Surviving the lockdown!
Marketing tips for businesses most impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
While your customers may not be walking through your doors these days, there are ways for them to still spend money with you. We’ve put together a list of simple practical marketing tips for businesses that are most impacted when people stay home.
Tips for restaurant owners
1. Treat takeout services as the main focus of your business and not an afterthought
Promote your takeout services on social media, run ads, send emails, and even consider building a whole campaign around it. Not set up for take out? Don’t wait any longer! Get started with a third party service provider like Skip the Dishes or add online ordering to your website.
2. Make it as easy as possible for customers to see your menu online
If someone wanted to call in to place an order, would they know what’s on the menu? Make sure your menu is easy to find! Put it up on your website, post it on social media, and list it on your Google My Business page.
3. Offer daily specials and promote them on your social platforms
This builds excitement, anticipation, and can be a great way to celebrate special occasions and holidays! It will also encourage your customers to check-in on a regular basis.
4. Try selling something new and build hype around it
Ask yourself if there is anything new you could start selling. Could you sell bake-at-home dishes? Or make-at-home meal kits similar to Hello Fresh? How about a special live cooking class streamed online? Or selling specialty beverages? A local restaurant we love made their own signature eggnog and sold it at a premium over the holidays. There’s also the option to sell branded merchandise and gift cards.
Whatever you choose, build hype around your new offerings by taking high-quality pictures and posting across social platforms. Encourage sharing of this content by calling your customers to take action like “tag a friend you’d like to enjoy this with!”
Tips for fitness business owners
1. Ask your loyal customers to purchase from you
Be open with your audience and communicate with them the challenge you are facing and that your business needs support. Promote your gift cards, personal training packages, class punch cards, or even branded merchandise.
2. Build hype and revenue by hosting a giveaway
Create a highly valuable offering to give away, such as a full month of personal training. Go a step further and make one of the entry requirements a small purchase such as a “trial” personal training package, a gift card, or piece of merchandise. If done right, this type of giveaway can easily bring in much-needed cash-flow.
3. Keep your audience engaged
Ask your audience questions on what they would like to see you offer in the future. There may be a service or offering they’ve always wanted that you can develop while things are closed. Build excitement around any new services as a way to make sure they’ll come rushing back as soon as you can open again.
Tips for retail shop owners
1. Promote your online store and/or curb-side pickup options
Use social media, ads, and email to let your customers know they can still buy from you by shopping online or getting in touch with you. If you don’t have an online store set up yet, add “shopify website & digital marketing” to your list of priorities for 2021! In the meanwhile, you can add a few popular products to Instagram Shop and start selling online relatively quickly.
2. Your customers will miss being able to browse your selection so browse for them!
Take photos and videos of your store and the products in it. You can curate custom shopping experiences (for example: gifts for dog lovers, coffee drinkers, outdoor adventurers), educate your audience on the products you carry, and make sales in the process. Don’t have an online store set up? Let people know they can message you if they would like to make a purchase. This is a fun, engaging and FREE way to boost your sales while your store is closed.
3. Promote your gift card/gift certificate offerings
Gift cards are an incredibly easy way for your customer base to treat the special people in their lives while supporting your unique business.
4. Take the time to thank your loyal customers
Personally reach out to your most loyal customers and thank them for supporting you. Sending a personal email, Facebook or Instagram message goes a long way. Not only is this a good way to let your customers know you care about them, but it keeps you and your business top-of-mind and may lead to a purchase, referral, or 5 star review.
5. Stay positive and get personal
Use down time to get personal with your followers and show them the human side of your brand. Storytelling is a very effective form of marketing so find creative ways to share the story of why you started your business, what you love the most about it, and why you sell what you sell. People love seeing the human side of businesses and will jump at the opportunity to shop with you again if you remain a positive and interesting influence online!
Suzanne is the CEO of Shout Media, and a true Jill-of-all-Trades. She works one-on-one with our marketing, web, digital, social, and design departments every single day to keep her finger on the pulse of our operations, business development, and morale. With over a decade of experience working with hundreds of clients, Suzanne loves the creativity of the industry and the thrill of a new challenge.
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