Marketing Strategies for Small Online Businesses During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis has brought substantial and devastating changes to the economy. It has cost lives, going as far as causing a spike in the unemployment rate, forcing companies to roll out a retrenchment program, and paralyzing micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Bringing back a well-functioning economy will be difficult, but hope is not lost. Entrepreneurs can turn the tables by streamlining their work processes and improving their digital presence.

Due to its accessibility, the internet has helped many people slowly recover, opening opportunities for others to start their own business. Some are selling baked goods and homemade food, while there are those selling essential home products like disinfecting mats and hygiene kits. Other well-established companies are also using social media to promote their business, from vinyl siding services to cute stationery materials.

To ensure survival and long-term success, start-up businesses also have to equip themselves with the right set of marketing skills. Here are three strategies that can expand the consumer reach of new businesses. 

Study your target market

Starting a business means knowing who your customers are. Understanding their demographics can help entrepreneurs send out the right message and content. Do your customers prioritize quality over the price point? Or are they warier about spending their hard-earned cash? If they are the latter, sending them free samples can convince them to patronize one's product. Showing that your business is generous is an effective way of promotional marketing.

Entrepreneurs can even have a targeted study group first before officially launching. These first customers can help spread the word and provide helpful feedback on what needs to be improved. It is better to work out all of the kinks during this soft opening rather than having those mistakes come back to bite you later.

Publish great content on social media

Everyone is on social media these days, and start-up businesses need to set up social media accounts to gain followers. But to convert followers to consumers, content is vital to keep engagement up and build the business's branding. It is a core part of digital marketing strategies. All relevant information and updates should be published in those accounts for easy reference.

Bear in mind that posting during peak hours is a tactical move. More people can see and interact with the posts, whether to comment or share the content. Visually appealing posts like infographics and photos have a better chance of increasing view counts than wordy text.

Ensure customer satisfaction

First impressions last. When customers are satisfied the first time, their loyalty is guaranteed, and they will continue to support the business. From inquiries to payment to receiving the product, a customer's needs must always be accommodated. One of the emerging business trends under COVID-19 is the demand for faster delivery. If entrepreneurs can fulfill this, not only will the customer be more satisfied, but their sales will also increase. But inconveniences and emergencies can happen, which is why entrepreneurs should have a contingency plan prepared when it happens.

The beginning is the hardest part when starting a business. There will be setbacks, especially since the economy is still recovering. But if entrepreneurs pursue the right marketing strategies, their companies will thrive.

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