COVID-19 specifically made life hard for business owners across the US with limited funding and resources. These small businesses, unfortunately, comprise practically the entire US economy at a staggering 9 .9 percent as of January 2021.
If you happen to be among this supermajority and you’re finding it hard to market your business amid a highly competitive and tech-driven business realm, you should know that there are ways you can do to level the playing field.
These marketing techniques are relatively low-cost, easy to follow, and can provide the media mileage and reach that would help you bring in more walk-ins and bigger profits for your business.
Here are five ways to promote your small business and guarantee a steady influx of customers amid the pandemic:
Highlight your advantage as a community business
Last year when the pandemic was still quite new to many, a lot of local communities showed a sense of unity amid the confusion and economic disruptions brought by the crisis. Local businesses stepped up to the plate and offered their products and services for free, while others significantly lowered their rates and prices to accommodate community members.
And because COVID-19 is practically still here, you can tap into that same sense of community and highlight your advantage as a local business. For example, if you’re a local tree care service provider, show your target clients why hiring you not only makes things convenient for the property owner but more importantly, how it would help spur the local economy.
Once you’ve made people realize that patronizing your small business is essentially helping the community, they will most likely hire you instead of others.
Go for low-cost marketing channels
With many people now more than ever shopping online for products and services, it gives you inexpensive media upon which to market your small business.
Facebook, for one, has the Marketplace feature where you can advertise your products or services for free. If you want to run a targeted campaign, you may simply ‘sponsor’ a post for a few dollars.
That post can be tailored to be shown to a certain number of people belonging to specific demographics for a finite amount of time. You may tweak the parameters based on your marketing budget, which gives you the freedom to market your business on a limited budget.
You could also opt for traditional flyers or use your vehicle or pay local taxicab drivers to promote your business, a technique called transport or transit advertising.
Maintain your business’ online presence
Today’s business arena has shifted from traditional channels such as newspapers, billboards, and radio to digital avenues: websites, social media, search engines, and mobile apps.
Today, social media is king — and business owners who want to enjoy their piece of the kingdom are expected to join the fray and make themselves noticed. As such, it’s critical for you to establish your branding in the different social media channels out there: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
You need to have a clear marketing plan to capitalize on the extensive reach of these social media channels, and a dedicated team to carry out your plan. You may outsource your social media marketing (SMM) campaigns to professionals or you may simply designate a few of your tech-savvy employees to maintain your business’ social media accounts.
Harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing
Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing has to be the finest example of free advertising that is borne out of consumers’ genuine appreciation of the value of a business’s products or services. It’s a marketing tool that you don’t have to force into your target market nor need to spend a single dollar on.
With WOM marketing, the quality of your products or services is your marketing material. If your customers appreciate them, they will talk about them with their family, friends, and colleagues. In turn, the people whom they talked to might one day do business with you, get the same experience as that original customer, and repeat the process.
This domino effect of people telling other people of just how excellent your services are or how well-made your products are? It is what WOM marketing is all about.
Launch referral campaigns
People love things that are given for free, but some are willing to earn those things by doing a little bit of effort. This is the idea that referral campaigns operate on.
A referral campaign would entail your customers to bring in a few of their family or friends physically or virtually and then getting a token of sort for their gesture. It’s quite an inexpensive approach to promoting your business, which is why you need to include it in your list of marketing techniques.
With these simple and cost-efficient brand promotion methods, you can advertise your small business and reach your target market even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.