Strategies to Boost Business Online for Startups Navigating COVID-19

Because consumers distance themselves from social media and work from home, they spend more time online than ever before. Our recommendation is to focus on what you can do with your online store and digital marketing to make up for the reduction in pedestrian traffic.

Now is the time to review marketing costs and increase the effectiveness of virtual communication; treat your home page as a storefront and transfer part of your physical store experience to your product pages and social media channels. And don’t forget pay-per-click channels like search and watch.

Reach out to existing customers

As about 20% of your customers contribute 80% of your revenue, consider prioritizing your high-value customers to ensure lifelong loyalty. Applications such as Endear act as customer relationship management systems and messaging platforms, all in one. This will make you and your staff more productive as you work remotely, allowing you to stay in touch with your customers through text messages and emails. You can submit personalized recommendations and user manuals that include links to buy online.

Add live customer support

You can add live support to your website and offer personalized service depending on customer requirements. Brands must meet consumer needs and rethink marketing and advertising. This could mean stopping certain campaigns for certain products and adjusting the copying and advertising on advertisements to better talk about the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, you may not want to advertise for baggage campaigns with “want to travel” messages when there is a global travel notice.

However, brands should be wary of rotating too far from basic brand messaging, or worse, be more opportunistic. Below are some examples of brands that have made simple changes to their messages to “read the cultural hall”, while remaining authentic.

Rely more on social platforms

In the absence of “IRL experiences”, isolated customers are increasingly looking for content and connections to social networks. Brands should be creative in how to support their presence on social media. From virtual showrooms to live yoga courses, brands become creative with social media channels and rely on their already loyal audience.

Over the past few weeks, influencer agencies have seen a significant percentage increase in daily likes accumulated on the #ad Instagram post and a 22 percent increase in Instagram campaign impressions from the last quarter. With a very engaged audience, Instagram can make your brand easier for existing and future customers to find.

Add paid marketing strategy

Digital marketing offers many opportunities to reach customers where they spend their time online. However, with reduced cash flow, this could be a good time to rethink the paid marketing mix, spend tactics where you can see the maximum return on investment and take advantage of the daily budget and life control options available through paid advertising platforms to control your expenses.

Add better return and exchange policy

Showing compassion with uncertain customers can go a long way in business. Due to the closure of stores, returns and exchanges will be more difficult and may prohibit online purchases. In short, people don’t want to be stuck with a product they don’t like. Extending the yield and exchange policy to recognize the current climate could reduce the buyer’s doubts and encourage online sales.

Startups can also consider applying for government relief

Raising more debt is usually a last resort, but governments around the world are implementing financial assistance measures to support small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have compiled a list of government financial assistance programs available for small and medium-sized businesses, including North America. We will update this list daily and advise you to familiarize yourself with the proposals of your regional government and your rights.

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