Small business marketing activities can build connection and community with your existing and potential customers. Your first thought during COVID-19 might be to stop marketing, but your marketing activity is an investment in your business’s future. Investing in low cost marketing will keep you top of mind with your customers.
Small business marketing is important as is it helps your business find new customers, keep existing customers by building loyalty and helps to grow your business. Right now, it’s even more important to connect with customers and let them know what’s happening with your business. There are plenty of low cost and no cost options to market your business such as Facebook and Instagram.
Kat Lee, Many Rivers local business coach in Darwin recommends you “keep your name out there, during quarantine and social isolation, people will be online and on social media much more”.
There isn’t a right or wrong approach to marketing during uncertain times. The most important thing is to make sure what you’re doing will help build connection and community with your customers. Don’t think you have to talk about COVID-19 if it isn’t relevant to your small business, a lot of people are looking for content that’s completely unrelated and can act as a form of escape. Use this time to promote your business so customers ‘get to know you and your brand’, this will build trust and loyalty now, even if it doesn’t result in an immediate purchase or sale.
Review or create a small business marketing budget
- Every business is different and there are no set rules on how much you should spend on marketing. Consider the amount of your time and money that you want to invest in growing your business through marketing. Many Rivers clients can discuss this with their local business coach as part of their business planning.
- Know how much you have to spend, and track these expenses as you do your marketing activities.
- Have a plan and strategy on what you want to achieve from these activities, so you can measure if you are getting the return on the investment.
- It’s likely to be a mix of activities that get results, it’s the small things that add up when putting things together.
Have a plan about what content you are going to post. You don’t need to post every day, but make sure that you do so consistently and that it’s of value to your customers. You might plan what you’re going to post over a period of a month to save you feeling like you’re doing your social media marketing all of the time.
- Shareable – relatable quotes, funny memes or infographics
- Saveable – tips & tricks, to-dos, how-to tutorials, FAQ
- Promotional – Testimonials, completed projects, before & after results
- Engaging – Giveaways, educational carousels, win for the month
Here’s an example social media feed, and the types of content you can choose for each post.
Share your posts in suitable Facebook community or special interest groups where you may get more exposure. For Many Rivers’ clients, if you’re unsure if the post content is right for your target audience, get in touch with your local business coach for their feedback.
Instagram and Facebook stories last for 24 hours only and are a great way to capture your customers attention as they are browsing through social media. Stories don’t need to be as polished as your planned Facebook and Instagram posts; they are a great way to encourage direct engagement with your customers.
- Consider showing your face – short videos talking about what’s happening in your business, behind the scenes, entertaining content
- Write captions on all of your story videos – a large number of viewers look at stories with the sound off
- Use polls, stickers and question boxes to encourage followers to interact directly with you
If you have extra time on your hands, now is a great time to trial social media features you might not have used before, but wanted to try. IGTV (Instagram TV), Facebook Live and Instagram stories are all additional ways to engage with your social media community.
Making small business marketing content
Try using free apps like Canva or Over to create engaging graphics for your content posts. There are beautiful, free images and photos that you can download and use from sites such as Unsplash, or get creative and take your own with your smart phone. There are lots of online tutorials available on sites such as YouTube to teach yourself how to use these programs or get the best from your phone camera.
Other low-cost small business marketing options to consider
- Email newsletters
- Emailing your customers directly to connect
- Blogs on your website that can be shared to social media
- Old School Marketing – such as signs on community notice boards
Many Rivers has previously shared blog posts in our ‘Ask a Marketer’ series that covers topics such as how to set up an online store, setting up a Facebook page for your business, and adding your business to Google maps.
Thinking about how you market your business is always important, even more so now. If you are an existing Many Rivers client and have questions about the different ways to keep marketing, please get in touch with your business coach, they are here to help. You can click here to read a summary of the Top 10 Tips to protect your business.
For new clients, Many Rivers is here to help people start small businesses and grow existing businesses. We are here to support you the whole way. Please take the Small Business Self Assessment and see if we are right for you