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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses as Stay-at-home Orders Start Easing

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on Marketing Tips for Small Businesses as Stay-at-home Orders Start Easing

As stay-at-home orders begin easing, small businesses are left to navigate the challenges of this transition period, including how it affects their marketing efforts. To help make navigation a little easier, the incredible CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs have generously shared their best marketing tips for small business below, in no particular order.

You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. No Marketing BS

Small businesses should be authentically marketing during this transition period. Now, more than ever, consumers can smell BS attempts to market to them. Forced marketing that is not in sync with your brand is just as bad as not marketing at all.
Thanks to: Andrew Browne of Browne Box Creative Solutions.

2. COVID-19 Refund Policy

The best marketing tip that I have learned so far was to update my refund policy to include COVID-19.

Since the easing of restrictions, I've been receiving requests with one constant question, "What is your virus refund policy?"

My photography business is an in-person service, where my clients and I have to travel for the photos. Before committing, clients want to be assured that their deposit can be used for a later date or can be fully refunded in case we were to return to lockdown.
Thanks to: Jermaine Amado of J Amado Photography.

3. What's the New Normal?

Market research is going to be critical to move forward. Survey your customers about what they need from you to feel secure and come back. Research has to be ongoing (monthly? via social media?) because things are going to keep changing & evolving as places reopen and more may get sick. Listen to their concerns and show you care. Be creative, flexible and transparent to build trust. Show empathy and compassion. Ask and you shall receive. Don't assume you know what they want and need now.
Thanks to: Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls.

4. Keep the Virtual Open, Too!

As you reopen your physical business, don't dismantle the virtual. A business can still be locally focused, but also serve a much larger geographic market. Make it both-and, not either-or. And, remember that just as we pivoted to deal with the pandemic, we can also pivot to SOLVE climate change and unequal opportunities (your virtual presence can be part of that).
Thanks to: Shel Horowitz of GoingBeyondSustainability.com.

5. Don't Be Tone Deaf!

Whether we like it or not, things have changed and they are not going back to where they were December 2019.

With that, we cannot be tone deaf in our marketing. Picking up and marketing the same way you did will not work. We need to strike a tone of optimism and being thankful. Realizing that we are there to support our clients and welcome them back. That we missed them and like close family, we can't wait to see them again.
Thanks to: Ben Baker of Your Brand Marketing.

6. Be a Butterfly

A caterpillar is a cute creature. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it lives on the ground and has limited vision and ability. Once it morphs into a butterfly, it has wings that can take it higher and farther, living a more elevated life. Before flying after restrictions are lifted, take a moment to evaluate your metamorphosis. What lessons have you learned while in the cocoon of quarantine? What new insights will translate into rejuvenated service to customers? Take time to reflect.
Thanks to: Trina Boice of From Book 2 Business.

7. Make Videos

Video is too hard... but, now we're all experts at Zoom! Answer FAQs or answer a Facebook or LinkedIn question you've seen. Upload your videos to YouTube. Embed the videos in related blog posts and share them on your other social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.); email it to clients, prospects, everyone! This is NOT salesy, offer Valueable, Helpful tools. As Zig says, "Stop selling. Start helping. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."
Thanks to: Matthew Hudgins of 10x Profit Blueprint.

8. Change Your End Goal

Your goal should be "real" conversations, in and of themselves. Forget pushing products or services in the “new normal".

The more casual environment of the “home office", where the lines between corporate & home are blurred, makes us all more open to real conversations. Since the gatekeepers are not running interference, there is a greater chance that the exec will personally pick up. It’s an opportunity to learn about your clients and prospects, so treat it as such.
Stay well!
Thanks to: Elisa Sheftic of Right Executive Search, LLC.

9. Don't Just Go Back to Normal

In a stay-at-home world, you likely got creative about how you reached out to customers and found new ones. You may also have made changes to your products and services to meet customers' new needs. As restrictions start to ease, don't make the mistake of throwing those innovations away. People have come to appreciate some aspects of this new world. It awakened their inner introverts. Keep that changed psychology in mind as you reactivate your marketing.
Thanks to: Christopher Fox of Syncresis.

10. Shorten the Curve

Instead of flatten the curve, let's shorten the curve. The least expensive and most effective target for advertising is through your happy customers. Therefore, use your existing customer base to generate referrals. Give them a gift or incentive for advertising for you. Let's shorten the sales cycle, and reach our happy customers first.

COVID-19 has asked us to "flatten the curve"; the marketing tip to reopen and reengage is to shorten the curve. Happy selling!
Thanks to: Royce King of Your Startup Coach.

11. Be Flexible & Adapt

Although the lockdown has begun to ease slightly, there is still a long road ahead before we can even think about getting back to the way things were.

This is why it will be so crucial for small businesses to learn to be flexible and adapt as we face further challenges and disruption while continuing to fight this pandemic.

When it comes to generating new business, an organization must be able to roll with the punches if it is to survive post-COVID-19.
Thanks to: Mary Gilbey of Anglia Translations.

12. Freshen Product Photos

Finally, the stay-home restrictions are easing and customers are anxious to move about again. There is a new feeling in the air, a fresh start, so it's a good time to refresh some product photos that have grown tired. New, well done photographs (DIY is fine) will catch people's attention and encourage them to give you a second look. Every retailer will be scrambling for attention, so in the crowded online space where you have just seconds to catch a customer's eye, make your photos count.
Thanks to: Ryan Novak of Chocolate Pizza Company.

13. Direct Engagement

With everyone having been cooped up for weeks on end with the current conditions, people are yearning for social interaction. What we have been experiencing has been a bit humbling and I think has opened up people's perspectives a bit more. Look for ways to directly engage people in a upfront and transparent way.
Thanks to: Brad Burns of Wayne Contracting.

14. Communication- Key to Success

As the purchasing model from clients and customers moves along changes in societal culture, the most important aspect of client relationships is that of communication... and we're talking everything from email communication, responses to website posts, and instant chat functions. The lockdown has made it abundantly clear just how important communication is... not sending a snail mail letter to arrive 14 days later, but responding to your clients and customers within 14 seconds! Speedy wins.
Thanks to: Alan Guinn of The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc.

15. Deals in Post Covid Era

Even if you are a "no discounting" company, offer a deal or a discount. People are expecting a post COVID era discount.
Thanks to: Paul Miller of Lokus Nutrition CBD.

16. Sell the Memory

Your clients used to frequent your business weekly - Remind them why they loved you.
With the lifting of restrictions - it's so easy for consumers to forgo your product simply because they have fallen out of the habit of stopping by.

Simply remind them why most of your customers love you so much. "Remember the Last Great Cup of Coffee at Smith's Coffee House?"
Thanks to: Scott W Johnson of Marindependent Insurance Srs LLC.

17. "GRAND OPENING!"

Who launches a new business during a pandemic? YOU! New products, new services, new promotions, new guidelines for doing business all deserve some big bold moves. Think of this as your opportunity to go GRAND! You launched your business once; now is the time to relaunch it in a whole new light. Think outside the box when reconnecting with clients, perhaps a gift… mailing a logo branded face mask might just be the thing that bring them to your GRAND OPENING (even if it is online).
Thanks to: Laura Templeton of 30 Second Success.

18. Leverage Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a great way to get your products in front of the right people.

And since COVID-19, many brands have pulled back on their ad spend to reserve cash.

This means there's a prime opportunity to connect with influencers who can help you promote your product(s) to their audience.

If you're just starting out, be sure to find niche influencers. They'll have a smaller audience, but significantly lower rates.
Thanks to: Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard.

19. Advertise Advertise Advertise!

You are going to need a lot more customers since demand might be off and people may be very reluctant to spend on things that are not absolutely essential. SO... you should start planning to beef up your advertising and change your copy to offer even more great reasons to buy from you, because you are going to have to get a lot of business away from your competition, too. Plus, make sure your advertising is exciting and compelling... and Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! And, never stop Advertising!
Thanks to: Robert Barrows of R.M. Barrows Advertising.

20. Take a Hint from the Past

Studying tactics businesses used to recover from the 2008 recession is a good way to prepare as we move forward from COVID-19. While cutting costs will be a common tactic to recover from losses, SMBs shouldn’t cut marketing. In fact, they should make it a priority as they begin to open. Include safety measures you're taking and any services you’ll be continuing that originated during shelter-in-place to highlight the business value. This can lead to a loyal customer base going forward.
Thanks to: Travis Crabtree of Swyft Filings.

21. Update Google My Business

Google achieves 90% of online search traffic, so keeping your Google My Business (GMB) listing updated and current during COVID is absolutely paramount for communicating to customers. Your GMB listing is one of the first places customers learn about your business and it's where they often contact your business from. Make sure you have a current post about your status during COVID, revised procedures, accurate hours, and working contact information, which eliminates confusion for new prospects.
Thanks to: Anthony H. Gair, Esq. of Anthony Gair, NYC Accident Attorney.

22. Use a Funny Team Photo

Many small businesses need to get the word out that they are reopening, and a great way to do this is to maximize social media impact by sharing a funny team photo. Take a goofy company picture in masks, gloves and other PPE, while social distancing, in the context of your particular business that is funny. People are looking for lightheartedness during these crazy times and the funny photo will get people buzzing. If you're a local business, make sure to share it on impactful local FB pages.
Thanks to: John Ross of Zivadream.

23. Re-activate with a Loss Leader

Create a "loss leader" service (like an audit or recommendation report) and reach out to your dormant and past clients in personalized, one to one emails.

Tie the loss leader in with your primary service/product, so you can offer it as soon as you deliver on the audit!
Thanks to: Crystal Coleman of The Systems Witch.

24. Social Media is Your Best Tool

Social media is one of the most important tools you can use in communicating with your customers. Show and tell them what you are doing to keep everyone safe and what they can expect, as you prepare to open up. Focus on positivity and excitement about opening back up. Assure your customers, clients, and staff that you are ready to see them in person again!
Thanks to: Chris Carter of Approyo.

25. Get Media Attention

The local media is always looking for stories to share about small businesses in their area. This is your opportunity to reach out to the press about what you are doing to get ready to re-open. What are you doing differently? How will it affect your customers and clients? Think of a unique angle that will get the media's attention and it will help the visibility of your business.
Thanks to: Alison Maloni of Alison May Public Relations.

26. Tailor Your Promotions

Once stay at home orders ease up and businesses begin to return to the office, companies should consider "back in business" promotions to jump-start their return. Consumers will be ready to shop and utilize services that were not available during the shut down, and a great way to attract potential customers is to offer a promotion in honor of the business returning.
Thanks to: Blake Taylor of Synergy Business Brokers.

27. Update Your Business Hours

As stay at home orders ease up and businesses return to normal life, the most important thing you can do as a small business is ensure that your customers understand your business hours. Many businesses will fail to update their customers, and some will not even relay the message that they have opened up again. If your customers don't even know if your business is in operation, it will be hard for them to consider you as an option when the time comes to purchase a product/service.
Thanks to: Andrew Jezic of Law Offices of Jezic & Moyse, LLC.

28. Change Your Delivery Tactic!

If you have a brick-and-mortar business where you’re no longer able to see customers in-person, then see if you’re able to generate revenue or leads by setting up curb-side pick-up. We also offer to deliver our products to customers within a certain mile radius.
However, this pandemic is a good reminder that it’s much easier and less costly to market to existing customers versus acquiring new ones.
Thanks to: Zondra Wilson of Blu Skin Care LLC.

29. Don't Force the Issue

Be careful with how you start marketing as states begin to ease restrictions on business and quarantine. Don't overload and overwhelm customers by bombarding them with marketing campaigns when they are still trying to make sense of their financial situation, job situation, and family health. Continue to be supportive, not pushy.
Thanks to: Robyn Flint of AutoInsuranceEZ.com.

30. Fine-Tune SEO

It's critical for small businesses to fine-tune their SEO strategy right now. Many small businesses won't survive this crisis and those that do will be competing in an unfavorable economic climate. Research your keywords and the competitions' with the Google Search Console. Additionally, it's worth it to hire a tech specialist to optimize your site for search engines.
Thanks to: Tom Scarda of The Franchise Academy.

31. You Have Only 1 Job Right Now

As we start to return to work, you have 1 thing to do and must do it well if you want your business to stick around - BUILD TRUST! Regardless of where you stand on the controversial topic of when to open, you can't afford to isolate any potential clients. All your messaging needs to be centered around expressing empathy, establishing trust, and putting people before profit. Only when everyone feels safe visiting your business will you be able to weather this storm!
Thanks to: Bobbi Baehne of Think Big Go Local, Inc.

32. Take Advantage of Cheap Ads

My biggest tip for small businesses during this transition time is to advertise on social media and Google. Now is the best time to invest in ads because the demand is lower. Most businesses have stopped their promotions, making ads cheaper for the time being. Take advantage of this while you can!
Thanks to: Jason Davis of Inspire360.

33. Digital Marketing is Key!

Keep a solid presence online with digital marketing. Continue to drive traffic to your website by developing a focused strategy with an emphasis on evergreen content and high-quality backlinks. We’ve also found it helps us stand out on social media by providing professional visual aids that are descriptive and succinct. A strong online presence and SEO game plan will remind customers that you’re open for business and continue to bring a steady stream of clients in the long term.
Thanks to: David Vranicar of FBS Fortified & Ballistic Security.

34. Covid 19 Has Changed Consumers

Now more than ever, consumers are seeking value providers, not goods or services. So, if you want to do a better job of capturing attention, educating prospects, and converting, you need to focus solely on providing value to consumers.

The organizations that focus on providing value to consumers first will see higher conversion rates, sales, revenues, and profits. Those that focus on conversion rates, sales, revenues, and profits will actually lose out on conversions, sales, revenues and profits.
Thanks to: Ryan Gottfredson of Success Mindsets.

35. Old Normal or New Normal

We are collectively experiencing a pandemic together and these experiences have changed us. While our marketing efforts don't need to target this pandemic, they must not ignore the pandemic. Our customers have needs and we serve our customers. Marketing must always focus on our customer's current (or future) needs and how we can solve their needs. What do our clients need - both from a product and a process perspective? Now is the time to explore new platforms and reimagine the new normal.
Thanks to: Chip Edwards of Create My Voice.

36. Sell At an Affordable Price

The purchasing power of many individuals has reduced due to COVID-19 pandemic. Its effects are noticeable with low sales small businesses have recorded. Now that the stay-at-home order has begun to ease, small businesses should render their goods and services at an affordable price. This could speed up their sales, as customers will be price conscious. They'll compare prices more to ensure they get what they need at an affordable price.
Thanks to: Chuks Chukwuemeka of DepreneurDigest.

37. Safety First

Safety has to be your priority during the transition period. You should follow reasonable medical recommendations: keeping social distancing rules and wearing masks. Clean your space regularly and conspicuously and have soap and hand sanitizers at hand. Include information about how you are keeping your place of business clean in your marketing. Tell your customers that your doors are open to the public, and it’s safe for them to come. They’ll appreciate your care.
Thanks to: Tim Denman of ServGrow.

38. Be Ready for an Extra Hour

There’s going to be some delayed demand for certain services when life starts returning to normal. You’ll need to plan to work more hours after reopening your business to satisfy it. For example, now everyone needs a haircut at the same time, so plenty of clients are booking appointments at barbershops and hair salons. It’s important to keep engaging with your customers on social media now to be on top of their mind when you get back to business.
Thanks to: Justin Hawes of K&N Sales.

39. Post Pandemic Marketing Tips

With the easing of online sales, a company has to be more aggressive when promoting their product. It is when you make the most out of using social media ads. You have to show the consumers the value of your product even when the pandemic is over, as a customer has to understand that your product is still needed in their day to day life. Eye-catching advertisements can be used on Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. Social Media ads are vital in today's society that is focused on the internet.
Thanks to: Leonard Ang of iProperty Management.

40. Power of People

People's purchasing choices are affected by those around them. One tip is to have your friends and family use your product and post them online and promote them for you. This is a cheap and efficient way to organically extend your clientele without having to spend money. When people are driven to your webpage, it is your task to promote your product and keep your customer engaged. If people will see that your product is still being bought after the pandemic, they will see it as product they need.
Thanks to: Isaac Hammelburger of Search Pros.

41. Broadcast Your Safety Measures

The UK Government has outlined ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines: a series of recommendations for small businesses to use as they reopen. Companies who adhere to these can label themselves as ‘COVID-19 secure’ to show they are safe to shop with. This is great for restoring customer confidence, so wherever you’re based, you should try this. Obey authorities’ guides, then broadcast this loud and clear, so that customers can see there is a minimal risk when shopping with you.
Thanks to: Steve Pritchard of It Works Media.

42. Be Ready to Look Your Best

If your business is on the cusp of re-opening, you'll want to look your best. People are eager to get out there and buy, so be active and responsive to potential clients with pressing inquiries. Don't just wait until you're officially open for business to ensure your business is presentable; start communicating your message now and ensure your storefront is clean and stands out. If your team is ready to go, let people know your business good to go.
Thanks to: Blake Cameron of H2GO Home.

43. Make Your Website Stand Out

Make sure that your website is the most up to date, easily accessible site for your specific niche. Guarantee that your photos and content are recent and your site is SEO friendly. Use sites like SEMRush to pick properly targeted keywords, so that your site will rank higher in searches for that particular query. Having both a mobile and a desktop site that is easily navigable will bring in more users and thus, promote your site further.
Thanks to: Jenny Massey of Snowy Pines White Labs.

44. Implement Online Solutions

The pandemic is not over, and even if it is, it's unlikely for people to return to their buying habits back when everything was normal. So, if your business has implemented delivery services, shipping, or online service, continue these practices.

Be active on social media; let your customers know how they can reach you. Prepare your business for stay-at-home customers. You're aiming for your business to not just survive, but thrive during these trying times.
Thanks to: Tom De Spiegelaere of Tom Spicky.

45. Tip of the Hat: Social Media

Two words, Social Media!

The most important thing to understand during this stay-at-home order is the fact that there are more people on social media during this time. So, use it to your advantage. Create smart marketing campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. It's important to understand your audience so that you can narrow down who you advertise to and create specific posts/ads.
Thanks to: Miguel Munoz Ulloa, President of Munoz Disposal Services LLC.

46. Share Updates On All Channels!

One tip for small business right now is to be as visible and transparent as possible. You need to frequently update your audience on your status, and now is a great time to do behind the scenes or less formal content. You should also know what channels your audience is on, such as twitter or Facebook, and make sure you are updating your customers in all the platforms so no one is confused on when your business will be open!
Thanks to: Catherine Way of Prime Plus Mortgages.

47. Make a Reopening Checklist

The best marketing tip for small business owners who are beginning to reopen is to create a reopening checklist to make sure they are able to share important updates with all of their audiences. For example, it is easy to post on Instagram and say you are open, but forget to alert your email list due to so many things happening at once.
Thanks to: Alexis Davis of The Content Plug.

48. Talk to Your Customers

My best tip is to talk to your customers. Conduct an email survey, ask questions on social media, or spend five minutes speaking with customers in person whenever possible. Take note of what they say, look for patterns, and brainstorm creative ways to cater to their pain points. The essence of great marketing is to ‘find a need, fill a need.’ Rather than guess those needs, just go right to the source. That feedback will help you reinvent your business for the current marketing world.
Thanks to: Matt Seltzer of S2 Research.

49. Get Transparent and Personal!

Craft transparent and personal social media content! If coronavirus taught us any marketing lesson, it's that your social channels are a powerful way to get your face and your message in front of customers in real time when face-to-face isn't possible. When your customers see you, hear your voice (even if just through a thoughtful caption), and understand your mission, they are more likely to feel connected to you, trust you, and have a personal stake in your business's success.
Thanks to: Alyssa Andrews of Ice Cream Social Media Co.

50. Support Local and Market Local

As businesses reopen, it is important to understand consumer sentiment. People are rallying behind local businesses in their communities because supporting local business is something that can be done right now to stimulate local economies and show community solidarity. There is also strength in numbers and marketing your business alongside other local businesses is the best way to let your customers know that you are open and that you care about each other, not just your own business.
Thanks to: Chris Biscuiti of Bounce Back USA By Minuteman Press.

51. Share New Store Hours

My best marketing tip for small businesses as stay-at-home orders begin easing is to make sure your customers know about your new store hours. Some small businesses may initially phase into reopening for a select number of in-store hours. Make sure your customers know when your storefront is open. You can share this information through emails, social media postings, and even making it part of your message when customers call your business to find out what your hours are.
Thanks to: Deborah Sweeney of MyCorporation.

52. Keep on Connecting

Stay connected with your customers:
* Check in to ask how they’re doing and when they'll be back to normal-ish... and let them know your plans.
* Share useful resources to help them recover more quickly, including sources of financial relief.
* If your business pivoted to support health care workers, like making masks or hand sanitizer, share that information.
* Create a detailed crises customer communication plan to help keep connected for future shut-downs... just in case.
Thanks to: Phil Stella of Effective Training & Communication.

53. Inform Your Customers

As things start to re-open, my marketing advice is to keep customers informed as to what you are doing to keep them safe. This way, they will feel more comfortable using your services or visiting your establishment.
Thanks to: Dawna Boone of Valet Maids.

54. What Is Your WHY?

Hone your value statement. Identify your “Why”. Why did you start your business? What makes you different and better? How do you tell your story to demonstrate your passion and solution?

Example, PR Works was founded by ex-Sumari journalists who know how to tell a story and know there were many more channels to share that story than the traditional media. We get our arms around your story and getting it to the right gatekeepers.

Get a consistent, compelling message.
Thanks to: Steven Dubin of PR Works.

55. Practice Social Media

Continue to focus on communicating with audiences via social media. People remain working from home and there are still many people furloughed, so increased time is still being spent in front of computer and mobile screens. For example, use Facebook to share modified hours, re-opening specials, precautions being taken, and inspirational messages.
Thanks to: Patty Johnson of RSPR Marketing + Communications.

56. Respect Your Customer

Many customers will be uneasy about going out for some time. Make sure you show respect for where they are by following the rules, wearing a mask and keeping appropriate distancing. We will continue to do curbside pickup for customers and try to expand our online sales, as well.
Thanks to: Cindy Jones of Colorado Aromatics.

57. Keep Quality User Experience

Just because things are reopening it doesn't mean it will all be back to normal in a day or two. It will take time, so it's critical to continue optimizing your site so that it's easy to use for all users. If a potential client visits your website & can't find the information they're looking for within seconds, they'll likely leave. Yes, we all want stores to reopen and things to go back to normal, but providing a quality user experience online will be a part of the new normal moving forward.
Thanks to: Rob Stix of DirectNet.

58. Back to Barter

Today’s economic downturn has forced many businesses to pause activities like buying ad campaigns, printing new brochures, increasing employee health benefits and expanding office facilities. But, companies that use an alternative method of payment don’t have to hold off. Bartering provides the buying power that businesses need to grow, especially now, when creditors come calling.
Thanks to: John Strabley of IMS International Monetary Systems.

59. Make It an Experience

With reopening being a gradual process, we'll still be missing important parts of our experiences. Find ways to help clients replace those extra touches and still feel special.

If your salon can't offer a shampoo and a blow out, give them a mini at-home spa kit. If your martial arts studio can't do group ceremonies, tape each student's promotion and create a fun video of them all together. The bonus is all of these make for great marketing content for your newsletter list and on social media!
Thanks to: Christen Schneider of Coffee Break Marketing.

60. Understand Your Buyer

Take the time to learn as much about your customers as possible. Focus on the problems that they are now facing. They will be different from those they experienced pre-covid19.

This will help you to create marketing content that addresses their pain points and help them solve these challenges. It won’t be just your customers that are experiencing these problems. It’ll be your prospects, too.

Use the content to attract visitors, build credibility, and engage with prospective buyers.
Thanks to: Trevor Nicholls of Klood Digital.

61. Engage Them!

Find a way to keep your current and future clients engaged with you, your business, products and/or services. As a Wedding & Event Planning company, we decided to "Keep Couples Dreaming" by offering free planning tips and advice via our social media channels LIVE weekly. Our marketing is centered around helping them through this time. Remember, showing up well for them now will yield higher results when this is all over.
Thanks to: Irene Tyndale of Irene Tyndale Wedding & Events.

62. Communicate Clearly

Not everyone is willing to visit a business right now. But, those who are on the fence are much more likely to visit a business that's communicating clearly and specifically about how they are prioritizing safety. Make sure that business is yours -- and not a competitor's.

Create a FAQs landing page. Get specific about what policies you have in place - everything from cleaning procedures to social distancing requirements. Then, spread the word about the page via email, social media, and more.
Thanks to: Juliana Weiss-Roessler of WR Digital Marketing.

63. Give Back to the Community

We are a 100% female run social enterprise company in the wellness space. Companies that have not previously implemented a program to give back to their communities should use this moment to change that. For example, start a program to donate a portion of profits to charities supporting struggling groups in your community or ongoing coronavirus relief efforts. It's the right thing to do, and it has the effect of making your brand much more attractive to socially conscious consumers.
Thanks to: Jessica Rose of Copper H2O.

64. Back-To-Normal Baskets!

As things start to open back up, we plan on doing Back-To-Normal Basket Giveaways on Social Media to promote brand awareness and to increase our engagement.

Included in the basket will be: Brewery & Restaurant gift cards, theme park related items, Hosting Ideas Event Book & Travel Idea Books.

This is a fun way to be relatable and get people excited about being able to join in groups again (even though we still need to be cautious).
Thanks to: Nick Bond of Renovation 320.

65. Outreach to Genuinely Help

I've been reaching out to users on LinkedIn who fit my target customer, to see if they need any help in subjects that I'm an expert in. I offer genuine help in terms of advice or direction. No sales pitch, offering no strings attached advice. And I mean it. When I jump on Zoom, I never really know what direction the meeting is going to take, but it's always interesting. My approach to this campaign reminds me of the Tom Fishburne quote, "The best marketing doesn't feel like marketing."
Thanks to: Evan White of Neumarkets.

66. Leverage Social Media

Social media has become so prevalent with thousands of users joining every day. It is more than just a platform for promoting and selling services or products. It gives you the opportunity to build trust with customers and develop a loyal customer base as lockdown eases. You have to provide great value that would make your customers see you as an expert authority in your industry. Small businesses can also engage social media influencers to further establish an expert reputation for their brand.
Thanks to: Manny Hernandez of Wealth Growth Wisdom LLC..

67. Focus Your Messaging on Safety

As businesses re-open, many people are still wary of venturing out into public, because the virus is still out there and poses a significant threat. So, small businesses need to focus their marketing messaging on SAFETY as much as possibly, to allay these fears. As a consumer, I want to know that if I go to your store or office that it's safe to do so. And, I want to know exactly what you're doing to keep me safe. Get specific with the exact steps you're taking to ensure safety of your customers!
Thanks to: Jayson DeMers of EmailAnalytics.

68. Get Real

Forget the generic marketing advice and saccharine sweet ads cluttering media right now. This sucks. Acknowledge that reality and then act to fix the issues your business actually can. You know your clients’ pain points–whether that’s getting products, needing longer terms, or getting out of the house without worrying about their health. Demonstrate genuine empathy and an ability to help them solve that key problem, and you’ll win their business. Bonus points if you connect emotionally.
Thanks to: Trish Stukbauer of ie marketing.

69. Care Over Everything

Have you been in touch with your prospective clients since COVID-19 put the brakes on your business? If you haven't, how will you reconnect with them? What will you say first?

As an instructor, I ask my students how are they doing. It's important to establish a true connection from the get go. "What do you look forward to most now that restrictions are lifted?" Ask before you start talking business to show you care. Make sure your marketing reflects your humanity. Care over everything.
Thanks to: Jean Chow of MsBizWiz.

70. Be a Savvy Social Networker

Many businesses are facing financial constraints due to the lockdown. The best marketing tactic without blowing your budget is to utilize social media actively. Even if your customers are not buying anything from you right now, they are still out there, so be visible to them. Engage with them consistently. Show them that you are taking precautionary measures and your customers' safety is your prime focus. Highlight that you're ready to support and enhance the lives of people in every condition.
Thanks to: Hamna Amjad of Heart Water.

71. Become Social Media Savvy

Social media is one of the best, low-cost ways for small businesses to market themselves. Convert the page to a business profile so that you can access analytics in order to understand which posts create more traffic and use that to help create more brand awareness. Bring together your community either through Instagram story engagement or various promos from your posts. The more people go to your page or view your content, the more likely they are to purchase your product.
Thanks to: Steve Bourie of American Casino Guide Book.

72. Best Marketing Tips for SB

Coronavirus has taught us that business will not return to what it was before. Marketing will leverage more data from sales activities and sales will learn more about leads and customers from marketing data. The sharing of information will foster a data-driven environment. Combining mobile marketing, social media, email, web, video, customer service into 1 platform will create that environment and drive the success for companies. They must evolve with changing technology and human behavior.
Thanks to: Lars Helgeson of GreenRope.

73. Infographics for Marketing

One of the most effective and useful tips to market your content or business is to convert your blog into interactive visuals in the form of Infographics, quizzes, and videos.

Written content is undoubtedly useful, but today, visual materials such as infographics or videos are outperforming for Sales and Marketing and they will continue to be one of the most frequently used marketing strategies for sales in 2020. That is why marketing videos and especially infographics are all the rage now.
Thanks to: Rameez Ghayas Usmani of PureVPN.

74. The Power of Reaching Out

Small businesses have learned a lot of lessons while enduring lockdown. This includes the importance of hearing your audience out, especially your current set of customers or clients. It is important to adjust the way you approach their needs by reaching out and asking for a review. You can use this material to hit three birds with one stone. Their insight allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, increase brand trust, and drive local SEO efforts.
Thanks to: Clancy Clarke of BrandCrowd - Logo Maker.

75. Generate Leads Within Hours

The best tip that I would recommend for small businesses that are trying to get the ball rolling after COVID is a PPC campaign. It might not be the most creative tactic, but it's certainly very effective. The problem with most marketing tactics is that it can take a long time to implement and start returning results. But, that's not the case with PPC, as you can have a campaign up and running within a few hours.
Thanks to: Ryan Scollon of SEO & PPC Freelancer.

76. Try Facebook Ads & Google Post

Let your local community know your business is returning to (some) normalcy.

Facebook Ads are an inexpensive way to advertise and communicate to your customers and prospects. You can run a two-week plus campaign with significant reach for under $500. Facebook Ads provides a ton of value.

Additionally, make sure you are communicating through Google search results by providing an update via a Google My Business post.
Thanks to: Luke Hancock of Bin There Dump That.

77. Remember What You Learned

Yes, we are slowly beginning to open up our country and it's so exciting! But, we do not know when we may need to go back into Quarantine, so be prepared. Ensure you continue to create virtual resources & make money while you sleep. Keep yourself healthy: add immunity boosters, continue a fitness routine, maintain some distance from people. All of these will help you be active in your business. You are the best marketing plan your business has, so be your best self.
Thanks to: Arden McLaughlin of Definita: Publicity & Marketing.

78. Enhance Marketing Efforts

One marketing tip I have for business owners as things starts to get back to normal gradually is for them to strategically think about ways to enhance their digital marketing efforts.

Digital marketing is where the massive opportunities lie for all.

96% of all purchasing decisions start online, even if you're brick and mortar. Digital still applies to you. It's important to remember that it doesn't matter what you're selling (B2B or B2C). Marketing and sales today is digital.
Thanks to: Khris Steven of Khrisdigital.com.

79. First Impressions Matter

As stay-at-home orders begin easing, now is the time to run a digital presence audit on your business.

Are your Google and Facebook business pages up to date? Are there elements of your website that desperately need updating? How about the various online directories? Having missing, incomplete, or inaccurate information in these places can create doubt in your organization's competence. "If they can't even get x, y or z right, what does that say about their product?”
Thanks to: Drew Donaldson of GroHaus.

80. Keep Customers in the Loop

As stay-at-home orders lift, it’s essential that you post regular, ongoing updates so that customers know exactly what to expect. Your marketing strategy should focus on communicating what’s going on, what changes have been implemented, and how customers will be affected. If you run a brick-and-mortar store, for example, they will need to know if a mandatory mask order is in effect or how many people are allowed inside at a time. Now is the most crucial time to keep customers in the loop.
Thanks to: Monica Eaton-Cardone of Chargebacks911.

81. Tell Your Story

So, one tip for businesses as they reopen: Tell your story. Remind people you're a small business and locally owned. This is good practice normally, BUT, right now we are all deciding which businesses are worth us putting ourselves at risk to support. Remind everyone why it should be you.
Thanks to: Mark Aselstine of Uncorked Ventures.

82. Be Open About Being Re-open

If your business is on the verge of re-opening, you can't be shy about it now. If you have a following on social media, now is the time to take advantage of it. Send the message your audience has been waiting for — let them know you're open for business. After such a long break, people will be keen to hire your services, so give your customers a reason to choose your business over your competitors. Let them know you're ready to work!
Thanks to: Tonya Bruin of To Do-Done.

83. Re-Open With a Bang

With businesses everywhere opening back up, it would be easy for your announcement to get lost in the mix of every other re-opening message, especially on social media. To avoid wasted marketing efforts, consider announcing your business’ big news in a different way: go live on Facebook or Instagram, film a funny video that will grab a user’s attention and stop their scroll, and avoid canned graphics that look so generic they will be missed. Make a big splash with your re-opening!
Thanks to: Maria Grace of Maria Grace LLC.

84. Marketing for the New Normal

The best marketing strategy for post COVID-19 is not to emphasize a return to normal, but to remember the things that worked during the crisis. Emphasize how you can serve your customers, or how you did serve your customers and plan to continue to do so, in any new and different ways.

Added delivery? Curbside pickup? Online ordering? Market them.

I think customers will be unwilling to give up some of the conveniences COVID-19 has brought to our lives in terms of shopping and dining.
Thanks to: Vinay Amin of Eu Natural.

85. Know Your Customer

How is your specific industry and your ideal customer affected by the global pandemic? Are they looking forward to getting back to "normal," or are they resistant? Beliefs and attitudes affect consumer behavior. Be highly sensitive to this when crafting new offers or marketing campaigns during this transitional time.
Thanks to: Ilir Salihi of FreedomRep.com.

86. Say 'Hello' to Pinterest

If you aren't already using Pinterest to market your business, get on board now! Pinterest has been slowly evolving into a more shoppable platform and is one of the few social media sites where you can still get free traffic. Pinterest's audience of 320 million uses the site as a tool to actively plan and make purchase decisions. According to their tracking, 83% of users report making a purchase after seeing content from a brand. Make sure you are introducing them to yours.
Thanks to: Kristi Russo of 81 Social.

87. Meet Customers Where They Are

It's likely that your customers will have different preferences for how they would like to interact with your business. Some will be eager to return to your in-person store, while others will only want to buy online. When you let them know that you're reopening, outline the options they have for engaging with your business. Explain your business hours, whether you'll be answering the phone, and what they can buy through your website. This will help maximize sales during this challenging period.
Thanks to: Bruce Hogan of SoftwarePundit.

88. Stick Together

The best marketing tip for small businesses is, if you can, work alongside another small company that has a connection to your products or services. The more customers and staff members you are in contact with, the bigger your client base could be. All small businesses rely on word of mouth sales, so offer something that can be trusted, as you are more likely to have returning or recommended customers.
Thanks to: Michael Lowe of Car Passionate.

89. Launch Live Video Sales

As retail locations open, there will be limitations on the number of people allowed in stores. Not surprisingly, the days of packing into retail locations are over. Live video shopping brings the in-store shopping experience to your iPhone without the crowd.

Retailers are using LivePitch, a live-video shopping app, to provide the interactive shopping experience to customers while they are stuck at home. In the new normal, retailers will lean further into this highly converting sales channel.
Thanks to: Denis O'Flynn O'Brien of LivePitch.

90. Build Your Email List

SMBs usually rely on social media for announcements, but it doesn't give them the ability to reach customers directly. If you didn't have an email list, you didn't have a chance to communicate with your customers, let them know you're open & accepting online orders. You can build your list in many ways. Let's say you're a restaurant. You can include a QR code on the menu/receipt for a discount code on the next visit. You get leads & repeat sales. Customers get value for money. Win-win situation.
Thanks to: Jon Lim of The Marketing Introvert.

91. Use Videos!

As an immigration lawyer, I'm overwhelmed during the pandemic fielding questions from clients who were in various stages of the process. This sector was greatly impacted by social-distancing mandates and courts limiting their functions. To serve all our clients, I've been making a ton of videos on YouTube answering the most common questions and I can't believe the response we're achieving! Not only is is helpful for local clients, but it seems to be helping those across the country, too.
Thanks to: Joshua Goldstein, Esq. of Goldstein Immigration Lawyers.

92. Pretend COVID Never Happened

Market your business as if the COVID-19 pandemic never happened. These past few months have been rough. As we emerge from lock down, everyone's going to have some measure of quarantine fatigue. No one's going to care about the millionth COVID-related platitude they've heard from a business. Instead, focus on your product or service. Let your offering shine. People will be primed to buy after having been stuck at home since March.
Thanks to: Robert Theofanis of Theo Estate Planning.

93. Make Google Maps Work for You

Update your Google My Business information to keep customers informed with your opening hours and any important messages about your COVID protocols. Google reported in April, 60% of Canadians searched for “What’s open near me?”. Your audience will be using Google Maps to find out what’s open and when, as well as how busy places are. Don’t forget to clearly communicate your hygiene measures, delivery process and ordering options, using language like “contactless, curbside pick up.”
Thanks to: Rachael Bilby of Rachael Bilby Marketing Consultant.

94. Expose Yourself!

Let me explain. In returning to some form of normalcy, now is not the time to be timid or safe in your marketing and messaging. Do NOT look around to other businesses to decide sales or marketing strategies. As most businesses sit back with the "we're all in this together" marketing security blanket, there is an opportunity for strong & confident, fun & irreverent, "in your face" communications. This may leave you exposed, but you can't say "exposure" without expose.
Thanks to: Rob Bathe of Folly Coffee Roasters.

95. Don't Slow Down!

The most important piece of advice for small businesses once the stay-at-home orders ease up is to keep active with your marketing.

When everything shut down, a lot of business owners ramped up their online marketing efforts by engaging more on social media, publishing more content, and leveraging email.

Once things get closer to normal, the knee jerk reaction will be to slow down on these marketing efforts. That would be a huge mistake and will kill the momentum you've built.
Thanks to: Jeremy Knauff of Spartan Media.

96. Make the Most of Technology

As the quarantine begins easing, people will go back to business as usual, but we should make sure to leverage what we've learned from it.

My business has always relied on technology to make open enrollment smooth and efficient no matter where employees are. But, now this quarantine has shown a lot of other business owners that technology can make remote work just as effective as on-site.

Let's not lose the advantages of what we've learned during this pandemic.
Thanks to: Bobby Leesman of Enrollment Alliance.

97. Utilize Website Banners

During the COVID-19 shutdown, many customers are confused about which businesses are still open, and your business is no exception. Help your customers get answers to their questions as quickly as possible. Create a banner on your website outlining your business’s hours of operation and current operational capabilities. By educating your customers, you can alleviate their confusion and send a clear message about how you can still serve your clients during this difficult time.
Thanks to: Brenda Hollingsworth, Esq of Auger Hollingsworth Injury Lawyers.

98. Clean Up!

Everyone has at least some level of concern of a 2nd spike and catching this plague when they are least expecting to. Those businesses that think 'it's all over', and try to go back to Business As Usual won't attract customers or prospects.

Make sure your establishment is so clean, people could perform heart surgeries in them. Dress all of your employees as if they work for the CDC, and ensure that they know the right way to act, react, and how to talk to customers.
Thanks to: Steve James of Freelance Marketing Consultant.

99. Make Reviews Work

If you had a chance of helping other businesses for free or otherwise, ask for specific reviews from these clients, so as to include them in your marketing campaigns. When others see such positive reviews - especially when you're helping in times of distress, they act as a great reinforcement for your brand and it helps build trust. Because, people tend to trust people who help others.
Thanks to: Noman Nalkhande of WP Adventure.

100. Content-copy Funnels Convert

Instead of creating single pieces of marketing or advertising collateral, publish content-copy funnels that solve the problems your ideal customers are facing at each point in your business’s customer journey. This is a great tactic at any time, but you’ll get better results as lockdowns ease if your sales copy and post-sales content highlights how you’re protecting your customers from COVID-19 or how they can use your products and services to improve their lives post lockdown.
Thanks to: Kelly Wade of K. M. Wade.

101. Make People Feel Normal

Delete “uncertain times” and “the new normal” from your marketing vocabulary. Everyone is afraid to use humor right now, and I think it’s exactly what we need. People will be laughing and they will check out your company. Why? Because they will remember that you were able to make them laugh and they felt normal, for the first time in months. That is what we need to capitalize on right now. Normality. If you can make people feel normal, you’ve got their attention and their loyalty.
Thanks to: Sean Nguyen of Internet Advisor.

102. SEO is Key for Free Leads

We believe that it is essential for small businesses to make sure they are improving on SEO during the lockdown, so that when the market returns to ‘normal’ (or the new normal anyway!), they will be more visible.
Thanks to: Liam Flynn of Music Grotto.

103. Give Customers Peace of Mind

As businesses start to acclimate to post stay-at-home orders, customers will likely be feeling some hesitation toward going about their normal routines. Small businesses should be aware of their customer's sentiments regarding health and safety by running campaigns around how they are adjusting services to accommodate these concerns. By taking this approach, businesses can engage with customers and express shared sentiments around their community's well-being.
Thanks to: Tom Mumford of Undergrads Moving.

104. Customer Service Accessibility

As small businesses begin to reopen, many customers will have a number of questions about updated business hours, safety practices and policies, changes to shipping rates and more depending on your industry. Make sure that you are providing the most up-to-date information on business operations to help customers find the answers they need. Double-check that all channels of communication are fully functional and that customer service teams are easily accessible.
Thanks to: Suzanne Pope of Whiterock Locators.

105. Do the Browsing for Them!

A huge show for safety isn't as appealing as one might think. It's important to have procedures in place/contact tracing available, but sales are not going to increase if you don't let your buyers 'shop'.

Display huge signs advertising sales. This product must go, buy one, get one free, buy this and receive this free sample.

People like to browse, but can't do so right now, or don't feel comfortable. Do the browsing for them and make and display those best deals so they are drawn in.
Thanks to: Andrew Taylor of Net Lawman.

106. Be Aggressive With Content!

Small businesses should focus on their content marketing during this pandemic because doing promotional marketing produces little to nonexistent results.

The spike in internet activity as people lock themselves in their homes is an excellent catalyst that tells businesses to hustle in their digital brand awareness efforts. That means that producing content in this age yields better results, since internet users are more active than ever before.
Thanks to: Jeremy Owens of Seriously Smoked.

107. Plan Ahead!

Small businesses must start making their plans for the post-pandemic scenario—or at least during a time where business operations are possible. People fixate on activities after the pandemic, so marketing your available promotions after COVID-19 is over helps them look forward to something. The thing about this trick is that it takes a while to see the results. However, you might be surprised to see the line of people wanting to avail of your promotions once you’re operational.
Thanks to: Jared Ebrahimoff of Lavari Jewelers.

108. Schedule Social Media Posts

One thing I would definitely recommend to help small business owners during this transition is to be proactive. Schedule social media posts in advance using a tool like Hootsuite so you can set it and forget it. With the free version you can schedule a good couple of months' worth of social posts.

There are a surprising number of free marketing tools out there for blogging, SEO, social media, and email marketing! Use them to save time and money on marketing efforts.
Thanks to: Kelsie Collins of GETFIT Marketing.

109. Prioritize People Over Profit

The best marketing tip for small businesses as stay-at-home orders start easing is to emphasize how you prioritize safety first: over profits, normalcy, and production. We are in the people business and customers and employees will be more inclined to trust and support you if it is apparent that you care about their well-being and the good of the community, as opposed to just yourself.
Thanks to: Camille Hugh of In Stitches Games.

110. It's Time to Convert

Now is the time to convert all the engagements and organic visits you have gathered. Start increasing your landing pages and conversion tactics. Begin with a good value proposition, set up sales funnels, and strengthen your CTA copy. Highlight your conversion by adding pop-up and widgets. Provide incentives and special offers to attract more sales. Find the optimum balance for SEO, content marketing, and conversions. The key here is to strike a balance that works best for your organization.
Thanks to: Jeremy Harrison of Hustle Life.

111. Let Them Know You're Open!

One marketing tip for small businesses as stay at home orders start easing is to let customers know you are open and ready for their business on every single marketing channel you have. If no one knows you are open again, no one will have a chance to come and buy from you. This means shouting out your opening on email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and using every single type of media, video, photo, post and more to make sure everyone sees that you are open.
Thanks to: Stacy Caprio of Stacy Caprio Inc.

112. Super Simple SEO Tip!

Here's a low-investment strategy that yields high returns: Updating old website content. Google has a freshness ranking factor, so making simple updates to previously published content can have huge results.

Here's how you do it:
- Choose evergreen content from your website that will continue to be relevant over the years.
- Add new information that wasn't available previously.
- Change the date of the article. Add 'Updated on MM-DD-YY'
- Watch as your search rankings instantly shoot up!
Thanks to: Greg Heilers of Jolly SEO.

113. Best Marketing Tip for SMEs

Build your network of loyal customers. These are the people who will be there to support you no matter what because you’ve proven what your product or service can offer to enhance their lives. From your end, cultivate these relationships and aim them to be long-lasting ones. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run.
Thanks to: Jack Wang of Amazing Hair Beauty.

114. Redesign Your Brand Strategy

Since people are observing lockdown and spending more time online on various digital platforms, you still need to interact with your potential customers. Create a brand strategy and voice that resonates similarly across multiple touchpoints, including your website, social media, blog posts, and mobile app.
Thanks to: Jessica Chase of Premier Title Loans.

115. Put Discount on Certain Items

If small businesses want to gain the masses' attention, they should put concessions on the widely used items or items that sell the most. So, the scope would not be limited, and the majority would be interested in buying the products at lesser rates. Do research, leverage all social media channels with a considerable ratio of potential buyers, create urgency, and provide call-to-action in every piece of your paid marketing to generate qualified leads.
Thanks to: Noah James of Native Compass.

116. Avoid Knee-jerk Reactions

Sensible marketers know if they make a move in panic, they won’t get the desired results. Go for the metrics and analyze all of the data available before making any decision. Avoid knee-jerk reactions and hit the right audience to end well in digital marketing. The economy is not going to stop anyway; neither the consumer needs are going to end, nor money stops exchanging, and consumers are still looking for their needs on Google. So, be careful and do not rush in a hurry.
Thanks to: James Gascon of Rx tooler.

117. Keep it Friendly

Focus on soft promotion as people start to return to normality. In a time of information overload, take a more casual and conversational approach using your social media. Consumers are tired from all the information sent to them and will be more likely to interact with something that feels less intrusive at this time. Keep it simple, friendly and positive to avoid triggering what has become a stressful situation for people.
Thanks to: Elliot Reimers of Rave Reviews.

118. Build Better Business Buddies

Connect with other businesses in your vertical/horizontal niche and offer to help them if they have a shortfall in areas due to employees being ill, remote working, or not as productive at home.

In turn, they may be able to offer you assistance, by helping plug in some gaps while you work on getting back up to full steam.

Reaching out and getting extra connections is encouraged & welcomed at this time. It’s a good place to build more relationships and perhaps earn client referrals, too.
Thanks to: Christopher Prasad of JookSMS.

119. 3x Marketing Improvement Plan

Focus on 360-degree improvement of your marketing processes.

a. Improve what your customer sees: Audit your site from the first-time visitor POV. Is the navigation easy? Are your strengths displayed right? Do you appear reliable?

b. Improve how you two meet: Smoothen the sales funnel. Where are the leaks your prospects are dropping off?

c. Improve where you come from: Are you really targeting the right audience? Are you talking their language? Are you solving problems or merely selling?
Thanks to: Mayank Batavia of QuickEmailVerification.

120. Significance of Leads!

One piece of advice for all businesses is to start collecting leads. Leads for small businesses are the greatest asset you can own. The best part is that it hardly costs you anything for collecting leads. Leads not only help you in expanding the business, but also helps you in building long-term relations with the customers. Also, make sure that you take proper permission to contact the leads, otherwise, it may affect your relations.
Thanks to: Vansh Malhotra of TheDreamMarketer.

121. Focus on Digital Marketing

My #1 tip for small businesses reopening after COVID-19 is to focus on building/enhancing their digital marketing efforts. Through digital marketing, businesses can reach their target audience and engage them not just at a lower cost, but also more effectively. In order to do that, they should work to increase their presence on social media, target search engine traffic, and even run some advertisement campaigns.
Thanks to: Baidhurya Mani of Sell Courses Online.

122. Stay at Home Marketing Tip

My Number 1 Tip is to offer door to door transport. This kind of strategy would help purchasing your products to be more convenient for the customers. A shuttle service means that going to your store will be less of a hassle for them. This will lead to an increase in consumers and at the same time, serve as a channel to promote your products.
Thanks to: John Howard of Coupon Lawn.

123. Fulfill Community Need

Small businesses are hurting, but so are communities. Determining a community need and addressing it will give a business a good name. It will help the community at a time of crisis. During quarantine, many restaurants donated food to local shelters and essential workers. Sign designers distributed support banners. Dry cleaners made cloth masks. Communities came together as one. Small businesses are part of communities and that's what will ensure their survival. People will remember their heroes.
Thanks to: Natalya Bucuy of HelpSquad.

124. Open for Business

A special promotional offer is an excellent way to market a business. It is critical for a business to alert customers, just as shelter in place laws are beginning to relax, that a business is open. A promotion that offers customers discounts and value is always a great sales and marketing tactic. In these strange and unprecedented times, a special promotion also lets your customers know the very simple fact that your business is still standing and ready to service customer needs.
Thanks to: David Reischer of LegalAdvice.com.

125. Marketing Tip for Small Biz

Offer discounts, freebies, and loyalty rewards. Who doesn’t like freebies? With that, customers would likely consider purchasing from your store to gain more. It will be really hard to compete with big businesses, but as long as the price and service are superb, which I think matters most, your business will prosper.
Thanks to: Norhanie Pangulima of Hernorm.

126. Tip for Small Businesses

Go digital. As for me, I concentrated all my efforts on digital marketing. Even before the lockdown and stay at home orders, I already started to shift my business to digital because it’s the wave of the future and that’s where we are now undeniably. So, whether it’s updating your website, writing blogs and posting images or videos on social media or YouTube, you've got to have a digital footprint and online presence to be able to thrive post COVID19.
Thanks to: Scot Chrisman of THE MEDIA HOUSE.

127. Google Pro Tip

One of the most immediate ways small businesses are able to get the message out to their customers that they are back open is to make sure their Google listing page reflects their correct hours of operation. If your business is reopening but with restricted hours, let that be represented on your Google page. A second useful tool to small business owners, depending on your business type, is to allow for online booking. This feature can be used to help restaurants increase takeout orders and more.
Thanks to: Zackary Rao of OSM.

128. Capture Funny Capture Business

As companies prepare to reopen, we suggest developing clever messaging that gives your brand a personality. Capture funny moments of your staff working to reopen, write quirky (but appropriate) messages on sandwich boards, stage satirical shots in your small business – do you have mannequins that can be staged doing something fun? Humanized, clever content will garner more attention and engagement on digital channels. People want something different now more than ever. Give it to them!
Thanks to: Connie Ramos-Williams of CONRIC PR & Marketing.

129. Connect with Your Clients

Starting a business is never easy, yet along with quarantine hitting us makes it a bit more complicated. However, I always say social media is the answer in this uncertain time, and here are the reasons why. First and foremost, it enables you to have direct communication with your client, better yet understand their needs, and create loyalty with them. Have a social media strategy that helps you define the path you should walk through, but also measure your KPIs for a better understanding.
Thanks to: Lauren Mendoza of Swipecast.

130. Use Strategic Remarketing

We saw a big online traffic increase in traffic during the pandemic. But as the stay-at-home orders loosen, we expect online traffic to decrease. One tactic we are implementing now to counter this is strategic remarketing. We’re using the audience we built during the last few months to remarket them with aggressive offers. We’ll promote offers to our core audience (at cheaper marketing costs) while they slowly return to a more normal life.
Thanks to: Julien Raby of Thermo Gears.

131. Provide Exceptional Service

Everyone is saying they're eager to get going. Well, when things do re-open, it will be time to prove your talk. If you're a service-based business that wasn't deemed essential and has been closed for a few months, you will most likely be in high demand — be ready for it. Be prepared to answer a plethora of phone calls, emails and messages. With exceptional customer service, your business's name will spread through word of mouth during these chaotic times.
Thanks to: Jonathan Desjardins of Desjardins Environnement.

132. Agility is Still Important

Stay agile! Things could take a turn for the better or for the worse at any moment. Keep supporting your clients with home/online delivery if/when possible and keep as much of your operations online as possible.

You need to market options for those who are ready to leave their home as before and for those who still prefer to be cautious. This way, no matter what comes next, you will be prepared and ready to serve your customers.
Thanks to: Adriana Tica of Idunn.

133. Be Emotionally Intelligent

My marketing tip as stay-at-home orders ease is to be sensitive to the wide spectrum of views around the pandemic. On one end, you'll potentially be marketing to people who have lost loved ones to the virus. On the other end, you may have customers who are angry at the shutdowns. Remove your bias and develop your emotional intelligence to read the room before making any public-facing statements or strategy changes. Your company reputation is a valuable asset and has never been so vulnerable.
Thanks to: Jason Myers of The Content Factory.

134. Use a Limited Time Re-Offer

For small businesses that sell higher-ticket products/services, offer customers a limited time re-offer. In this technique, you reduce the initial price of an item by offering a down payment that is 30-50 percent cheaper than original price. This allows the prospect to commit without as high of a spend and experience the offer before paying the other portion. The prospect pays the remaining balance later. The urgency of limited time also makes the customer more likely to buy.
Thanks to: Tanner Chidester of Elite CEOS.

135. We Are Here for You

As customers reengage their local small businesses they will sadly find many enterprises still closed or shuttered permanently. To that end, it is essential for businesses to communicate that they are open and prepared to meet their customers changed business needs. Marketing that recognizes an increased demand for 'safety' as a key attribute of your product or service offering is paramount. Let customers know you are open for business and providing a safe environment.
Thanks to: Brian Ma of Flushing.com.

136. What's Your (Covid-19) Sign?

As stay-at-home orders start lifting, you *must* communicate to people that their personal safety is assured whenever they are on site at your physical location. Explain your COVID-19 eradication plan and the precautions you have employed to ensure their safety. Place conspicuous signage in their sight lines and stickers on your doors to remind your customers that you value their safety as much as you value their business, and that they are protected from pathogens at your place of business.
Thanks to: Jamie Henry of Bee Line Support, Chicago, IL.

137. Use Vanity for Marketing

The marketing idea came from my use of HARO. The first time I was quoted in an article, I reposted it on all my social media and in my own blog. Afterward, I realized my vanity drove my reposting. If I did that, wouldn't others? I mix up my blog posts with input from my targeted prospects. I send out questionnaires or an article I'm working on, asking for their comments. I then incorporate it into a post with their contributions, and feature their contact information predominately. They repost it!
Thanks to: Anthony Baumer of Old Grey Tiger Moving Consulting.

138. Be Uplifting with Marketing

Small businesses should incorporate uplifting messages into their marketing as stay-at-home orders ease. Times have been difficult for people as of late and small businesses need to keep that in mind. While they might be thrilled about being back open again, it's important they are not tone deaf in their messaging. Video is an excellent tool to use in a positive way. Businesses can explain how they're working to keep customers and employees safe, and also how much they missed their customers.
Thanks to: Liz Jeneault of Faveable.

139. Cut Through the Barriers...

Your biggest asset is YOU! It’s too easy to fall into the trap of showing up as everyone else in your niche… that works if you want to be part of the herd.

Modern business is about humanizing you and your brand.

To truly stand out as a go-to authority, lead with authenticity, have the confidence to truly be you… in everything from your branding photos, to your videos, to your POV. Not only does authenticity elevate the know, like and trust factor, but it’s magnetic to your clients.
Thanks to: Sharon Haver of FocusOnStyle.com.

140. Market the Experience

People are social creatures. They need and crave company. As stay-at-home orders ease up, start promoting your business as the place to be. And, your campaign's focus should not be on buying stuff, but on finally getting together face to face. Because in great company, money is spent easily and with zero regrets.
Thanks to: Nikola Roza of SEO for the Poor and Determined.

141. Don't Forget the Basics!

As customers begin to leave their homes to shop and dine, small business owners need to make sure that they are communicating their new hours, if their services/menus have changed, and any new safety protocols that customers should expect. A lot of small businesses have not updated their websites and online directory listings to include this information, making it difficult for customers to know if the business is even open yet. Having clear communication is your first step to opening back up.
Thanks to: Ashley Oakes Scott of Ashley Oakes Scott.

142. Slow But Steady

Don't jump back in too fast.
Our studios were told to be closed until May 26th and then that date was quickly changed. Moving too quickly on this could be a huge mistake. We don't want our customers thinking we aren’t prepared or taking this seriously. I would rather slow down and show them their health and safety is our #1 priority and that they can trust us. Your approach to getting back up and running can make or break your relationship with new and existing customers.

Thanks to: Stacy Tuschl of Foot Traffic Consulting.

143. Marketing Tips After a Crisis

If you made changes to your marketing strategy to respond to the pandemic crises, make sure that your marketing efforts will still be relevant during the later phases of this crisis. For example, make sure if you move to remote selling from face-to-face selling, ensure online selling will still work when we reach the new normal. Don't assume that you can go back to face-to-face selling immediately once the threat to public health had passed.
Thanks to: Randy VanderVaate of Funeral Funds.

144. YOUTUBE = $

The BEST Marketing tip I can give to small businesses during this period is to make videos and use YouTube Ads. The results we have seen using these ads have actually been better than the ads we have run on Facebook and for good reasoning, we push on pain points easier and quicker through video vs reading through posts, which gets us more conversions to our website. Videos have to be personal and honest, but at the same time, they must promote your solution as the best to your client's problem.
Thanks to: Eugene Romberg of We Buy Houses In Bay Area.

145. Launch-to-Evergreen Strategy

Here's the number ONE marketing tip all small business owners should pay attention to when opening back up: I call it the Launch-to-Evergreen Campaign. Focus heavily on serving your internal customer database. Market them a new (or old) product or service that will help them. Then, use that money to pay for ads to get new customers in the door. Everyone is scared to spend money, so we used this strategy to grow our marketing budget and we're killing it.
Thanks to: Austin Wolff of Novus Anti-Aging Center.

146. Add Digital Shelf Space

Our marketing tip: add digital shelf space by listing products on smaller boutique online marketplaces. Having multiple streams of revenue by selling online through marketplaces and promoting on social media (through brand ambassadors) helps to keep businesses going even during a crisis when in-store retail spaces are closed. As stay-at-home orders ease, people are still wary of in-store shopping and e-commerce is here to stay. Small businesses easily get lost on large marketplaces like Amazon.
Thanks to: Cassie Moorhead of Brandbass.

147. Humanize Your Business

First a quick Q&A. Q: What makes people buy most--facts or emotions? A: Emotions. Therefore, as we re-open, let's humanize our businesses. That means recognizing the core emotional reason someone buys something from you and having a real person, preferably the owner, share how you will make it safe for them to do it in the time of covid. Video is preferred because it's more human than form email. As small business owners, our businesses already seem more human. Let's use that to our advantage.
Thanks to: Elizabeth Lewis of Brand, Style & Bloom.

148. Marketing Eco-system for Biz

My biggest marketing tip to help small businesses during this transition period is to start building an Eco-system of merchants/suppliers that have no conflict of interest with yours.

This is also a good leverage for you and your biz to create more value for your clients, so that they will stick with you.

It is not about you, but what value you can create for your community and clients.

I hope that this tip can help you during this period to regain back your biz.
Thanks to: Kenneth Choo of KC Creative Marketing Pte. Ltd.

149. Assure a Safe Experience

Gain Trust. Even if stay-at-home orders are eased, there will be many citizens wary of potential risks. Every small business should be catering to this group. The number one marketing tip right now is to gain the trust of your customers with respect to how safe they will be if they visit your shop. My recommendation is to create a light-hearted video showing the precautions you are taking to keep your environment virus free. This will show that you are a responsible business that cares!
Thanks to: Will Ward of Assistive Listening HQ.

150. Remember the Lessons Learned

It should've been an eye-opening experience for small businesses that were made to shut down for extended periods. Covid19 has shown us the importance of having an online presence and sales channel because it is far more flexible and cost-effective. We are hoping for the best, but there's always a chance of a second or third wave, so it is important to remember the lessons learned and start working on building an online following and customer base.
Thanks to: Sadi Khan of RunRepeat.

151. Create a Selfie Wall

Create a "selfie wall" - inside or outside your business.
This may be a sign with an amusing message, or a backdrop people stand in front of for photos.
You might change these backdrops regularly to get across a topical message, advertise a promotion you're running, or simply to brighten up your store.
Add a hashtag and encourage store visitors to take a photo.
If they post these on social media, and tag your store, you can offer them a discount the next time they visit your business.
Thanks to: Alex Azoury of HomeGrounds.

152. Do Your Networking Online!

Don't wait until things return to 'normal' to resume your business networking activities (say, if most of what you did previously was to attend offline/face-to-face events) - do it online instead! There's a ton of online networking opportunities for small businesses: webinars, Facebook groups, Twitter hashtag chats, and so much more - especially as many offline events are now going online. Stay-at-home orders could be in place for a while, so don't wait it out - continue the conversations online.
Thanks to: Steve Morgan of Anti-Sell.

153. Over Communicate

With businesses making their own calculated choices with regard to reopening, it’s important to keep your customer up-to-date and informed on your changes. If you’re open for deliveries or there are delays in the supply chain or any other unknowns that may be affecting your business, communicate with the consumer. For the most part, they’re a captive audience during this time, so don’t worry about over-communication. Maintaining transparency should be a priority as orders start easing.
Thanks to: Stephanie Lane of SafeSpaceHub.

154. Don't Be Scared. Run Ads Now!

We have customers reporting success with Facebook advertising. Since social-distancing orders negatively affected millions of businesses, they curtailed ad spend. The result is less competition across most industries, which means cheaper rates and greater reach. In a recent campaign, a customer promoted a video on Facebook. After four days, the results were over 51,000 plays, almost 455,000 customers reached, with a total Facebook spend of $71.65. Great content can go much further than before.
Thanks to: James Chittenden of One Click Advisor.

155. Clean Up for Your Customers

Brick and mortar small businesses need to assure both their customers and staff members that their facilities are clean, sanitized and that specific measures will be in place to keep them that way. Work with a trusted partner, follow CDC guidelines and use EPA-approved products to keep your business clean and virus-free now and in the future. That added reassurance will go a long way in rebuilding trust with customers and employees as we start to reopen.
Thanks to: Michael Stahl of SERVPRO.

156. Don't Forget About GMB!

Make sure to regularly update your Google My Business listing to inform customers on how your business is operating. Use the COVID-19 business update option on your listing to let customers know how your business is operating and what you are doing to keep both customers and employees safe.
Thanks to: Alex Fiol of Fiol Law Group.

157. Customer Care & Market Sensing

Market sensing is used to understand the market and consumers today. COVID19 shifted this paradigm and small businesses must revisit their market sensing activities. Market sensing is now key to: reengaging, maintaining / improving relationships, and assuaging consumer concerns. Redefining engagement is key as the old norms are stripped away. It’s not just the product where consumer opinion has shifted, but the importance of conveying care for employees & customers.
Thanks to: Dan Edmonson of Dronegenuity.

158. Give Customers the Spotlight

A business could have customers share what they have missed the most about them. It could be a person, location, product, or service. Encourage them to share their heartfelt story via video and post/tag it to social media. This marketing campaign could strengthen one’s brand by showing the public what makes the business so special to its customers. The business could then gather all the videos and segment powerful clips to create one big video that could be used as a commercial.
Thanks to: Laura Cummins of Nine Dotz.

159. Build Partnerships

Make a coordinated plan with other businesses in your area that will be reopening and complying with state and federal safety guidelines. This plan can be especially helpful and easy if your business is part of a local or regional small business association, where many small business owners are ready and willing to interact with one another for the betterment of their communities and customers. Draft materials that your business and other collaborators can post to announce your re-openings.
Thanks to: Mitch Chailland of Canal HR.

160. Small Business Marketing Tips

There are a lot of marketing strategies to attract a client, but there is for sure one thing that is being used as the ultimate weapon of every business - the client relationship. Nothing can ever beat a client who has developed a close relationship with a small business that gives her all she needs.
Thanks to: Chad Hill of Unify Cosmos.

As always, many thanks to everyone that contributed to this article!

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Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth