Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the US economy. According to the World Economic forum, around 99.9% of all US businesses qualify as a small business. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a staggering number of SMEs to shut down, it appears that many Americans have not been deterred from starting their own business.
Despite the difficulties, the pandemic has opened new opportunities for many SMEs. Right now, small-scale businesses and multinational companies alike have to reach out to new audiences online, in the absence of brick-and-mortar marketplaces. Digital marketing is the key to engaging new customers, retaining existing ones and boosting your brand’s reputation. So here are four digital marketing strategies to help your SME thrive in a post-pandemic world:
Incorporating health and safety messages
Since the pandemic began, many people have shifted their priorities and changed their schedules drastically. This means that your existing communication strategy may no longer be right for the situation. Incorporating health and safety guidelines or policies into your marketing messages will show customers that you care. It is the perfect time to rethink how you’re crafting your emails, newsletters, and blog content.
Instead of publishing according to your past content calendar, why not release articles that answer questions and mitigate fears related to your industry or business processes? It would also be smart to try to understand your post-COVID-19 customers: who they are, how they found you, and what they want. Sending an email survey with multiple-choice or open-ended questions on their current priorities, pain points, and desires will give you the information you need.
Investing in omnichannel communication
As the primary point of contact between businesses and customers, it’s important to remain active online to present customers with the content, answers, products, and recommendations they need. The problem is, customers have a wide variety of options as to where they want to engage; they’ve grown used to having multiple touchpoints like phones, websites, chats, text, app, and social media platforms.
Therefore, planning the customer journey requires you to factor in the impulses and preferences that strike customers in unplanned moments. Depending on the context, you need to offer relevant information so they can make decisions across company-operated channels and third parties like search engines, review sites, blogs, and influencers. One good way to overcome omnichannel communication challenges is to invest in a centralized, intelligent platform that provides absolute visibility across all touchpoints.
Creating personalized customer experiences
Personalization is all about offering customers a tailored experience that keeps them engaged with your business. Customers gravitate towards brands they feel a personal connection to. They’re more likely to stick with businesses that know their name and recognize their needs. It may not be the same as in-store interactions, but a personalized experience is currently the best alternative in a digital landscape. In fact, the mass shift to digital has changed almost every aspect of marketing, including training and education.
Today, there are online marketing programs that focus heavily on interactive marketing and observing consumer behavior. These are essential skills for every marketer to have as the consumer journey moves online, so they can plan, create, manage, and analyze effective digital marketing campaigns. Through these skills, you are able to analyze customer behavior and figure out their needs. Maybe you’ve noticed that one customer always purchases gluten-free products, so you can recommend gluten-free recipes in their personalized emails.
Gamifying the customer journey
With businesses slowly reopening, many SMEs are offering exclusive deals, sales promotions, and freebies to attract new and old customers. For a twist, you want to experiment and gamify this aspect of the customer journey. Gamification is a process where you add game-like elements to an experience and make it more engaging.
SMEs can provide simple, gamified experiences to encourage more people to support the brand. You can give reward points to customers who visit your website, share your social media posts, or refer a friend to your business; in exchange, they can redeem a certain number of points for a reward from your shop.