5 strategies to help you ease into it
For most small local businesses, COVID-19 has resulted in strenuous times, pulling a rug from under their feet. An era of masks, political upheaval, and uncertainty have forced many businesses and organizations to go under, or barely afloat. After an issued stay-home order, many local businesses including restaurants, bars and retailers were forced to make difficult decisions that could potentially have long-term effects. At the time, seventy percent of businesses had close. Today, thirty percent remain closed.
As a business owner it is likely that you may still be experiencing deep changes in the way you operate and market your enterprise. You may be operating at reduced hours or capacity with limited help. You are probably using technology in ways that you have never imagined before.
Digital Marketing Heart of Business
Wherever you are, a purpose driven digital marketing strategy must be at the heart of your plan to not only make it through, but to thrive. Using electronic platforms to market your business has become a positive, feasible, and a futuristic experience to build meaningful connections with customers in today’s environment. Although it is a difficult time, digital platforms present the best opportunity to create personal connections and relationships through channels such as optimized websites, mobile responsive sites, social media, online ads, email and content marketing among others. These platforms allow business owners, like yourself, to continue to offer quality products and services even at a reduced or full capacity.
Some local restaurants have resorted to offering free delivery and curbside pick-up for customers who don’t feel safe to dine in. Small Mexican restaurant Marisco’s Culiacan for example, has included the steps for ordering online on their Facebook page as well as all contact numbers and addresses to their three locations. The steps are easy to follow and are in both English and Spanish. Their website is user friendly and responsive.
Wolves Den Gym offers their members at-home workout content and are highly active on Facebook and Instagram. Tippi Teas offers its entire menu online for its three locations and customers may order to pick up. They are also active on facebook and included all contact information. Their website is updated frequently.
For many customers that are still reluctant to leave their home, it is great comfort knowing there is a connection to the outside world by using digital tools. According to ccinsight.org, a platform created to track consumer behavior amidst the COVID- 19 pandemic, the online year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth of U.S retail sales reached 68% in mid- April, in comparison to January, reaching only 49%. U.S retail sales are increasing at a record pace as consumers are feeling more comfortable and safe shopping online.
Placing digital marketing at the heart of business is learning how to offer your product through digital strategies will allow you to secure and engage a wider number of customers. Understanding this interaction benefits both sides.
5 Steps to ease into Digital Marketing
1. Learn about the wants and needs of your customer
Conducting surveys and talking to your best customers allow you to find out what it is that they need at this time. Is it deliverability? Online appointments? What will make their lives better? Find their pain points to develop products and services that they will reward you for.
2. Build trust and communication
You build trust with potential customers by learning not only about their wants and needs, but also their fears about the quality of the products, or services that are being offered. Bad past experiences may leave a potential customer feeling insecure. Transparency and honesty will make them feel more comfortable. Social media has made it easier to connect to your consumers and have a real conversation. Use platforms to reassure them and to develop trust.
3. Learn how to use online platforms to offer your products or services
Familiarize yourself with the different channels out there. Learn how customers are now buying. Is it through the website? Is it through Facebook? Is it through a portal such as Amazon or Etsy? Find the best way to provide easy access to your products.
4. Look at web development strategies
What is your goal? What design will make our customers visit our website again? Is it user friendly? Should you consider creating an app? Think about the impression you want to make with your website and what you want your customers to experience. Select the strategy or strategies that can give you the most value. You can start small and grow from there.
5. Think about the message you want to deliver.
You may want to choose one or two channels that fits your business and will effectively send that message out. Matching the message with the platform will yield the best results.
Digital Marketing is a Long Term Solution
Placing digital marketing at the heart of business will help you feel at ease about managing your business. Expanding and creating new channels of technology will provide the opportunity to target new clientele. The benefits and opportunities are endless. It is clearly a long-term plan that can create a different venue of approaching new customers. Using the 5 strategies to ease into it will help you to get started on your journey.
Contact 11-D Marketing to gain better insights and to help you develop a custom plan for you!