Overnight the way we do business changed – and many small businesses and nonprofits are trying to figure out how to survive the crisis. How we do business has changed – maybe temporarily, but maybe forever. Every day we have a ”new normal.”
Today, many businesses are trying to figure out how to re-open their business and get Back to Business. Your business may look different today than it does tomorrow and did yesterday – and that’s a good thing. There are smart, innovative and cost-effective marketing and growth strategy do's that will help open new opportunities for your business - and there are some serious marketing don'ts that will reflect negatively on your business while you get back to business.
Every small business will face challenges getting back to business, whether they are a brick and mortar business, an online business or a non-profit. The businesses that follow the MacManda Media 5-V process are the ones that can be flexible and adaptable to consumers' new and evolving needs and new opportunities:
5 Back to Business Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
1. DO Stay Creative
During the pandemic, marketers learned that the public can adapt more quickly than business owners expect. Within days, everyone Zoom became a verb, and by Easter, grandparents were looking forward to Zooming with family members. If your audience loved virtual events, don’t cancel them post-lockdown; instead, look at what worked and what didn't work to reach your audience.
2. DON'T Use "Coronavirus" or "COVID" as Clickbait
Coronavirus fatigue is a real thing - don't use the c-words to add to the noise and get people to click on your link. If your article is related to the virus, of course it's appropriate to use the c-words. But people are overwhelmed with scary and often confusing medical and economic media reports. Find other words (such as Back to Business or Grand Re-Opening or Relaunch or Rebound) to convey your message.
3. DO Be Sensitive to Different Demographics
Back to Business and beginning to return to normal means different things to different businesses. Some small businesses were allowed to stay open, others are beginning to re-open - and others may be permanently out of business. Different parts of the country have different timelines for re-opening and starting to get back to normal.
Similarly, different people are responding to the re-opening in different ways. Elderly and people with underlying medical conditions may not be as quick to stop social distancing as healthier people, and may continue to depend on safety measures such as curbside pickup or free delivery.
Consider your target audience, and how your message will be received by different audiences.
4. DON'T Forget to Update Your Social and Website
Many people updated their business hours on their website, social media profiles and on Google My Business. As you get Back to Business, don't forget to review and update your open hours, delivery policy, reservations and all other information you share about contacting your business.
5. DO Thank Your Loyal Customers - And Welcome Back Those You've Missed
Customer loyalty cannot be taken for granted. Many customers went out of their way during the crisis to keep their favorite local business or non-profit open, while others were too afraid or overwhelmed to try and #ShopLocal. Communication is the key to customer loyalty:
- Let customers know how you will be operating differently
- Ensure customers that their safety is your priority
- Reward customer loyalty
- Incentivize new customers
- Ask customers what they need from you in order for them to come back.
Your business or non-profit may look very different after you re-open than it did before– and that can be a good thing! Back to Business does not meet back to the old normal: it means adapting and thriving in our new normal!