It is an obvious fact that this pandemic of COVID-19 has created an incredibly difficult time for small businesses mainly because of the norm of social distancing. This has created a financial crunch for the owners of these businesses because it rendered them inoperable. However, this situation also opened up new digital marketing opportunities for small businesses as well. So, taking advantage of them will help you to get the most out of the current situation. In this article, we will discuss different online marketing and advertising opportunities available for small and medium businesses.
Drop In The Rate Of Advertising
The COVID-19 outbreak created an economic downturn, it resulted in advertising rates plummeting and this is because all types of businesses have put brakes on their marketing campaigns. This is clearly visible on social media sites like Facebook and on search engines like Google. Due to the drop in buyers for each keyword, the prices for online marketing and advertising have naturally declined by as much as 15% to 20%. This trend is common across all the leading platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google and YouTube.
This situation has created a unique opportunity, especially for small businesses. Let us look at it in detail. Right now the demand for luxury items is greatly reduced because of the rise in unemployment, as well as due to the economic downturn. However, small businesses that sell items like stationary, board games, arts and crafts supplies, books and such items have seen a rise in the number of buyers. This is because people get more time to indulge in their hobbies and passions. So, the steep drop in prices has created a favorable environment for small businesses doing e-commerce in this category of consumer products. Utilising it will help them to get new customers, drive up orders and create revenue.
Create COVID-19 Specific Digital Marketing Advertising
The most important aspect is to create a digital marketing campaign that sends out the message on how your product will meet the customer’s demand during COVID-19 outbreak. It is crucial to note the consumer’s environment and their state of mind. It has been found from surveys that consumers prefer how your brand is helpful to them in their new daily life and what the brand is doing about facing the current crisis.
For example, in local advertising for a small business like a restaurant, you must inform people that you are still functioning and operating. In the online advertising campaign for the local area, you must highlight how you are doing the pickup and delivery in this time of social distancing. Also, online marketing and advertising must land on a page on your website that describes the process in detail. Moreover, ensure that the pickup process is easy, understandable and safe.
Online giants like Facebook and Google began offering numerous free online marketing and advertising opportunities for small businesses in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially useful for small businesses operating in a particular locality like a restaurant; these are some of the most hard-hit businesses during the pandemic.
Facebook Ads: The social media platform is providing free ad grants and ad credits to small businesses who are their long-time clients. This initiative is to strengthen the relationship that they have built over time with their small business clients. But, this opportunity will not be available if you have not done any advertising on Facebook.
Google Ads: The company is offering free ad credits to small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) that have had an active Google Ads account since the beginning of 2019. These credits can be used anytime during the period until December 31, 2020, and these are delivered to the Google Ads accounts through notifications. Also, you can make use of these credits across any of Google’s platforms like YouTube, search and display. This initiative from Google is to assist small and medium-size businesses that have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you will not be eligible for this offer if you do not have a Google Ads account from the beginning of 2019.
Using The Social Media
In this time of economic downturn due to COVID-19 pandemic, you need not spend money on advertising. You can use social media, as more people are using it because they are spending more time in their homes, so your small business can stay engaged to keep in touch with your local customers. Two of the best options are Facebook for the older generation and Instagram for the younger generation. This helps you to maintain your old customers, as well as acquire new customers and thereby build a strong customer base. It is important to keep them involved, and excited about the brand and products; this is crucial especially in this time of crisis.
If you are a small or medium sized local business, then this crisis of COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique opportunity to grow your business. Make sure to reap the benefits.