We’ll come right out and say it. It’s a weird time that we’re living in. As business owners ourselves, we understand the sudden shift in business plans, marketing ideas, rearranged schedules, and re-prioritizing the health of your employees. This global pandemic, also known as COVID-19, has completely changed the world we’re living in.
It’s easy to have gotten flustered or caught up in the panic of the unknown. What will this do for my business? Can we stay afloat? How will a pause or slowdown in business affect my life outside of work? What about my employees? As partners in business, we just want to say we’re here for you. We get it.
Together, we will get through this.
At One Thing Marketing, we are focusing on what we can control and helping each other stay positive in these times. We want to do the same for you.
When COVID-19 allows us to get back to normal, people will be searching for your products and services again. They are going to need you. And honestly, depending on the industry, they may need you now more than ever.
If you cut back on your marketing, then once things rev up again, your customers won’t be able to find you and your business will continue to see less business, and in turn, less revenue.
We understand that business may look different for you right now, but we’re here to tell you first hand, by focusing on what you can control now, your business can reap the benefits later.
Essentially, what we’re saying is now is not the time to pull money out of your marketing plan. Now is the best time to invest in your business. One Thing Marketing is here to help you find a customized solution and offer marketing ideas to do just that.
Budgeting for Marketing & SEO During the Coronavirus Pandemic
When the first wind of social distancing took place, we understand that as a business owner, you may have begun to worry. Now, as the weeks have gone by, it’s been put in place for local Louisville businesses and businesses all over Kentucky to close their doors for safety and health precautions.
Those are the facts. Now, we understand that adjusting the budget accordingly has been something many business owners have had to do. Businesses and revenue are going to take hits right now. There is a lot of uncertainty around the potential economic impacts of COVID-19. However, we’re here to tell you that cutting ties with your marketing plan is not the route you want to take.
Because here’s another fact: This knee-jerk reaction, to take money out of marketing, is setting your business up for a long-term, uphill battle to recover.
For example, when it comes to SEO, organic search is a zero-sum game. Your gains or losses are exactly balanced by the gains or losses of others in the search engine results. It is very much a living, breathing, competitive space. So if you’re not actively moving ahead, you’re falling behind.
Now, more than ever, is the most critical time to develop your strongest game plan and your most strategic marketing ideas.
Investing in Your Business: By the Numbers
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, if you’re doing anywhere between $1 and $5 million in sales per year, you should be spending 7-8% of gross revenue on advertising and marketing.
We’ve worked with businesses of all sizes and industries of all kinds, right here in Louisville, KY, and all across the United States. Some of our high-growth clients are budgeting anywhere between 10-12%. For marketing maintenance, 7% is the bare minimum.
This means for every $100,000 in gross revenue, you should have at least $7,000 set aside specifically for advertising and marketing per year.
It’s crucial for the success of your business that you maintain at least this level of marketing investment throughout the Coronavirus pandemic to see a strong ROI down the road.
Creative Marketing Ideas & Other Solutions to Consider During COVID-19
Without doors open for business and no real way to make face to face contact with your customers, how do you reach them? At One Thing Marketing, we’ve created a starting point with 5 marketing ideas on how to invest in your business, reach your customers, and continue to generate leads during COVID-19.
1. Connect With Your Customers on Social Media: Let’s be honest. Almost everyone that’s been stuck inside their homes are also stuck scrolling through their social media feeds and browsing online right now. More or less, social media platforms are the only source of social interactions we’re allowed right now. Use these networks to be in front of your consumers, create a conversation with your customers, and allow them to engage with your business. This is one of the best sources to keep them up to date with how you are operating during this crazy time. Think about running Facebook ads to your business to either gain likes, brand awareness, or drive any specials that you may be offering to your customers.
2. Positivity > Panic: This one is rather simple. In such trying times, even when it’s hard, you never want to make a decision out of panic. When it comes to budget and revenue, try to stay positive and think long term. You always want to use metrics and data and analyze anything you have available to make the best decisions moving forward. Impulse or panic decisions typically don’t end well for your business in the long run, especially when you’ve made the decision in the moment, out of panic. Try to stay positive and take caution when reacting to sudden shifts in the economy during COVID-19.
3. Keep In Touch With Your Customers: Human beings seek interaction. Right now, when we should all be busy practicing our social distancing, use this as a time to keep in touch with your customers and develop stronger relationships or build trust. Take a proactive approach and let your clients know you appreciate their business and couldn’t make it without them.
Let your customers know what you’re doing to keep them, and your employees, safe. Create an open dialogue covering how you’re currently conducting business, handling refunds, or give them details about any cancellations you’ve had to make. Furthermore, capitalize on this marketing idea by letting your customers know what they can expect from you within the coming weeks as COVID-19 continues to shape the way you conduct business.
4. Focus on Retaining Your Current Customers: Now, we’re not saying completely turn away new customers, by any means. Right now, if we’re being realistic, people are more hesitant to try out new products or buy services from a new company they’ve never worked with. So, focus your efforts where you can, and that’s retaining your current customer base.
For this marketing idea, start with the basics and evaluate your overall customer satisfaction ratings. From what you can see, are your customers happy and satisfied? Is your company meeting their expectations? Once you’ve got a good feel of where you stand, go out of your way to create value for your customers. See if it’s an option to cut some of your services or lower prices, rather than miss out on clients who can’t afford to fully invest right now. Pitch other services as an alternative, or get creative with your business contracts to find a way to meet their needs and make a deal.
5. Solidify Your Local SEO Campaign: We’re all being told to reduce our travel and stay close to home. To only make special trips out when it’s absolutely necessary. On the occasion people do leave their homes, now more than ever, they’re looking for local businesses who offer the products, services, and supplies they’re after. And if you can come to them? Even better.
Proper Local SEO strategies mean that when people are searching for products or services “near me” or in “Louisville, KY”, for example, that your business can be the one they’re finding online. You want customers in your geographical region to be able to find you online, and a solid Local SEO strategy is the best way to make that happen. At a time when we’re all looking for more convenience, Local SEO gives your business a chance to provide assistance during a critical time for families.
Supporting Local Businesses: One Thing Marketing Thanks YOU
If anything, we hope we’ve given some insight and helpful tips by sharing 5 of our best marketing ideas to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. At One Thing Marketing, we are fortunate to have the ability to continue our work from the safety of our homes, and stay connected to each other, and our clients, through technology.
We’d like to thank each and every one of you for supporting our company and looking forward to the chance to do the same for you.
Be sure to stay tuned next week for 5 more marketing ideas for your business during COVID-19. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free 30 minute brainstorming session (via video chat or phone call, of course) to learn how to apply these marketing ideas to your business.
Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands.