Chelsea Lamb, Business POP
Whether you’re preparing to reopen your brick-and-mortar amidst COVID-19, or you’re running your business online and looking to expand your reach, a marketing plan will be key to promoting your business, retaining your existing customers, and attracting new clients during the pandemic. And with these tips from Kat Simpson — branding consultant and UX designer — you’ll learn how to create a budget-friendly marketing plan for your small business in the age of the coronavirus.
Create Your Marketing Budget
In this time of uncertainty, you may be tempted to cut your marketing budget, especially if your current efforts aren’t paying off or your small business is struggling to stay afloat. However, now is not the time to cut back on marketing and advertising. With plenty of free or low-cost marketing strategies to take advantage of amidst COVID-19, there are so many ways to market your small business online without worsening your financial situation.
To help you create and manage your marketing budget, Megan Conley of HubSpot shares eight free budget templates with tips for tracking your digital marketing, branding, paid advertising, content, and public relations expenses. During the pandemic, however, some of the most cost-efficient marketing strategies will include:
- Updates to your website and ecommerce store.
- Social media marketing.
- Content creation.
- Email marketing campaigns.
If you plan on reopening your brick-and-mortar location to the public, you’ll need to communicate this information to your customers and let them know what you’re doing to keep them safe. Affordable marketing strategies (like email, social media, and content marketing) make it easier than ever to relay this information to your loyal customers and bring in new business during the pandemic.
Should You DIY or Work With a Professional?
Once you’ve created your marketing budget, you’ll need to decide whether to create and manage your own marketing campaigns or hire a professional. Outsourcing may seem like a steep investment at first glance, but it’ll save you time (and money) if you lack the expertise you need to market your small business effectively. If you do it yourself, you’ll need to use online resources to learn the basics of digital marketing.
If you decide to work with a professional, branding and web design services help entrepreneurs, ministries, and churches boost their online presence and expand their reach.
Other Considerations for Small Businesses
In addition to marketing your small business during the pandemic, there are some other steps you’ll need to take if you plan on reopening your physical location rather than operating solely online.
To protect your personal assets and receive tax benefits, for instance, you may wish to form a limited liability company (LLC). You can easily and affordably use an online formation service to launch your LLC, or you can file in person, by mail, or with help from an attorney. LLC requirements vary by state, however, so check your local regulations before getting started.
And while an LLC could protect you from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit during the pandemic, the best thing you can do to protect yourself, your customers, and your employees from a coronavirus-related lawsuit or illness is to follow local and CDC guidelines. Let your employees work from home if possible and do everything you can to ensure that your customers and employees all feel safe.
A Few Final Words
Instead of cutting your marketing budget during the pandemic, focus on cost-efficient marketing strategies like social media, email, and content marketing. Even if you’re planning on reopening your physical location once it’s safe to do so in your area, a strong digital marketing strategy will grow your audience and give your small business the boost it needs amidst COVID-19.
Are you ready to expand your online reach? Contact Kat to learn about the different steps you can take to bring your small business or ministry to the next level!