideas for new content? Ask your followers and customers to post previous experiences they have had with you. Customer reviews & experience play a huge part in enticing new customers.
Step 4: Establish New Social Media Channels
Do you have a list of your current social media channels? More importantly, what social media channels don’t you have a presence on? Add new channels as appropriate – Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat…there are hundreds out there. So make sure you review your customer avatars and build a presence on the ones they primarily use! Check out this graph below that shows the world’s most-used social platforms…
Top tip: If you are not sure about what social media platforms are out there, take a look at our article on what there are and what they do – Social Media Apps for 2021.
Step 5: Update Your Website
If you have the skills, update the look of your website. If you don’t have a website, get one up now. Make sure that there is a lot of current product information on the site – make it easy to find out about your products and services. Do some search engine optimisation (SEO) through Google’s Search Console or similar tools such as SEMrush or Moz and see what comes up in search for your type of business.
Top tip: Is SEO a foreign language to you? For a brief insight into the world of SEO, the key things you need to know and what tools you can use, have a read of our article What is SEO and What I need to know.
Step 6: Add New Meaningful Content to Your Website
Next we need to add new content. The website for your business should be dynamic and engaging. As mentioned above, content is what feeds the channels that you are going to use to engage with your audience. Business websites should have pages for each of your products – all businesses will at least be able to list their products and services by category. If you can’t get this content from your suppliers, create it yourself, but whatever you do, it needs to be shown.
Top tip: No one likes sites which haven’t been updated in ages – it makes the business seem old and outdated. So make sure you are regularly updating and adding new, exciting content to keep your customers informed and in the know.
Step 7: Write a Blog or Two
Consider setting up a business blog. This can be very effective in engaging with your customers and building links to your website. Business blogs should be about your business – who you are, why you do what you do, how you go about it and so on. Business blogs can also talk about topical issues in the industry that affect your business or audience. Also keep in mind that comments should be enabled so your readers can share their thoughts!
Business blogs are also search engine friendly, so you will start to get your business noticed by Google, Bing and Yahoo…if you are lucky.
Top tip: To increase the number of comments you get on your blogs, share your blogs on your social media. You can even start a little competition for your customers, with the one who shares the most winning a small prize. Promotion of your business or products from customers is super beneficial for your brand awareness. To learn about more ways to market your blog, check out this article from American Express for 20 ways to get traffic and promote your blog!
Step 8: Establish a Google My Business Business Page
If you haven’t already done so, set up your Business Page on Google My Business. This will allow people to see what your business is like and get directions using Google Maps to find the business.
If you have one already, make sure it is accurate, up to date and verified. Articles on Google My Business are short and easy to do but need to be updated on a weekly basis to improve your rankings.
Step 9: Market Yourself in Business Directories
Start getting listed in business directories. These are still widely used and are valuable ways of getting your business page seen by people looking for information about your business. Listing in business directories is one of the best digital marketing tools for small businesses. Check this article out about 21 web directories that still have value to find out which business directory best suits your business.
Top tip: Don’t forget to make sure your details are up to date on all local directories such as your local business and industry association. Do a quick Google search on your business and make sure the details are correct.
Step 10: Get Everyone to be Engaged With Your Business
Business owners should ask their friends, family and even complete strangers to like their Facebook page or follow their business on Twitter or any other social media platform. Business owners can also ask customers to leave a review and post their experience on their Google My Business page. Businesses will need to be creative in how they engage with others, but it is well worth the effort.
Top tip: You already have a network of people you can rely on, be it friends or family for little or no cost, so make sure you use them to your advantage!
It’s important that we take steps now so our businesses are not left at a standstill when things go back to normal. Obviously this is only a start, but we have identified several things you should be addressing right now with little or no investment of time and money or engagement in any outside assistance. If you have staff that you are paying but they aren’t currently engaged in the business use them to create content, be it images, social media engagement or blogs.
What do you think is the most important thing on this list and why? Let us know in the comments below!
Gerald and Rose is a digital marketing and website development agency based in Surry Hills, Sydney. G&R as we call ourselves was formed when the founders continued to have bad experiences with other providers.
Marketing, social media and websites need to be simple, well priced and reliable. Business owners hate surprises, we know, we run small businesses. We can assist you with the right social media channels for your business, so drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to check out our other blogs with heaps of tips and tricks to boost traffic to your small business. Stuck on taking that leap of faith in starting your business? Check out Establishing a Business in 14 Days!