Accelerated by the pandemic, people are investing more of their lives online than ever before.
With large companies having the resources to then dissect their customers’ data, it’s become increasingly important for small businesses to capture their audiences’ attention with more economical and creative approaches.
In addition, because many businesses closed or restructured during the pandemic, it’s also become critical to communicate a business’ status to both new and existing customers.
So, how can small businesses let their customers know that they’re here, they’re ready, and they’re healthy in the most cost-effective ways? Here are a few ideas to consider:
Simple is a Staple: Many small businesses refreshed and updated their websites to appear cleaner and more modern during the pandemic to convey a renewed sense of optimism and confidence to their customers.
Others used cost-effective email marketing to contact customers with promotions and discounts to reinvigorate interest.
Then there were those who finally discovered the power of social media analytics and advertising on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. With the ability to adjust payments to one’s budget, these businesses learned how these tools can effectively expand their reach to potential customers.
DIY or ROI?: When budgets are tight, a business owner’s instinct might be to do everything themselves. However, it’s best to develop a strategy – and even hire an outsider – before investing precious, billable time into the vast and overwhelming world of social media marketing.
A budget-friendly social media manager can not only help businesses choose the right platforms to reach target audiences, but also then help implement a customized plan to achieve the greatest return-on-investment.
It also doesn’t cost anything to think outside the box – for example, do local colleges have robust, reputable programs in which to find – not only access to the latest technologies – but also savvy social media gurus, or even inventive film production crews seeking commercial projects for their portfolios?
Messaging Matters: No tool, platform or hire will ever matter more than one’s message.
Customers want to know that the people they do business with care about them. During the pandemic, small businesses should continue to communicate their specific health protocols online to reassure customers of their decisions to visit their brick-and-mortar location. Even customers who order online should be made aware of the business’s efforts to create a safe environment.
Additionally, people want to know businesses are doing their part for others. In a world consumed by tough issues, businesses should share whether they are willing to support a cause. People do business with people they like and agree with.
Above all, businesses must choose their words carefully – and read the room prior to initiating a messaging campaign.
About the Author
John Hynes is a partner and creative director at Korn Hynes Advertising in Morristown.
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