These are strange, scary times we’re living in right now. And while our health and safety of our loved ones might be the primary, urgent focus, eventually the world will need to move on. This article provides tips for growing your business as you stay at home.
As you might imagine, everything, from your local mom and pop shops to large multinational corporations, is filling the ill effects of this global pandemic. According to Management Events’ Executive Trends Survey, 93% of respondents acknowledged that the coronavirus has and will continue to impact their business negatively.
Here are some other notable findings:
- 85% are expecting revenue to take significant dips due to the direct impact of the pandemic. Of these, 33% are predicting a revenue fall of over 15%.
- Understandably, ceasing operations will hurt businesses, but 77% of respondents believe a much more significant economic downturn will be the aftermath of this global crisis.
- But, a good number of those surveyed had relatively high hopes businesses will be close to normal soon-ish. 88% of surveyed leaders expect their activities to be operational again in less than six months.
- But the return to operations may not be as it was before, as 55% of those surveyed are prepared for an increase in long-term remote work arrangements for their employees. In comparison, 51% are scenario planning to manage potential threats from a second or third wave of the coronavirus.
Ways You Can Grow Your Business While Social Distancing
When you’re not busy wracking your brain to plan for all potential scenarios, this period of quarantining is as good a time as any to take a closer look at your metrics. So while all sales-centric figures may be down, perhaps you can take time to take a look back at other things like how certain content performed, for example.
You can also take a look at the past quarter and check which pages garnered the most time on page, which calls-to-action had the best click-through rates, or which potential traffic sources you can leverage once things start to normalize.
When business is humming, it might be hard to look into these types of things. But with things on hold for now, it affords you time to get a different vantage point on these kinds of metrics.
Because small businesses aren’t participating in ad network auctions, paid ads have become much cheaper. And because more people are spending more time online, paid ads have been producing a much higher ROI than before this pandemic locked us down.
So if you’re an industry that can still benefit from advertising online, you should really take advantage of the cheaper ad rates.
Reset and recommit
Again, when business is in full bloom, we often tend to jump from one essential task to the next urgent task. This routine frequently leaves on the wayside less critical but equally important elements of the business that also have significant impacts. This period of social distancing makes this lull the perfect time to reset and recommit.
To get started, rank all tasks in terms of estimated impact and level of effort. This step gives you a better insight into what you can and should prioritize. Once that’s done, identify your objectives and align them with tasks so that they become actionable (within a specified period). Additionally, take the time to ponder why these things have been side-swept in the past.
This exercise may not always lead to a tangible change in the way you operate, but it gives you an expanded awareness of the different aspects of your business and how you can further grow.
Offer educational training
With all industries continuing to absorb the hit brought by the pandemic, unemployment numbers are steadily creeping toward record highs. This inactivity means a large number of people are stuck at home looking for new opportunities.
If you’re in an industry (like tech) where an online course can benefit people with new skills and knowledge moving forward, take this opportunity to offer educational training. Not only will you potentially come across new talent, but you’re also keeping the good name of your brand out there.
In a similar vein, you can also leverage smart brand play by providing customer-centric offers. For example, restaurants that can afford it are offering free delivery, while Adobe and Loom are offering complimentary access to their software.
This not only helps with the collective distress people are feeling, but it also shows how much your brand is dedicated to providing value in this time of crisis. If this isn’t something that applies to your business, even spreading helpful information from reputable sources is a good way to show that you care.
If you’ve been working on your online presence for a while, chances are you already have someone working on your SEO. But with the time on your hands, it would still benefit you to actually learn the basics of what makes your website rank on search engines.
This would give you a better understanding of what types of content to produce, how it relates to customer intent and just a better overall grasp of how certain elements of your business can translate to better SEO.
And if you haven’t really delved into SEO at all, even having the basic knowledge of SEO can transform how you approach your digital marketing endeavors.
With more time on their hands, more people are spending more time on social media as well. And with a significant number of businesses putting their operations on hold (digital marketing efforts included), you theoretically have an opportunity to get in front of more eyeballs.
You can start by using social listening tools to get a better idea of what your audience is talking about and what kinds of situations they’re currently facing. This gives you a better picture of where and how you can provide value to them.
Once you have an understanding of what types of content you want to post (such as the most popular video trends), post frequently. While people may not be making purchasing decisions right now, your valuable content will help keep your brand top of mind in the long term.
Take this time to be more mindful of how you approach work. Take stock of your work habits and identify areas where you can improve. Explore productivity tools like Trello, Slack, or Zoom and how you can incorporate using them in your daily operations (if you haven’t yet) when things normalize. Time tracking tools are also a great way to maintain productivity in the workplace.
First off, artisanal marketing is essentially digital marketing created in a way to evoke a made-by-hand personal touch. For example:
- Using customer voices in your content.
- Actually answering chat queries.
- Going live and speaking on topics relevant to your audience (you can even sponsor a donation drive and have a musician perform while asking viewers to donate).
There are a number of different ways you can get creative with this approach. You may even come across a practice that you can apply regularly when you open up your doors.
You might be surprised that only 48% of marketers actually have a formal marketing strategy, with even less having a tangible content strategy. If you’re one of those, take this time to think about how to better your approach to content marketing.
Instead of just winging it with topics you think your audience is interested in, actually take the time to listen to what they’re saying online and what types of content they’re consuming. There are plenty of tools that can help you do this. When you have a better understanding of your audience (backed by actual data), you can begin to conceptualize a solid content strategy.
Landing pages provide intrinsic value in that they’re designed to transform your web traffic into qualified leads, and eventually loyal customers. This would be a good time to take stock of your different landing pages and see if they’re able to accomplish the following:
- Collect visitor info.
- Target a single point of conversion. If you’re trying to accomplish too much with a single landing page, you’re doing it wrong.
- Be consistent with the ad users click (in terms of tone, messaging, and imagery).
This is an unprecedented time in our generation – one that’s filled with uncertainty, anxiety, and fear. So while you may end up trying to busy yourself with work-related stuff to keep your mind centered, you still need to consistently allow time for self-care.
It could be any of a number of things: taking frequent breaks, meditating, working out, eating healthy, getting restful sleep, or having meaningful conversations with loved ones. Work might be a good way to distract ourselves from the ominous vibe of the times, but taking the time for regular self-care habits will benefit yourself and your business in the long run.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to further your business even while sheltering from home. What have your workdays been like? What habits do you think can help people in this time of crisis? Let us know in the comments below.