Here’s our guide to growing your business during this coronavirus outbreak
No one would have imagined that social distancing would be the new normal in 2020. Flights and major events are getting cancelled, countries are going on lockdowns and it’s safe to say that everyone has been affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak. With more people choosing to stay in to ‘flatten the curve’, this has become a serious challenge for businesses worldwide. NFIB Research centre reported that nearly one-quarter of small business owners are negatively impacted by slower sales (42%), supply chain disruptions (39%) and sick employees (4%) due to the recent coronavirus outbreak. With the economic and business impact predicted to last for a while, now’s the time for businesses to be innovative to ensure they remain afloat.
IT’S NOT ALL OVER: Thankfully with the current digital world, there are many ways to navigate through this pandemic. Most importantly, you can still engage with your customers…but from a distance.
(You can still grow your business during this coronavirus outbreak,
if the right tools are applied!)
1) Utilise social media to connect with your customers
With the current situation rapidly evolving everyday, customers are more so on social media to check in for frequent updates on the virus and and staying connected in a suddenly isolated world. According to a recent Econsultancy and Marketing Week survey done among 500 marketers attached to major brands, a full 91% (UK) and 87% (North America) predicted an increase in the use of online services by consumers amid the outbreak.
Everyone, including customers, is going through this situation together and this is the time to show that you care. Increase the frequency of your postings and interact with your customers and understand what exactly they need right now. Practice your corporate social responsibility (CSR) and work towards helping the community in terms of support, education and resources. Bridge the divide and sustain your relationship with your customers, who are the driving force behind your business. Besides, such short-term initiatives have the potential to evolve into a positive brand reputation that helps your business in the future.
(Connecting with your customers during this period is
very crucial to maintaining your brand.)
For instance, it might not be possible to go to your usual gym or yoga studio at the moment. To help with that, Alo moves is allowing customers to work out while being at the comfort of their homes. They have introduced a 14-day free trial where customers could get access to unlimited yoga videos. Such efforts are particularly timely and useful at the moment where everyone’s looking for an outlet to relieve their stress and anxiety.
2) Flexible marketing: Adapt your services with the current situation in mind
Due to various policies introduced to curb the spread of the virus, many businesses are forced to temporarily close. If your business previously relied heavily on in-store interaction, think of how you can still bring your services to your customers. With technological developments, you could easily go virtual! Besides restaurants that have introduced home delivery services, many other businesses have incorporated changes to ensure sustainability. Flexible marketing also aids in building trust with your customers.
(Be flexible with how you can market your products and services.)
Horderly is a US-based professional organising service that assists people sort their homes. With the coronavirus outbreak, many of their services have been cancelled and with that situation in mind, the company has introduced a new virtual organising service that plans to tap into the needs of those currently self-isolating or working from home.
3) Incentivise your customers with a special offer
The current situation is definitely a unique one and that calls for a special offer to incentivise your loyal customers. Specifically for service-oriented businesses, this is a good time to show your support to your customer base and remind them that your products and services remain available. Providing a special offer not only helps to keep things exciting and engaging for your customers but also maintains a steady stream of revenue for your business. Such offers can be promoted across social media, which also increases word-of-mouth.
(Incentivise your customers with something special.)
iHerb, a popular e-commerce platform for healthcare products and supplements, is offering 10% off selected immunity boosters. Now, you can stay healthy while not breaking your wallet!
4) Get on the Tiktok bandwagon
Self-isolation has led to an increased demand for entertainment. Cancelled events are particularly upsetting especially when it’s a product launch or anniversaries. That’s when everyone’s favourite app, Tik Tok comes in handy. Tik Tok is notably one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world and was the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store in 2019. As such, it’s key to utilise such platforms to provide updates on your services in a fun way! This is a great way to reach out to a wider range of customers and get them to be invested in your brand…even from a distance.
A popular bakery in Seattle, Piroshky Proshky, has tapped into Tiktok to post goofy videos of the team, while advocating for people to stay at home, in line with the situation.
(Tik tok is a great tool to get people to be invested in your brand.)
5) Tap onto SEO/Pay-Per-Click Advertising
It’s no surprise that people are now spending more time in front of their screens. This is a great opportunity for businesses to connect with customers and stay ahead of their competitors. With many advertisers temporarily going offline at this time, cost per clicks with PPC marketing has decreased by 6 percent across all verticals since March. Businesses can earn more traffic and conversions due to the decreased competition and maintain their brand presence online.
In addition, businesses should ensure they continue updating and optimizing their website and content to ensure they remain at the top of the list for Google searches! With all the extra time while staying home, there’s a higher chance of people discovering new businesses and you don’t wanna lose that opportunity!
(Make use of the opportunity to increase your outreach.)
A stressful period for businesses due to uncertainty, It is necessary for businesses to harness the situation to their benefit and constantly adopt various digital strategies in order to thrive in the long run. After all, this could be the new normal for longer than you know!