5 COVID-19 Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

The COVID-19 crisis has made businesses scrambling to survive. Various business restrictions, decreased consumer spending, and a global economic slowdown means revenues and profits have taken a dramatic hit. But this doesn’t mean that you should be sitting idle waiting for this to pass over.

You want to be proactive and take the necessary steps to market your business. But what exactly can you do? Here are five COVID-19 marketing tips that you can use to ensure your business can come out of this crisis stronger:

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1. Set Up an Affiliate Program

Some businesses are finding it difficult to come up with the capital they need to run advertising and marketing campaigns. If you’re struggling to see sales, you should set up an affiliate program. This is basically a program where you pay people a flat or percentage-based commission when somebody they refer turns into a customer.

The great thing about running an affiliate program is that you only pay out a commission when a sale is made. You are not making any kind of upfront investment to bring in customers. And with Internet usage being very high, more people are open to referring others to a product or service they believe in to make some kind of money. You can check Referralcandy to setup such a program.

But with affiliate programs, you have to make sure that you create a win-win scenario. The commissions should be reasonable. If the commission is too low, this will result in a weak incentive for people to promote you.

2. Run Ads

You would think that during this crisis you should be cutting back on your ads. But you have to be smart about how you run ads. In some industries, the cost of advertising has gone down 20 to 25 percent. This is a great opportunity to test out ads to see if you can make them profitable.

While the data shows that social media ad spend is down all over the world, there hasn’t been a big decline in East Asia. This is probably because many Eastern regions have handled it better than the Western regions. Consumers still are purchasing in Singapore, so businesses are continuing to advertise.

Don’t let fear guide your decisions. Run some social media or search engine ads and use the data to guide your next steps. And remember, these ad platforms are also great because you have a lot of control over your budget.

3. Sell Postponables

If you are running a business that is not allowed to operate, you can still generate sales by selling postponables. Postponables are simply a form of credit that the customers can use for a later time. This can be anything from coupons, gift cards, to free service cards.

The way you want to sell postponables is to make the offer irresistible. For example, if customers buy credit for your business product or services now, they can save 20 percent off the normal price. You can even set up pricing structures that give increased savings based on the amount they purchase.

Even Google is allowing businesses to set up a link on their business pages that links to their gift cards. It might even be a great way to combine postponables with your ads. It’s a far better option than doing nothing because your business isn’t allowed to operate.

4. Improve Your Sales Page

Since everybody is spending most of their time at home, they are opting to purchase remotely. They’re not coming into contact with salespeople as they usually do. That’s why the role of the salesperson has shifted to your website.

If you want to sell effectively on your website, you need to improve your sales page. You need to create a great sales presentation whether it’s text-based, an infographic, or a video. Work on the sales copy or script so that you are communicating effectively and convincing the person on the other end to make a purchase.

5. Work On Your Message

Now isn’t the time to force your message or communicate in a tone-deaf manner. Everyone is going through a difficult period right now. Instead of trying to push your message, enter the conversation that’s already in the minds of your customers.

Think about the mindset they have when it comes to your market or industry. What conversations are they having? What worries them? Why did they visit your website? You want to enter the psychology of your target audience, not try to hijack it.

Obviously, everybody is worried about COVID-19. You will need to address that in some manner or form in your message. Don’t assume that it’s just business as usual. Communicate how you’re dealing with this crisis and how you plan on supporting your customers.

These are five things that you can do to market your business during the COVID-19 crisis. Most business owners are having a tough time right now and a good number of businesses probably will not make it. If you want your business to survive and come out strong when this is all over, you need to be proactive with your marketing.

Ted Chong

Ted is the director of Ice Cube Marketing. His insights on marketing has been featured in AsiaOne Business, Singapore Business Review , e27 and TechinAsia. He graduated with a 1st class honors degree in Business IT from NTU. While not planning campaigns for clients, he enjoys a good read on books related to psychology.

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