Pandemic Growth Hacks for Small Businesses

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For many, it seemed like we rounded the curve of Covid this summer and made it into the clear. The warm weather meant a great boom for many restaurants and businesses, and outdoor dining helped a semblance of normalcy return to their sales.

However, with winter quickly cooling temperatures and triggering seasonal allergies, consumers are growing wary once more.

Too many companies across the nation have already had to close their doors, and the threat of another shutdown is terrifying for those that remain. With chaos in the air, business owners have to get creative — and we’re here to help.

IndoorMedia has always focused on helping people grow their business through smart advertising, and right now, it’s more important than ever to invest in proven tactics. Whether you’re looking to grow your brand, online traffic, or just straight-up sales, we’ve got you covered.

 Share Your Story with Local News

It’s hard to ask for help, but the pandemic has made that a necessity for many businesses.

Inviting the local news to share a story about your business can trigger community support and increase your local visibility. Many restaurants, salons, and dry cleaners around the country have improved their sales by inviting journalists in and being honest about how the pandemic has affected them.

The best way to attract local news attention is to submit a newsworthy story. Take this Wisconsin restaurant, for example. To combat the loss of outdoor diners during the winter months, they invested in “comfort bubbles”; protective bubbles fit with heat lamps, string lights, and blankets to match the restaurant’s atmosphere. The idea became a huge hit and made for a great news story.

Additionally, news channels will post to their websites or social media when they need to interview sources for stories. Why not take advantage of the free media coverage?

Look online for the hashtags your local news station uses so you can keep track of when they’re looking for stories. When an opportunity presents itself, submit a description of your business and your newsworthy story.

 Release Your Own Breaking News

Sharing your story through the local news can help you build an audience. Once you have followers, make waves through your own social media platforms. Social media is the easiest way for your business to connect directly with customers and weigh in on or share the most important things to you. Please don’t wait until it’s too late, use social media to build your brand now.

Start by creating an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook page for your business. Then, you can use these pages to share new promotions and even release digital coupons. It’s important to understand that when you’re sharing relevant, likable content, you’re building your business’s reputation. This is a contemporary concept called “Content Marketing” and an important move for any small business.

By building your reputation, current and potential customers will look to you as their expert source for news and promotions in your industry. As their trust builds, so will your impressions, visits, and followers, ultimately making it more likely to book another appointment or sale.

 Learn How to Use Pop-Ups 

While Pop-up ads got a horrible reputation in the early 2000s, they’re still with us today. Ever notice that when you log on to a new retailer’s website, you’re met with a “30% Off New Customer!” discount? These pop-ups are intended to capture website visitors quickly and turn them into customers, and they’re a lot less complicated than they seem.

If you have a website or blog, you can easily build your own “pop-up” that greets people either when they arrive on your page, are about to check-out, or visit a certain section.

Today, these ads usually fade in or feature a nice photo and gentle font. The stressful, strobe-light ads we saw twenty years ago have become obsolete because all they did was drive people away.

Instead, be considerate of your website visitors, and take advantage of tasteful pop-up templates that are subtle and only slightly intrusive (you are trying to convert them, after all). Take advantage of the calming presentations available online, as a tasteful ad incentives visitors to hang around even longer.

 Advertise Where Your Customers Are 

No matter how prepared your customers are, and no matter how carefully they’re quarantining, everyone has to go to the grocery store.

Customers will inevitably have to return at least once or twice a week, and most grocery stores see 20,000 customers each week on average. Take advantage of that draw with grocery store advertising, so you can continue to reach new customers and stay visible in your community.

The right supermarket advertisement can remind regulars to stop by and trigger curiosity from unlikely new-comers. Whether you’re interested in printing coupons on grocery store register tape or looking into shopping cart advertising, you’re guaranteed to reach thousands of people every week.

Building that kind of local buzz during a pandemic is relatively unheard of but totally possible. If you want to do your research and learn more, check out this article.

 Schedule and Build Your Content Calendar 

No matter how you choose to advertise your business during the pandemic, make sure that potential and current customers are constantly reminded of your presence.

Repetition is key to a successful campaign. Some mediums have repetition built-in, such as grocery store advertising. Every time a person checks out from the grocery store, your coupon is handed directly to them. The more they shop, the more frequently they see your ad.

On the other hand, if you choose to run an online campaign, you’ll need to figure out how often to post to your social media channels to make sure your customers are reminded of your business at relevant times. For example, if a customer sees an ad for your restaurant at midnight, it’s probably not going to lead to a new sale. However, if they see that same ad two or three times a week around their lunch break, they’re much more likely to stop by.

As you plan your pandemic content marketing, make sure you’re releasing new, eye-catching content a few times a week. If you wait too long between each impression, prospects may assume you’ve closed or forgotten you exist.

Instead, map out your content marketing efforts, schedule your digital channels ahead of time, and make sure your current and potential customers can’t forget about your great business.

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