By Naomi Johnson
If your business temporarily closed as a result of the pandemic, you are probably wondering how to find the same success you once enjoyed when you reopen. Even if you adapted your approach by offering online services or curbside pickup during lockdown, you have probably struggled to keep all of your customers and clients. Fortunately, developing a strong marketing plan will help you start winning back your customer base. Reopen your business with these 5 fast and free ideas with the tips listed below.
Figure Out What Customers Want
There’s no doubt that people have changed their shopping behaviors as a result of the pandemic. However, to find success as a business owner right now, you have to know exactly how people’s mindsets have changed. ClickZ explains that using resources like Google Analytics is one of the best ways to get insight into what your customers are doing and how they’re interacting.
Once you know what snags your customers’ attention most, you can start forming a picture of what they want and need in the current situation. By analyzing data, you can also start envisioning who your ideal client is right now. Because the pandemic has changed almost everyone’s behavior in one way or another, you might need to form a whole new idea of what your customers are truly looking for.
Try New Marketing Approaches
Knowing what customers want is half the battle. Now you need to think about how to reach them with your message. Entrepreneur lists email marketing, social ads, blogging, video tutorials and SEO as a few of the most successful strategies to try if you aren't already. However, tactics such as starting an affiliate program or working with influencers might be worth the effort too.
Keep in mind that even though it might be crucial for your success, funding a new marketing campaign can also be expensive. If you’re strapped for cash, there are a number of ways to get the funding you need. For example, applying for SBA Express Bridge Loans, the Main Street Business Lending Program or other programs can be a big help financially.
Emphasize Why You’re Essential
Reevaluating your marketing strategies will help you reach customers, but it might still be challenging to convert leads into sales. Even though most areas of the country are beginning to reopen, many people are not ready to return to their old habits. More people are buying things online than ever before, and many of them will continue to shop online even after everything is completely open again. Not only that, it’s important to consider that some shoppers have cut back on non-essential purchases due to the economic situation.
If you aren’t currently offering a way for your customers and clients to get your services or products online, you might want to explore ways to do so. Similarly, your marketing efforts should highlight why your product or service is relevant in today’s world.
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In addition to illustrating why your product or service is still useful during the pandemic, it’s also important that you emphasize what you’re doing to protect your customers’ health. If your customers don’t feel safe shopping with you or ordering products from you online, it will be hard to maintain your business when you reopen.
Cleaning regularly and following state and local safety protocols is a good starting place. You might also want to implement a mask-wearing policy even if your local government doesn’t require face masks to be worn.
Telling your customers and clients what you plan on doing to keep them safe will give them more confidence. If you aren’t sure how to communicate your efforts, consider what other businesses are doing that is working. For example, one major movie theater chain reached out directly to customers to inform them about cleaning and social distancing policies. Consider what methods and message might be most meaningful to your clientele, and get the word out.
Maintaining business growth amid the pandemic is not easy, especially if you’ve had your doors closed to the public for the past few months. Reevaluating what your customers want and need most is the first step towards developing a marketing plan that attracts more business while also helping your customers feel safe shopping with you once you reopen.