How to Use Marketing Effectively During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Time’s are changing, and I’m starting to wonder not when things will go back to normal, but IF they will go back to normal. Many are still afraid to leave their home, and others are force to leave due to businesses reopening and their employees returning to work. Many employees still don’t want to return and that’s understandable given the circumstances, but even still, many businesses are remaining closed and some are strictly being online only. However, many of these businesses that are open are not doing a very good job of making it known, and it’s not just the businesses that are open to foot traffic.
I’ve heard from a couple clients that when the order came down to close the doors, they adapted to taking curbside orders and online orders. I modified the functionality of their website to incorporate curbside, but they were having a bigger issue. Customers were still coming to the door, but when they reached a locked door, they were simply turning around. The business had a sign posted on the front door to call, but from the outside it looked closed, and customers turned around. This brings me to my first point.
What do I do if customers are turning around when they realize my store is still closed from Coronavirus?
If you just live with the customers coming up to your door and immediately turning around, then I’m sorry to be blunt, but you’re doomed to fail. The fact that you are here means you are looking for solutions, and that’s the entrepreneurial spirit that I’m looking for! One of the keys to successful marketing is experimentation. If something is not working, you try again. Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you continue to go down the same path of failure, then that path will only lead to failure. You need to swerve at the next fork.
If your customers are turning around, change your signage, make your phone number large and in charge at the top, bold “call us with questions”, let the customer know you are still there to help, even if it’s you talking to them on the other side of a glass window pane. Some businesses require knowledge and if a customer can’t get that knowledge, they won’t want to shop at your business.
My business just reopened after Coronavirus, but now foot traffic is low, how can I raise it?
Many are still staying at home, just because the government says it’s safe to reopen, doesn’t mean customers are out and about, numbers are still being shared on cases, and it’s still scaring people. I have noticed a trend though when I have had to go out. Businesses are not making it known. It’s not on their website, it’s not on their social media, and it’s not posted on their buildings anywhere.
Reach out to someone about creating some feather flags to put out near the entry to your business (make sure you have permission from the landlord) they can be simple or you can have someone design your business a flag. Just make sure you have the dimensions required from the manufacturer, before sending your ideas to a designer.
Market to Existing Leads
Let your customers know you are open via your social media and email marketing platforms. If you aren’t making use of either of these, then this is going to be a difficult time for you. I would recommend getting a head start (you’re already late) on this and have a professional set up your email marketing campaigns with lead capture.
If you are looking to start yourself, I personally recommend MailChimp. Pretty much everyone has heard of it, along with Constant Contact, but when it comes down to it, I prefer MailChimp. It has eCommerce integration support with tracking revenue, it offers a free plan, and even has popups available for lead capture if you are on a tight budget. Their latest pricing plan is a bit frustrating, as they now require you to upgrade to their $14.95 plan to use automation series. Though you can get around it using tagging and creating multiple single-use automations. However, the amount of time spent configuring this doesn’t seem to be much of a loophole to me.
One of my favorite lead generating platforms is OptinMonster. In comparison with many others, they have produced the highest conversions overall in my testing. It’s what I currently run on Dog Byte Marketing. It offers popups and inline embeds, with additional options available with higher plans.
With the least expensive and organic options out of the way, your next step would be to use paid advertising. It helps with Search Engine Optimization and getting customers into your storefront. The more popular solutions are Google Ads or Facebook Ads, but there are many options available. Just make sure you set a budget, and end date, and some restricted keywords, otherwise you’ll blow through your budget with nothing to show for it. We offer Paid Advertising Consulting which can help get your advertising campaigns up and running.
For local advertising, another method you can use are billboards. You’ll need to contact local billboard companies in order to find the right location for you, but there are other alternatives such as Blip Billboards, but personally I would recommend sticking to the areas you know. Signup and look at the available locations and then either use Google Maps to use a street view and see where it’s at or drive to the location and scope it out. You want high traffic areas, as your blip is only on the billboard for a few seconds.
Hopefully this helps promote ideas to get business flowing to your company. If you have any suggestions for other business owners, feel free to leave them in the comments below.