Lessons Learned from COVID-19 about Marketing Your Business Online
The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a lot of hard lessons for business owners. If your business was deemed non-essential, then no-doubt you are facing a lot of uncertainty and may be struggling to keep your doors open (quite literally). However, we also learned that if your business has a strong online presence, then the blow was softened considerably as you could still sell your products and services online. All it took was a shift in attention and some creative marketing strategies and your business was rocking and rolling again. At the very least, you weren’t stuck waiting as you struggled to pay for your staff and to keep the lights on.
So let’s look at the specific ways businesses struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic because they weren’t equipped to operate online.
- If your business is not online at all…get online now!
Many businesses had to shut their doors to the public, bringing their interaction with customers – and sales as a result – to a grinding halt. People weren’t spending their time shopping in stores, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t still shopping. With everybody stuck at home and spending more time browsing online, any shopping outside of essential businesses like grocery stores moved online. People weren’t spending their time in brick and mortar stores, but in online stores.
If your business has a functional, value-driven website then there is opportunity for you to get people’s attention and point them toward your products and services. If you don’t have a website, or have an old, poorly designed website with little content, then you’re going to lose out on tons of potential business. In fact, if your website is the only impression you give consumers and it is a bad impression, it could not only prevent people from using your services, but it could hurt your business down the road by creating a negative association with your brand. The point is this: get online, build a strong presence, offer your services and products through your website, and create content that brings people to your site. And do it now.
- If your business is not active on social media…get active now!
Facebook and Instagram are the best channels for small businesses, with Instagram by far being the best channel for organic engagement. Why Instagram? Well, consumers love visual content more than anything else. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Instagram posts got 20x more engagement on average compared to Facebook.
Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t also be active on Facebook. Facebook is one of the very best places to advertise your business. Facebook ads can work wonders if you target them correctly and your offer is good.
However, if you aren’t active on social media, then you are missing out on a huge opportunity to build your business. Nearly all of your ideal customers are on social media in some way. As a business, you need to be active on the channels your potential customers are on, and you need to provide valuable, helpful content to attract them. Try posting once a day if possible and make sure it has a visual aspect – photo or video based.
- If your business does not produce content specifically for online audiences…start it now!
Video is, by far, the number one way people like to consume content online. The next best thing is also visual-based – posting photos. However, just as important as the visual aspect itself is the copy you use – the words associated with each post. Many businesses make the mistake of just selling all the time. That’s the fastest way to lose people’s attention and persuade them to stop following you. Instead post content that is valuable, helpful, inspirational, or charitable.
You may not be a professional copywriter, but you can still post content that people love just by being genuine. However, if you can hire a professional, by all means do it. People love a story, and they love when you make them the hero – not yourself. This means that you shouldn’t just talk about yourself or your business unless it is done in a way that directly benefits the consumer. For instance, your story of building your business can be an inspiration for someone who needs hope. But as a general rule, make the consumer the focus. Nurture them along so they become fans of your brand, then when the time is right you can offer them something.
- If you don’t have products or services you can sell online…create them now!
Speaking of your “offer”, are you able to sell your products or services online? We learned during the pandemic just how detrimental it can be if your business is not deemed essential and you don’t have something to sell online. If you can relate to that then it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to traditional business. Plain and simple you need to do one of two things. First, if you do have products or services that you can sell online, but don’t have an online store on your website, then you need to create one now. If you think your products or services can’t be sold online, then you need to get innovative and create them.
For instance, if you offer a service that requires face-to-face interaction with customers, then you can create a video chat alternative that can be done remotely. If you offer automotive services that require your customers to come to you, find a way to offer the same service by going to them – in a safe and secure way. The point is, whatever you offer can be transformed into an online offering. Yes, it may require some out-of-the-box thinking, but it might just transform your business.
If you find yourself fitting one or several of these categories above and your business needs to get online ASAP, then let us know. At Dock Line we specialize is getting businesses online. From social media services where we do everything for you like creating captivating content and managing your audience, to web design services that give you an online store for your offerings and valuable content to attract consumers. We also provide exceptional video services to create valuable content that your customers will love, and so much more. Let us know how we can help! Just reach out at [email protected].
Dock Line Writing Team