10 tips for marketing your SME during COVID-19

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If you’re an SME – which includes businesses with turnovers up to £2m – then you may be wondering how the marketing landscape has changed during the crisis. In truth, there will be a new norm when the dust settles post-COVID, and it’s a great time to look and what this might look like now. These are our tips for low-cost marketing your SME during COVID-19.

1. Get busy on social media

So many people are locked up at home, and they’re using computers and smartphones to access their locality. Now is the time to use your social media and blog presence more than ever.

This doesn’t mean blatant selling, but updates on how the team is, your opening status, how your products and services are changing, how you can be of help.

Address what’s happening in the world. Use your expertise and knowledge. Stop pumping out product benefits. But be sure to talk about value adds, support, savings and delivery options that people will benefit from.

2. Adopt a family tone of voice

It’s a tough time for a lot of people, and the time for the brash hard sell is over. People want to see that you have empathy and understanding, and it’s a good time to review your overall brand tone of voice.

The way families are messaging each other is familiar and friendly. Like me, you probably end most calls and emails with ‘Stay safe’. It’s the tone your brand should be adopting, because that’s the new norm.

3. Review your Google My Business profile

Your free Google listing appears on both Google Maps and Google Local Search results. If you’ve claimed yours then you can edit it, and make it more relevant.

The more complete it is, the more likely you are to come up in search results to. Think now about how you communicate special hours, physical closure, and limited travel options.

4. Review your keywords

There has been a huge spike in “near me” and “open now” searches on Google, because people can’t travel and are looking for easy access or home delivery.

Your page posts can benefit from terms such as ‘near me’ that overcome Google’s own geographic results. While Oxygen is in Tiverton, we rarely come up for Taunton searches despite being only 15 minutes away. A ‘near me’ search can overcome the town name and country border issues. So ensure you’re optimised for your locality and long-tail terms such as “product for home delivery in Devon”.

5. Write relevant blog posts

You may think that the internet is awash with Coronavirus messaging. But there is still place for your own opinions.
Think about blogs that set the tone for your business correctly, and engage people with the right offer: support, discounts, online delivery, added value, free Zooms with advice.

Put this on a blog, and share the posts on your social channels, and you’ll also benefit your website SEO in the long term.

6. Go live on Facebook

facebook marketing stats
Statista shows the growth in Facebook usership is very much on the incline during the pandemic

Facebook usership is still on the climb, and it believes their Live viewers have increased 50% during COVID. It’s a free Facebook marketing feature, and if you have plenty of followers or are prepared to boost your posts you could reach a new or familiar audience with something that benefits your brand.

It’s effective for B2B as well as B2C because business people are all of social right now. Live seminar, product demo, free advice, Q&As… they’re great ways to demonstrate knowledge and attract custom.

7. Community outreach

There’s real value in showing what you’re really like as a business. Sorry, but if you’re a heartless money grabber you’re probably not the person to outreach to the community. But if you care, and have something to offer, go and do it. It will make you feel good and it will be remembered.

Even an authentic, heart-felt post to wish your community well can go a long way.

8. COVID-19 hashtags

A hashtag costs you nothing. But on social channels like Instagram, they oil the wheels of search. Think about how your tag can use location and industry modifiers, and look at their reach – so #devontogether may have meaning to your reader, but also be a common tag to put your post alongside like-minded posts.

Think of similes too, such as #quarantine, #lockdown and #homeschool that are being used in various ways to build social communities.

9. Repurpose reviews

If you have positive quotes from customer reviews they can be repurposed into social posts, or be the lead for blogs, especially if they say something relevant about your business. There may be themes that are right for the post-COVID era – such as people saying how patient you are, friendly, always have time for us.

10. Sponsored LinkedIn

LinkedIn has very granular ways to target an audience, by job role, company size, locality and even company name. They also give out free cash from time to time to get some free sponsored links, so if you’re not already doing this trawl your spam and trash and see if you’ve received a voucher. Build an audience, and sponsor well-crafted posts to them so they know what you’re up to, what state your business is in, and what you want from new customers.

If you’re offering credit terms, discounts, online services and community support, then people will want to know.

We hope this is useful, and most of it you can implement yourselves. If all else fails, give us a call and we’d be glad to help.