Small Business Marketing Within The Current Pandemic
No business expected to face a worldwide pandemic, but great businesses always find a way to adapt and suit the needs of their audience whether its B2B or B2C. Unfortunately, companies most on their lifeline are small businesses, every resource, penny and customer is vital to help keep them afloat. Lack of these resources has meant that a lot of SMBs are withdrawing their marketing budgets until things settle, unknowingly this is the best opportunity to get your brand out there and adapt to consumer needs. Here I will take you through each issue and how you can tackle and adopt with changing behaviours.
Search Trends and Behaviour
Without a doubt we have all changed the way we are living within society, gone are the days we try on clothes in a retail store or go into a restaurant for an evening meal, making it more challenging for brick and mortar companies as well as businesses directly impacted, such as travel and leisure. This has affected how people are searching and behaving online.
How to adapt?
Do your research! Google and Microsoft are updating advertisers and businesses daily with Search Trends and Behaviours to show what consumers are looking for in terms of products and services as well as accommodate with keywords for your paid advertising targeting. Last month showed an increase in ‘foods that boost the immune system’ being searched 3x more than normal, a great opportunity for food nutrition companies to jump on PPC advertising to get consumers directed to their website. The trick is to accommodate to the behaviour, for example, bigger brands such as ASOS clothing are advertising mostly loungewear products instead of evening wear, restaurants are delivering and leaving on doorsteps, most e-commerce websites are extending their returns date policy, a lot of businesses are prepared to turn their model on its head and suit the way consumers are behaving.
Every business is different and therefore some verticals have been hit harder by others, if you are a hand sanitiser company then you are probably thriving at the moment, but some are not so lucky. An industry massively impacted by the coronavirus is travel and leisure with a predicted $2.1 trillion revenue loss throughout the epidemic.
How to adapt?
Unfortunately, the solution is not a ‘one size fits all’, as I previously mentioned, different verticals will be effected in different ways. Again, do your research, look at what your competitors are doing, have they adapted how they are doing business? Are they adjusting their marketing strategy? Are they offering a slightly altered service? The key here is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and highlight their needs, figuring out how to implement your business into their purchase journey.
Being a small business means you are more likely to be impacted economically, making every penny count towards each sector of your business, so finding the budget to apply to advertising channels can be challenging and seem unnecessary. But think of consumers you are missing out on because you are withdrawing all your spend when you could be reaching your target market. The marketing sector of your business is definitely something to continue where possible through the epidemic.
How to adapt?
If you can’t afford to apply the usual advertising budget, maybe think about reducing it, or re-aligning to a completely different strategy to focus on reaching consumers. As we have readers globally it’s hard to give a completely straight answer for financial support, but some governments are running schemes to help support small business funding. Two companies eager to help support SMBs is Google and Facebook, offering Advertising credits to those who qualify so that small businesses can continue to advertise.
All businesses are bound to find it hard during this unprecedented time, but there are always ways to continue the growth of your small business.
Some key points to take from this for your marketing:
- Focus on Branding where you can and continue to build that online presence.
- Adapt your business to suit consumer needs.
- Go digital if you haven’t already! (give us a message, we are currently offering cheap alternative website landing pages).
- Be flexible.
- Continue to update your audience on social media.
- Be open to changing your business model and strategy in the interim to fit consumer behaviour.
- Build customer lists for future re-targeting.