2021 small business coronavirus survival guide
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2021 small business coronavirus survival guide

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Editor’s Update: This article was originally posted Nov. 23, 2020. As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be distributed, talks of a future shutdown have calmed in the new year. However, there are multiple variants of the virus. Researchers are still studying to determine if current vaccines will protect against the variants. As such, we continue to think businesses would stand to benefit from these marketing solutions. Even if a shutdown does not occur, there are still many people out there who will be risk averse that need your product or service.

Original story: As Missouri, and most of the country, continue to set new record highs in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, there have been rumblings of another shutdown on the horizon.

No matter your opinion of whether or not that’s a good idea, to not prepare for the possibility would be a serious mistake. Especially if you barely survived the first stay-at-home order. 

And your peers in Springfield would agree. 

Three local business owners were interviewed by the Springfield Business Journal about how e-commerce has saved their businesses during the pandemic. 

Mama Jean’s Natural Foods Market invested in an e-commerce platform right before the pandemic and then added curbside pickup once the stay-at-home order was implemented. 

In April alone, online shopping generated nearly $144,000, or 9%, of roughly $1.7 million in combined store sales for Mama Jean’s.

So, not only did adding an e-commerce platform keep the business afloat, but it obviously has increased revenue and created a runway for future success.

We are about to present you with marketing solutions that can do the same thing for your business. 

These solutions are generally a good idea anyway and offer a healthy return on investment. 

However, their ability to provide you with the ability to survive or perhaps even grow in the midst of a lockdown is what has us recommending them to you here. 

Website

Honestly, a well-designed website is a must-have these days regardless of a global pandemic. 

A website offers you a virtual storefront that allows you to be open for business 24/7 and also becomes the foundation for all of your further digital marketing efforts.  

In that SBJ article mentioned earlier, Lisa O’Dell, the owner of Blue Raven Emporium, said her sales in her physical location had been in decline for two years before she moved exclusively online in February. 

She didn’t release her sales figures to the reporter but said e-commerce gave her a boost right when she most needed it.

Having a website also gives your business credibility. In fact, most people expect businesses to have one.

Your competition likely has a website and, if you don’t, they could be stealing customers because of it. 

As an added bonus, you’ll also gain traffic from search engines. You can increase the amount through search engine optimization you perform yourself or professionals like ourselves can really ramp it up.

Landing page

If you can’t swing a full-blown website, a landing page offers you a place to direct traffic for more information or to make purchases. 

It does not offer near the amount of marketing power, flexibility, storage, or options as a website, but is cheaper and better than nothing. 

They actually can be a very powerful tool when coupled with social ads that invite viewers to click over to the landing page. 

Make sure your page has just one offer (multiple offers can decrease conversions by up to 266 percent according to Marketing Experiments) and add explainer as well as testimonial videos to increase your conversions.

Landing pages make for a heck of a band-aid during another shutdown and one avenue to continue making money while your building is forced to close. 

Email Marketing

You may be surprised to learn that email marketing has been shown in several studies to provide the best ROI of any marketing tool. 

If you need to market to millennials and think they will find emails annoying or not engage with them, you’re actually incorrect. Hubspot found that 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.

Email marketing is really for all demographics. Almost 80% of marketers told Hubspot in that same report they’ve seen an increase in engagement in the last year.

So, use emails to advertise, direct your contacts to a website or landing page for sales, or to simply build brand loyalty. 

Social Media Advertising

Social ads have been the prettiest girl at the dance for a few years now. With their ability to reach as general or specific of an audience as you prefer and low costs, they make sense for any business. 

How effective are they? 

Nearly half of social media users say they’ve bought something after seeing an ad. That number rises if you look at the numbers for millennials or women. 

Want your ads to be more effective than industry average?

Video ads produce better results. Also, don’t make extravagant claims that you cannot back up with proof. SurveyMonkey says people trust TV ads right now more than the ones on social by 20%. 

However, they continue to make purchases from social media ads. So, if you’re able to gain the public’s trust you will clean up.

You can use Facebook ads to drive ecommerce sales or to get your phone ringing with click-to-call ads

Social Media Management

Building and maintaining brand loyalty and awareness during a shutdown is paramount. 

This is a unique time in which you can bond with your audience and show them the human side of your business through social media. We are all humans and we are all going through this together. 

If another shutdown comes, you can bet people will be killing some of the time on social media. 

Take advantage of the increased traffic and build your following as well as engage with your audience. 

The best way to do this is through the use of video. 

It’s long been said social platforms are prioritizing video content but if you need more convincing, check out these stats from Wyzowl

  • Over 100 million hours of video is watched on Facebook every day
  • A video tweet is six times as likely to be retweeted vs. a photo tweet on Twitter
  • From 2016 to 2017, views of branded video content increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook

We could really stat you to death with video because every study conducted on what it does for your business is overwhelmingly positive.

So, uh, do it. Or get someone like us to do it for you.

Spotify Ads

Whether people are working, studying, or just hanging out at home, most of us like to listen to music while we go throughout our daily lives. 

Lockdown or not, we’ve been telling all of our clients who want to target millennials and a respectable chunk of Generation X that Spotify ads are a good way to do that. 

41% of ad-supported Spotify listeners are between 25-44 years old.

Don’t think they’re using the ad-supported version? Actually, a lot of people are. 170M of the 299M monthly users of Spotify use the ad-supported version.

Spotify allows for similar targeting options as Facebook ads. You can target demographics, their interests, and specific music/podcast genres. Also, you can reach listeners as they are soundtracking specific moments of their day such as cooking, partying, gaming, working out, and more.

Making this more tantalizing is the fact it’s affordable and fairly new. Which means you’ll be getting a jump on your competition. Especially here in Springfield, Missouri. 

Google Ads

Again, people will be getting some more screen time if we have to shutter ourselves in again.

Google is the largest search engine and accounts for nearly 25% of all internet traffic.

So, putting yourself at the top of search engine results pages for Google searches of keywords specific to your business just makes sense.

Something else to consider: during a shutdown a lot of competitors pull back on their Google Ads budgets. Why should that matter? Well, obviously reduced competition. 

However, we also saw the average price of a pay-per-click campaign drop by about 50%

So, imagine what could happen if you have an optimized campaign.

A great way to do this is to make sure the page your ad takes them to is relevant to the ads you’re running. Do this through great copy that is helpful to the reader while also having a good amount of keywords. 

That’ll lower your cost while also increasing conversions. 

We’re odd because we care

2oddballs has been successful because we honestly care about small businesses.You aren’t just another client. We treat you like we want to be treated. 

We bust our butts on your projects because we want them to succeed. 

We’re underdogs too. Small business owners in Springfield, Missouri trying to grow by helping our peers around us grow. 

If you want straight-shooting, helpful partners to help get your business in front of the people who need you, get in touch through the form below. Or give us a call at 417-986-6332. 

Got Questions? Need Help?

Leave us a message. We don’t do high pressure pestering. Yeah, odd right? 

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