Small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic and are working diligently to make a comeback in 2021. While this won’t make up for lost time, it can hopefully propel them into a strong third and fourth quarter. Sadly, small businesses lost 12 percent of their revenues last year, and more than 100,000 permanently closed. Meanwhile, some of the largest companies in the U.S. still saw growth.
As a small business owner, it’s important to take every step possible to continue growing your sales. Below are three digital strategies that can help you recover after the pandemic and come back even stronger!
- Tap into your customers’ desires to help
Customers often respond better to marketing messages focused on helping others and making the world a better place. So, we say let the big box stores compete over who has the best products and prices. Since people are usually willing to spend more to support a small business, you can focus on prosocial efforts like giving back to the local community, providing meals to the less fortunate or sponsoring an organization.
- Encourage word-of-mouth recommendations
Word-of-mouth referrals are some of the best forms of marketing because they’re coming from real people who have used your product or service. While most word-of-mouth recommendations are online, there are ways you can encourage this positive conversation around your brand.
- Target promotions to certain groups
- Identify and nurture your top customers
- Incentivize people to refer their friends
- Run a content or influencer campaign
- Ask for reviews/ratings – make it easy for people to leave reviews!
- Offer excellent service and multiple ways for people to get in touch
- Be active on social media – respond to customers, ask questions, etc.
- Support the need for connection
If the pandemic has taught small businesses one thing, it’s that we can stay connected to others in more ways than one. Whether it’s with live streaming, online messaging or videochat, people can interact in a way that’s comfortable for them. And with social distancing guidelines loosening, people are starting to venture out and engage in small groups.
Tap into this need for connection by hosting small, in-person events. But be sure to offer creative solutions for those who aren’t ready to meet in person yet. You can continue to keep these customers closely connected to your brand by doing live stream videos, virtual happy hours, online classes and more.
These are just some of the ways that you can start getting back into the swing of things. As a small business, it’s more important than ever to draw on your unique strengths, reconnect with your customers and invest into your local community. We realize that 2021 will have its challenges, but you CAN come back stronger!