The pandemic has caused many small businesses to shutter. Some, however, took it as a sign to assess the situation and pivot. Instead of closing shop to avoid further risking their resources, businesses that are still in operation found a window of opportunity to stand out with fewer competitors in a dwindling marketplace.
Small businesses that established themselves online and creatively leveraged digital marketing were better able to cater to the sudden changes in market demands, especially with a drop in competition.
Read on to discover how digital marketing has aided small businesses despite the pandemic’s catastrophic effects.
Digital Marketing Assists With Growth
As many people have sheltered in place at home without the ability to interact outdoors, the reliance on the internet for both necessities and recreation rose exponentially. Many users shifted from in-person communication and services to online interactions and transactions.
By creating a steady online presence, businesses that changed their focus from traditional methods to digital marketing were able to retain or increase their engagement with consumers — and, in turn, also increased their conversion rates.
Digital marketing can help small businesses expand and reach a wider audience, too. By keeping up-to-date and utilizing social media trends, many small businesses found that the pandemic created new niches and demands to cater to.
By paying more attention to digital marketing, small businesses can also discover a means of potentially competing with larger companies. This is because, when done correctly, digital marketing can be just as effective at reaching the masses as traditional marketing without needing an exorbitant budget. It can help save more money for investing in other areas of your business that need it.
Digital Marketing Provides a Workaround for Many Industries
The food industry suffered greatly because of the pandemic due to social distancing, quarantine, and lockdowns. These have effectively barred food businesses from performing at their peak — even causing an alarming number to shut down entirely.
As such, food businesses had to make changes concerning their marketing strategies. With a heightened demand for food delivery services, food establishments that typically rely on in-person foot traffic have started to develop digital marketing strategies using social media and online advertisements to keep businesses afloat.
This also applies to other industries that rely on brick-and-mortar shops. Retail stores selling clothing, home goods, and other sundries have found a semblance of stability by establishing online stores, shipping services, and stronger social media presences to resume cash flow.
Some services, like therapy and other medical consultations, have started offering online assessments and sessions to continue servicing their communities without the risk of COVID-19 infections in hospitals and clinics.
Digital Marketing Helps Keep Customers Informed and Engaged
Thanks to constant advancements in technology, it is getting easier and easier to communicate and transact with almost any type of audience. Social media, in particular, has helped businesses form stronger connections with their audience by providing a convenient means to engage with customers using different forms of media.
Many brands have utilized their social media accounts to share stories that make emotional impacts on their audience. Strong examples include marketing campaigns revolving around pandemic relief efforts and showing support for movements that aid marginalized communities.
Some brands even create online-only products and services that evoke a sense of exclusivity and prestige, subconsciously promoting brand loyalty.
Small businesses have also utilized online platforms to keep customers informed about changes in operations, especially when moving from a physical location to a digital domain. This way, existing local customers know how to continue supporting small businesses.
Lastly, by establishing a well-rounded online presence, small businesses can give their audience multiple avenues for customer feedback and support. By showing an open interest in customers’ opinions, businesses can also encourage brand loyalty and increase positive brand reputation by building trust.
To best utilize digital marketing, make sure that your website and contact information are always kept updated. You must also maintain a strong and constant online presence on major social media platforms to stay relevant.
The Key Takeaway
The pandemic has challenged our way of handling our businesses. However, we must not give up in these trying times. We must learn how to be resilient and be resourceful.
With the many types of pandemic restrictions in place, it is important to continue using digital marketing as other surviving businesses have. It has contributed a lot in helping businesses flourish and grow despite the absence of physical stores and in-person interactions.
Regardless of which platform you use, you will see success in your digital marketing efforts by using it wisely and creatively. Keep your website and social media profiles up-to-date, stay connected and continue engaging with your customers and always look for new ways to meet your market’s needs by paying attention to online trends. By doing so, you will have a higher chance to keep your business afloat throughout and after the pandemic.
Ready to start your digital marketing plan? Contact out digital marketing agency in Philadelphia, PA to learn more!
There are multiple factors that can affect the decision of a customer when making a purchase. A common approach for many is to ask their friends for recommendations or to conduct their research online.
Since buying online has become easier and faster than ever before, the internet often does a lot of the selling for a brand. This can have a major impact on whether or not a customer makes a purchase.
The reality is that the best sales representatives and marketers of a company are not the sole providers of sales. Existing customers also play a large role. According to experts, customers trust the recommendations of friends and family over any other type of online advertising from a brand. When there are no trusted recommendations, researchers found that more than 80% of consumers relied on online reviews instead.
For a business to keep up with the competitive, online-first market, they need to get their happy customers sharing positive reviews of their experiences. The good news is that most customers are happy to help. A majority of customers who were asked for a review were willing.
The real question is how does one get their customers to write these amazing reviews that help close deals? How do you ensure that customers are satisfied and happy enough to supply the positive reviews needed?
Below are 5 tactics that can help companies obtain great customer reviews:
1. Optimize the Content
Reviews can appear unsolicited from both satisfied and dissatisfied customers on third-party websites. When people are on your site, however, it’s best to ensure that they can easily leave reviews there.
Optimizing your website, social profiles, emails, and even blog posts can provide people with an easy way to write reviews. This includes:
- Installing website badges to quickly direct visitors to your Facebook, Amazon, and Yelp pages.
- Optimizing the website for mobile devices to accommodate users who arrive while performing searches on their phones.
- Keeping requests short if asking for customer reviews via email.
2. Provide Incentives
Customers value their time, so it’s important to ensure that brands are giving them reasons to leave a review.
Providing them with incentives can make customers want to provide their feedback. These incentives can come in the form of coupons or discount codes. Brands can also encourage entries to a contest to win gift cards or even cash.
3. Meet Customers in the Middle
Avoid emailing customers to ask them to leave a positive review on third-party channels like Yelp. Rather, you should ensure that your request matches the avenue where you want your customers to provide their reviews.
When deciding to send out an email to ask customers for reviews, ensure that the email has direct links to the exact place where you want them to leave their honest feedback. For example, brands that wish to obtain reviews on Facebook should request via Facebook Messenger. When asking for customer reviews from different platforms, it’s essential to make the request as integrated as possible. One of how this can be done is by linking to a Yelp page via the email signature.
4. Respond To All Reviews
No one is perfect, and mistakes can happen despite the effort made. Nothing can stop a customer from leaving a disappointing one-star review on your website, Facebook page, Google My Business, or Yelp listing.
Despite this, brands should always take their time to respond thoughtfully to these customers without being defensive. The best thing you can do in this scenario is to attempt to work out a resolution. This may even benefit the business in the long run.
Customers are humans too, and the idea of a compassionate and empathetic customer service team from a brand can have a positive effect. This will eventually lead to an increase in total reviews, especially good feedback.
5. Share Positive Reviews From the Past
When a company begins receiving positive feedback from its customers, it can keep the momentum up by highlighting and sharing the reviews with others. Doing so can inspire new customers in following the act and leaving great reviews themselves.
On TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, and other review websites, it’s possible for business owners to pin specific reviews that are helpful. This is similar to upvoting, which can move reviews further up on the website so that more users can see them.
Ensure that you periodically do this for positive reviews so that the brand page consistently highlights the top feedback.
Another way is to share positive reviews via your social media channels to open up this option for the audience there. It’s possible to format positive feedback as quotes on Instagram or reshare positive reviews on your Facebook page for followers to see.
Social proof is one of the best marketing tactics available today. This means that if customers can see other people sharing positive reviews, there’s a higher probability of them doing the same.
Aside from securing new reviews from customers, companies should also spend time promoting positive feedback across their social media channels.
The Bottom Line
No matter the type of business you own, the truth is that online reviews have a huge impact on bringing in more customers.
To start gathering customer feedback at scale, the best approach is to incorporate it slowly into your business process. This begins with having an active strategy for customer service and online reputation. Brands can use templates and ask existing, happy customers for their reviews.
The more positive reviews that a business has, the more trustworthy they appear in the industry. This in turn creates trust in potential customers who discover the brand online.
This is also why companies should not shy away from simply asking their customers for a review. You can make it easy for people to provide positive feedback by asking at the right time and right place.
The Fear Tactic is used by a ton of digital marketing agencies. Our industry scares business owners as to why they need to act immediately. Our approach is different. We educate our prospective and current clients on technical issues that should be addressed and provide the information on how you