Many small business leaders are working from home to practice social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Because you’re not in your office or store, you may have a bit more time on your hands. Now, you can work on things that you normally don’t have time for, like preparing your marketing for when you’re able to reopen full-time.
Here are four things to focus on that will have the most impact on your small business marketing efforts.
When reviewing your marketing plan, it’s important to understand what your customers need right now or when you reopen. This may differ from the original target audience strategy you developed, but you’ll still ask yourself the same questions:
You can help people find value in what you offer with thoughtful, timely messaging. You’ve already postponed or canceled events on Facebook, or emailed customers about the extra precautions you’re taking. But providing valuable services, like educational content, will keep your client base engaged.
After you identify customer needs, create messaging that helps them solve a problem, feel more secure, or forget about the chaos going on. Remember to show empathy before authority in your headlines and copy. People will be more receptive to your messages if you do.
Offering free or discounted services may provide a small influx of cash, but it won’t sustain a business. Price reductions also compromise the value of what you offer. Instead, show customers how you can help them reach a goal, solve a problem, or feel better.
Value-added services include things like free delivery or shipping, or a free personal coaching session. When your audience chooses your business, they can enjoy these perks — as well as convenience, a customized experience, and so on. These might be things you would offer anyway but haven’t called them out as specific benefits.
If your site needs a little work, now’s the perfect time to make updates. Consider ways to clarify your language or add information that will educate and engage your customers.
Your website should have these four elements:
Setting up Google Analytics will let you start collecting basic data from your website. This includes the amount of traffic each page gets, how customers move through your buying process, and more.
To get started with Google Analytics:
Google Search Console is a free service that lets you monitor your site’s Google Search rankings and search queries. Setting up Search Console lets you:
To set up Google Search Console for your website:
People want to come to a buying decision themselves and not be sold to. This is why content marketing is so important. Consumers get to interact with your business on their time—not yours. You may not typically have much time to dedicate to your content strategy, so here’s an abbreviated version.
The goal is to attract customers through creating and promoting content that is relevant and helpful, not interruptive. Great content leads, guides, and directs customers where you want them to go. Plus, content marketing helps to increase your search engine rankings.
Here are four things you should include in your content marketing plan:
Once you determine which content has performed well, you can come up with related topics to write about. Start with keyword research and consider Google searches that your customers would conduct. For example, if you own a home remodeling company, your ideal clients would probably search for:
Next, create a list of topics that will answer your customers’ questions, address their pain points, or give them helpful tips. Because you’ve already taken the time to research what your audience is looking for, you can brainstorm plenty of relevant topics.
Now’s a great opportunity to get ahead on planning and writing content. When you can return to the store or office, you’ll be able to focus on welcoming customers back instead of worrying about what blog you’ll write.
If you’ve already written blogs and published them on your website, you can track their performance with Google Analytics. Are there specific blogs or general topics that readers tend to gravitate toward — or that nobody clicked on? Analyzing page views can help you better understand what your target audience is looking for (and what doesn’t resonate with them) to write even more relevant blogs in the future.
Another tactic to try: Reviewing your email marketing results. Doing so will let you compare open and click-through rates to your industry’s averages — and, in general, see if customers are engaging with your emails.
If you use Mailchimp, follow these easy steps to review your analytics:
Looking for an easy, inexpensive way to promote your company? A Facebook Business Page is free to create, and advertising through this platform is pretty affordable. Setting up your page lets you:
To create a Facebook Business Page:
While marketing from home, you’ll have more time to spot issues in your posting plan. For example, do you share helpful and relevant resources? Or, are you only promoting your products and talking about yourself?
If you’re struggling to improve your social media plan, try the 5:3:2 Rule. This ratio will help you focus on your audience (and not your business), which will engage more users. For every 10 posts:
Once you’ve updated your social media schedule, you can also use this time to get ahead on graphics. Images earn 2.3 times more engagement than text-only posts, so adding visuals will help you attract more readers. Try using free stock photos from Pexels, or design your own graphics for free with Canva.
The average click-through rate (CTR) for a Facebook ad is .90%; for an Instagram ad, it’s .50%. By taking the time to review your analytics, you can see how your ads are performing compared to others in your industry. You’ll also learn whether you’re getting the most out of your advertising budget — and how you can better target your ads.
To review your Facebook and Instagram ad results:
A lot of things feel out of our control right now, like how long we’ll be staying home, or when we can see our customers (and loved ones) in person again. But you can control your small business marketing.
Take this time to review and refresh your strategy, website, content, and social media. When business resumes full-time or you’re able to shift your efforts, you’ll be ready to move forward.
Our proven marketing protocol helps companies make more money, free up time, and plan an effective strategy.
Treefrog Marketing is an agency in Lafayette, Indiana focused on small business. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.