Navigating COVID-19: Marketing tips for small businesses

With the COVID-19 outbreak continuing to spread across the country, small business owners are being forced every day to make tough decisions in various areas of their businesses — from staffing and payroll to marketing and advertising. At SmartSolutions, we want to help your company navigate these unprecedented waters with some digital marketing tips for your businesses in the wake of a global pandemic.

Don’t “capitalize”

Navigating the COVID-19 outbreak from a digital marketing standpoint as a small business.
Photo: Kira Yan / Twenty20

One of the biggest mistakes that a business can make, from an optics standpoint, is to utilize the pandemic (and the fact that more people than ever are quarantined at home) as an opportunity to boost sales. There is a big difference between helping customers find/shop your businesses, and capitalizing on situations.

Some examples of helping your customers find and shop your business can be offering ordering ahead and curbside pickup options (or even delivery, if you have the capabilities). Another option would be to offer exclusive deals on gift cards to provide your customers a way to help your business now, and keep them coming back later.

Bad examples of “capitalizing” on the situation would include offering distasteful coupon codes (related to COVID-19) for deals using the coronavirus for any type of marketing strategy.

Keep it positive

In the wake of a global pandemic, people are looking now more than ever for positive bits of news — and one of the most popular places they’re going to be looking is on social media.

Use the potential of added exposure to keep your social channels positive and uplifting, with motivational, feel-good and engaging content. This may mean going back through your scheduled social media posts and re-evaluating what you’ve scheduled previously.

Re-focus

With many businesses having to scale back their operations (or shut down completely), the outbreak might be a good time to sit down and re-think your social media and digital marketing strategies.

» Related: Increasing your social media reach in 2020

Although the COVID-19 outbreak is uncharted territory, the need for customers to be able to not only find your business online, but be able to shop and interact, is at an all-time high. Use the potential downtime the pandemic is providing you to re-focus your digital marketing strategies by evaluating your website, social media channels, advertising campaigns and more for efficiency.

Ask for help

At times like this, SmartSolutions understands that managing the current state of your company in the midst of a global pandemic can be a massive undertaking. Our team can help assess your company’s marketing strategies and efforts and help you create a plan that will not only help you get through the COVID-19 outbreak, but thrive in the online space well after. Contact our team today to get your free consultation!

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Best Small Business Marketing Tools

As social media becomes an increasingly prominent piece of a company’s marketing strategy, there are more marketing platforms, organization tools and tips and tricks than one can keep track of. Allow SmartSolutions to break down some of the best small business marketing tools to help take your company’s marketing to the next level.

Social Media Management Platforms

Hootsuite

Best described as a “simple” social media management platform, Hootsuite offers businesses a cheap and wide-ranging alternative to some of the more expensive marketing platforms available. Starting at just $99/month, Hootsuite maintains its holding at the cheaper end of social management platforms, with customizable analytics and easy bulk-scheduling features.

Buffer

Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer also holds as one of the cheaper social media management platforms available to small business owners. With it’s “social queue” scheduling and in-depth analytics, Buffer offers small business owners and marketing pro’s alike a uniform platform to expand your company’s reach.

Organizational Tools

Asana

An organizational tool, Asana provides businesses with a way to manage projects, deliverables and custom branding plans across all teams members. This solution provides teams with means of communications, project tracking and more to help your company stay on track.

Content Creation Tools

Canva

Looking for a way to create custom images for your company’s marketing or print advertising, but not sure where to start? Canva offers simple photo editing and custom creation tools that can be best described as an “Adobe Photoshop” for beginners.

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Looking to give your company’s social media marketing presence the boost it needs to start seeing a more positive return on your investment? Click below or call us today to get your free consultation!

Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

In 2019, every company needs to have some sort of social media presence, that’s not debatable. And as a business owner, you probably understand your company needs social media, but are having trouble navigating some of the finer details such as what platforms to use and how to create and size images, among others.

First, as a business owner, it’s vital you understand why a social media presence is an integral piece to your company’s marketing strategy. Nearly 42% of the world’s population, or more than 3.2 billion people (and growing), are active on social media each and every day. Thus creating a seemingly limitless landscape of possibilities when it comes to marketing your company to a specific audience.

1. Set your goals and determine your audience

If you’re just deciding to get your company’s social presence going, odds are you’ve asked yourself this question at least once before.

Before selecting your company’s first social channel(s), it’s important to identify your target audience and overall goals. Is your goal to sell more product? Or drive awareness to specific events? When it comes to your audience selection — are you looking to reach as many people as possible? Or maybe you’re looking to target a specific demographic? Or, more specifically, even a subset of that demographic?

These questions above are what you really need to focus on before deciding to take the plunge and selecting a social media channel for your business. Without identifying your goals and audience, social media can become a very time-consuming task of scheduling hundreds of posts. But by narrowing down your goals, it becomes easy to identify the perfect two or three social platforms for your business.

2. Select the appropriate social channel

If you have identified your company’s need for social media, and you’ve already identified your target audience and overall objectives, congratulations — you are already miles ahead of many business owners around the world. Now, it’s time to compare those goals with each social channel’s primary strengths. The social channels listed below are ranked in their popularity with businesses when it comes to marketing.

Facebook — If you’re looking to maximize your advertising money, as well as reach a much broader audience, Facebook is the perfect social channel for your company. Most companies would (and should) make Facebook one of their first selections, simply for the size of the audience, amount of integrations (such as Shopify, WooCommerce, event-based scheduling and more) and their superior advertising structure.

Instagram — If your company has a lot of visual properties, such as a restaurant showcasing menu items or a store featuring new arrivals, Instagram is the ideal social platform. Because Instagram is owned by Facebook, they share a lot of the same advertising properties, and you can even tie the two platforms together to maximize your advertising dollars.

Twitter — Twitter, known by many as the “interaction network,” relies heavily on engaging directly with customers and followers. Most companies choose to use Twitter as more of an outlet for support vs. custom content and advertising. Unless your company is planning to heavily interact directly with customers or respond to support issues, most businesses don’t elect to have a Twitter account.

LinkedIn — If your company leans more business-to-business (B2B) instead of business-to-consumer (B2C), then LinkedIn is the perfect platform to boost your company’s social presence while connecting with potential leads. However, most B2C companies don’t have a need to be well established on LinkedIn.

Pinterest — Similar to Instagram in visual nature, Pinterest is best for niche industries such as shops, restaurants and boutiques looking to showcase products and recipes. Unless your business falls under one of these more visual categories, your company is most likely to choose one of the other platforms.

YouTube — For companies where videos are prominent in marketing strategies, a YouTube channel is a must-have. However, most companies don’t opt to have YouTube channels. If your business showcases recipes, how-to videos, product demos or more as part of a marketing campaign, it might be beneficial to have a channel you can link to, but otherwise, YouTube remains as more of a personal content-based platform vs. a business marketing tool.

Understanding which social platform is best for your business will not only save you time, it will help you work towards your goals more quickly. That doesn’t mean, however, that there will be less time involved. When it comes to social media, the amount of work you put into the channels is directly tied to the return you will see. Working diligently on your social media profiles and maintaining proper response time to engagements from customers is critical to succeeding in social marketing.

 

Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

Looking to give your company’s social media marketing presence the boost it needs to start seeing a more positive return on your investment? Click below or call us today to get your free consultation!