The world we live in now has changed enormously since the start of 2020. Whilst the effect of COVID-19 on many SMEs has been severe, the crisis has also demonstrated the value of taking action! Through focussed and determined marketing efforts, many businesses have been able to respond to the drastic changes happening around them and keep growing.
From embracing video marketing to selling through social media, a huge number of small businesses have taken a proactive approach to their digital marketing during the pandemic and have been able to come out on top.
If you’ve been reluctant to take the next step for your business during lockdown, it’s not too late. There are still plenty of ways you can capitalise on new opportunities, even as we move towards life after COVID-19. Read on to find out how…
Embracing imaginative ideas
Even as many businesses begin to reopen, there are countless others who remain closed. For many of us, things won’t return to business as usual for months and maybe even years. However, just because physical stores and premises are still closed, that doesn’t mean we have to be stationary. There’s a whole range of ways you can keep your business moving forward, building up your brand reputation and winning customers from afar.
For the best example of this, look no further than hairdressers! A huge number of hairdressers have been forced to diversify their businesses in order to stay afloat during lockdown. For many, this has meant getting creative with the products and expertise they have, even though they’re not allowed anywhere near their customers’ hair!
Innovative ideas like sending out bespoke colour packages in the post, complete with detailed instructions, have allowed hairdressers to make some much needed revenue during lockdown. Similarly, some hairdressers have been offering video tutorials on how to cut your own hair at home! These new services are inspiring examples of how you can use your expertise in novel ways, even if you’re limited by social distancing rules.
Adapting technology to your needs
The beauty of being in lockdown in 2020 - as opposed to 10 years ago - is that we have the technology we need to deliver high quality services without face-to-face contact. Video calling technology, social media, web stores and online booking platforms are just some of the tools that are enabling businesses to combat the barriers imposed by coronavirus.
Whilst the options open to you will depend on your industry, we’ve seen new pop-up services including:
• Online tutorials
The rise of the online tutorial has accelerated over the past few months with more and more businesses moving their expertise online. From perfume workshops to pasta making classes, online tutorials have helped many businesses keep their brand relevant and give customers more of what they’re interested in from the comfort of their homes.
• Video consultations
Being unable to see clients face-to-face, many businesses have switched to video calls and video consultations. Video call technology enables a direct approach to doing business remotely, providing customers and clients with a more personal service and the chance to receive specialised advice from afar.
• Doorstep services
Cafes, street food businesses, carnival kiosks - many catering companies have been bringing their services direct to their customers’ doors! Thanks to online booking platforms, small businesses have been able to automate their booking and ordering process, allowing them to keep serving their customers in a safe and socially distanced way.
• How-to guides
Social media, blogs, and video streaming sites like YouTube have also provided the perfect space for creating how-to guides! A lot of businesses have been getting creative with the types of content they’re offering customers, using the tried and tested how-to format. This has ranged from knitting patterns to cocktail mixing guides, with the corresponding supplies sent out as deliveries!
These imaginative approaches are all on top of the host of new delivery services that have been established during lockdown. They’re just some of the ways that you can take your business in a new direction, even if you can’t reach your customers in person.
Remodelling your brand
If you are making big changes to your business model, it’s a good idea to reexamine your brand identity and your current marketing efforts too. It’s very likely that you’ll need to update your marketing strategy to better reflect the new aims of your business.
For many SME’s, the market has changed so dramatically that previous business models are simply not working anymore. In these contexts, taking your business in a new direction could mean completely rebranding. It can be a big step to drastically change your business but making that decision could help to save your business and prepare you for the future to come.
You have a blank sheet to remake your brand in a way that works for the times we now find ourselves in. That might mean changing your brand voice, taking another look at your brand’s ethos or completely altering your marketing strategy long-term.
Looking to the future
Here at Start Up Marketeer, we’ve also had to adapt to the new normal. This has included juggling homeschooling, remote working and helping our customers navigate the changes happening around us.
Looking forward, we can see a huge number of entrepreneurs who are raring to go, pushing forward with the next chapter of their business or setting off on new enterprises. We’re incredibly excited for what’s to come and we look forward to helping many more clients realise their (re)vision for their businesses.
It’s not too late to take your business in a new direction and to make the changes that may be desperately needed. Though it can be daunting at first, it’s massively important to adapt in the face of an altered world. Whether that’s hiring a more diverse team, opening up to expansion in an unexplored market or transforming your brand completely, it’s never too late to change.