Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Having a digital marketing strategy now, more than ever, is vital for small businesses to survive. These businesses have been turning to digital strategies to help stay afloat and maintain customer engagement as well as provide vital information about business safety policies, changing store hours, etc. Forbes even noted that businesses are relying heavily on their digital marketing strategy to make it through the tough times ahead. Some brick and mortar businesses have had to go all in and create a new digital storefront. These businesses, some of which may have never used online or digital business tools whatsoever, are now forced to navigate new digital waters and do whatever it takes to keep their business alive.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF COVID-19
It's no secret that COVID-19 has effected small businesses everywhere. Main Street America cites that 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing permanently over the next 3-5 months. Government mandated closures, face coverings, social distance requirements and more have forced small businesses to adapt to a new way of doing business.
The MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce took a small business Coronavirus Impact Poll and found that 65% of small businesses are concerned about having to either close again or permanently close if a second wave of COVID-19, government-mandated closures, "stay-at-home" orders, etc occurs. The poll results also show that there are 3 main actions small businesses are taking to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19. The 3 main actions small businesses are taking are the purchasing of supplies to prevent a shortage and get ahead of slow shipping speeds, updating websites and social profiles, and increasing e-commerce and digital payment options. Businesses are leaning on their websites and social profiles to help maintain engagement with their customers, keep them up to date with safety procedures and requirements, and updating methods of payment so customers can make purchases and support small businesses from the comfort of their home.
HOW DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY HAS HELPED
Small businesses who are used to getting business by word of mouth, an envied (pre-COVID) heavily trafficked storefront location, or a stellar reputation are now struggling to figure out how to stay open for business. Their customers are still there and willing to support, but need a new way to do so. Having a digital marketing strategy allows the small businesses in almost every industry to engage with their customer base as well as attract new customers, keep them updated, and provide ways for them to show their support and purchase the product/service in new ways. Although adapting a digital strategy can seem difficult and time consuming, it is becoming required in order to do business well in the world we live in.
Adapt or die seems to be a fitting motto this year, even Forbes notes that a key factor of resiliency is adaptability. Businesses that are adapting, creating a digital marketing strategy and navigating the digital world of business, are succeeding and meeting their customers where they are at online. Of course, this isn't as easy as it may seem. There is research, planning, and time that marketing professionals have to devote to create a successful digital strategy. We here at Boost Your Brand want to share our top 3 tips to create a successful digital marketing strategy.
TIP 1: CREATE A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY THAT MATCHES YOUR BRAND
Your business' website, social media profiles, and content should reflect your brand persona. Take, for example, Bubly sparkling water. Bubly's brand persona is bright, colorful, fun, playful, and witty! Bubly's website, social media, and content should reflect and embrace that, and it does. Bubly's social media profile (specifially Instagram) showcases a variety of customers having fun with their Bubly cans, witty quotes and phrases, and fun, playful animations!
Before creating your business' digital marketing strategy, take some time to create a brand persona. What words best describe your brand? What do you want customers to think about when they engage with your brand?
TIP 2: DIGITAL ADS MUST BE TAILORED TO YOUR TARGET CONSUMER
When creating a digital marketing strategy, ads play a big part. You must do research to find where your customers are online and meet them where they are at. What is your target audience? Where do they spend most of their time (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Yelp, etc)? Once you do your research, then the ads can be curated and focused to your specific audience, and you can sleep at night knowing your ad dollars are in the right place and your target customers will see them.
TIP3: TELL A STORY AND BE CONSISTENT
This tip really speaks for itself. If you are only using your website, social media platforms, etc to share prices, sales, and promos with your customers, then STOP- you are doing it wrong!
Stories engage, stories sell. People make buying decisions out of emotion. Your customers want to know the story behind your brand so they can relate to it, feel attached to it, and engage with it. This is how your biggest fans and advocates are born. Your brand has a story to tell, and that story is powerful. Use your website, social media profiles, and content to give your customers the inside scoop on your brand and make sure to be consistent. Your social media posts should be occurring daily or weekly, providing your customers with value that makes them want follow along. Engage with them by getting to know them, asking questions, and showing that you want and value their insight. This also helps you as a brand because you are now learning things about your target customer that can help your business and refine your strategy.