With COVID-19 cases rising and the Delta variant increasing in severity across the globe, it seems likely that small businesses could once again face strict shutdown guidelines.
Already in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County businesses are being encouraged to keep patrons six feet apart and remind them to “mask up.” While many small business owners adapted quickly to the impact that pandemic-related shutdowns had on their bottom lines, others are still struggling to navigate the new, digital marketplace.
Even despite a potential shutdown, small businesses should always take steps to future-proof their operations. The following five tactics are essential for business owners that hope to withstand any changes lurking on the horizon.
Marketing Tactics to Future-proof Your Business
2020 brought with it many unexpected changes that left small business owners all over the globe scrambling for quick answers to survive the shutdown.
While some businesses succumbed to the burden that economic shutdown placed on their shoulders, others found ways to not only survive but thrive.
Those business owners who found the strength to overcome this changing environment did so by leaning into digital and embraced the following tactics
Tactic 1: Bring Your Business Online
This seems like a no-brainer — especially in today’s digital age. Bringing your business online should be a priority regardless of whether or not a global pandemic is threatening to transform the marketplace.
- Website Development: Building a unique website for your business is at first step in creating a strong online presence. While your website doesn’t have to be elaborate, it should be functional and easily accessible by implementing SEO best practices.
- Google My Business: Perhaps even more important than creating a website for your business is creating a Google My Business listing. Through Google My Business, consumers searching for terms related to your business can easily find your listing, locate important information, contact your company, or make a purchase.
- Online Directories: In addition to Google My Business, it may be beneficial for you to get your business listed in other online directories. Proprietary systems like DoorDash, Grub Hub, and Uber Eats are especially important for local restauranteurs to remain competitive and profitable.
Tactic 2: Add More Digital Experiences
Along with moving your business online, you need to be able to provide a strong digital experience to your target consumers.
Whether on your website, social media profile, or elsewhere in the digital sphere, your target consumers should be able to easily interact with your company online. Ensuring this is the case may require you to integrate an online chat platform on your website through which customers can ask questions and speak directly to a staff member.
If you’re selling merchandise at a brick-and-mortar location, now is a good time to invest in bringing your store online to provide an ecommerce option for customers not wanting to venture out into the community.
Businesses worried about the impact that a potential shutdown will have on their employee relationships should also explore video conferencing options to keep everyone connected. These platforms make it easier to check in with one another, collaborate on projects, and convey important information.
Tactic 3: Bring Operational Processes Online
More than just communication tools for customers to use, business owners should consider bringing their operational processes online for an easier overall user experience.
This might include creating an online store or designating a section of your website to explain the process involved in making a purchase. Even if your business ultimately will not offer a completely digital sales experience, simply providing this information to your customers can go a long way in helping improve conversions.
Tactic 4: Invest in Online Marketing
With more activity happening online, it’s more important than ever for you to invest in the services needed to get your business seen and found online. If you’re wondering where to start on your online marketing journey, the following are some of the most beneficial marketing investments that small business owners can make:
- SEO: Search engine optimization helps Google, Bing, and other search engines analyze and contextualize your website so they can serve your page as an option for customers inquiring about related products or services. This is one of the most effective methods for improving site traffic, conversions, and sales.
- Audience Identification: The only way to reach your target audience is to know who they are and where they exist in the first place. Online marketing specialists can help you identify and target the audience that’s most valuable to helping you meet your business objectives.
- Precise Social Media: Posting on social media isn’t as simple as it might seem. It takes a skilled professional to precisely develop content that incorporates the keywords, hashtags, and imagery that resonates most with your audience. Social posts also need to be optimized for the best times and tagged appropriately to ensure maximum reach and engagement.
- Content Marketing: Websites are great, but without an ongoing content marketing strategy, they have the potential to fall flat. A strong content marketer will be able to generate continued interest in your brand through blogging, email campaigns, landing page development, and more.
Tactic 5: Invest in Digital Branding
Along with your investment in online marketing, it’s important to also dedicate time and effort to digital branding. Working on branded content such as blogs, branded SEO, and schema markup helps make it easier for customers to find and interact with your brand. It also strengthens your brand authority by having a unified, cohesive digital experience. This way, when people Google your business, they’ll be met with a plethora of branded content to explore that will help them better understand your company.
Signature W. Studio Can Help Your Business Survive Potential Shutdown
As fellow small business owners, Signature W. Studio understands how a shutdown can cripple one’s livelihood. By planning properly and investing in the right online marketing team, you can be named among those small business owners who survive the storm. If you’re interested in future-proofing your business for digital success, contact the content marketing professionals at Signature W. Studio to schedule a consultation with our team today.