Business Resiliency 101: Marketing your small business in a post-COVID landscape
This is the third post in a series on the basics of building a more resilient business to help you navigate unforeseen challenges. Check out our post on building your online presence and protecting your small business from cyberattacks. Stay tuned for future posts in this series!
Consumer spending habits have changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a new reliance on online shopping is prompting small businesses to rethink their marketing strategies. In fact, a new SCORE analysis estimated that 91% of small businesses owners will engage in some form of digital marketing this year.
We’ve compiled a few ways for small business owners to effectively utilize digital marketing to engage with their audience in this new post-pandemic landscape.
Learn the basics
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) developed a quick overview about the basics of marketing. Take this online course to learn about how to conduct target market research, how to create a marketing plan for your small business, how to measure the performance of your marketing strategies, and worksheets to help you craft a unique marketing plan.
Use digital channels to market your business
Capitalize on your existing or new digital channels to reach your customers and grow your business. Below is a list of channels that can help you increase your brand reach, awareness and engagement in the post-pandemic landscape.
- Company website
If you haven’t already done so, create a website for your small business to promote your products and services to current and prospective customers from anywhere in the world. This is your “face” to the world, so make sure to include relevant information about your business, such as hours of operation, a detailed description of your offerings, ways to connect with your small business and links to your social media pages.
- Social media marketing
Social media marketing is the use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and elsewhere to promote your brand or execute content marketing strategies. You can create hashtag campaigns, post deals and discounts, giveaways, provide useful content and much more. Use the organic reach of your social media accounts to reach your customers and promote your goods and services. To get you started, check out SproutSocial’s guide on building your social media marketing strategy for 2021.
- Email marketing
Email marketing is a great way to get the word out about your small business and new developments in your industry. Content marketing initiatives such as blog posts, videos, and podcasts are a proven way to keep your customers alert to the latest developments in your industry and business. You can easily build your mailing list by encouraging customers to sign up for email alerts in store, on social media, and even on your website.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving a website or web page’s visibility in a search engine’s organic results. One way to optimize your content for SEO is to understand what users are searching for and implement those queries—or keywords—in your content.
But SEO doesn’t end at keywords. There is an art and a science to getting your content to surface in the search engines. Check out a beginner’s Guide to SEO developed by Moz to get you started.
Pay to play
If you are having a difficult time reaching your customer base organically (naturally), there are some additional strategies you can use. Even if you have a small budget, a little investment in paid advertising will serve your small business in the long run.
Paid online advertising, for example, can take many forms ranging from buying ads on social media platforms, sponsoring podcasts, partnering with an influencer to share your products or services, or use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Small business owners can dip their toes into paid advertising with Google Ads, which is an easy way to get your business in front of your desired customers. To get you started with Google Ads, check out this quick guide on how to write effective Google Ads.
Keep in mind that while paid online advertising has a cost to it, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to reach your goals. Check out this quick guide to paid advertising, which includes an overview of different types of paid online advertising for small businesses.