Bring Business Back: 9 Local Marketing Ideas to Try During COVID-19

local marketing ideas covid-19

COVID-19 has been tough on everyone, but especially on our small businesses. 

You hear new reports every day of restaurants, shops, and suppliers being forced to close their doors because of this country-wide shutdown. It doesn't seem to matter if they've been in operation for 60 years or 6 months, coronavirus has made it that difficult to stay afloat. 

If you're a small business owner that's managed to hang on to your company, you're probably wondering how you're going to get things back to the way they were before the pandemic started. Today, we're going to discuss some local marketing ideas so that you can at least start to think about getting new and old customers back in the door. 

1. Get On Social Media 

You need to be active on social media while COVID is still running our lives. People are at home more, spending more time on their phones and thus, more time on social media. If you're not capitalizing on this by building up your brand, providing great content, and relating to your customers, then you're missing out. 

Disappearing online will lead people to believe that your business is either in trouble or doesn't exist anymore. Stay active and engage with your followers for real local marketing results. 

2. Promote Your Reviews 

Use social media and other platforms to promote your reviews. People understand the ramifications that COVID is having on their favorite small businesses, so they're keen to support, but you have to appeal to their wants and needs. 

Having lots of good ratings and reviews is paramount to a great local SEO strategy. The more resoundingly positive the feedback from your customers is, the easier it will be for new customers to find and trust your business. You have to take advantage of the community support aspect of the pandemic fallout. 

3. Print Marketing Is Back 

Many people have thrown the concept of advertising in print media out the door, but it's proven to produce great results. You can use printed marketing to boost sales during the pandemic because more people are at home actually reading the paper in the morning. 

Taking out an ad in the paper might not be as quick and easy as using PPC ads online, but it's a unique way to promote your business. Print ads also instill a sense of local pride in the reader, so you're more likely to see local results. 

4. Capitalize On Local Traffic 

The concept of local SEO has never been more important than it is right now. You have to place yourself in the shoes of people in your community. Look around; no one is venturing too far from home, so they need to fulfill all of their needs locally more than they otherwise would. 

Using local SEO strategies, such as filling out your Google My Business card, promoting your local reviews, and publishing localized content is going to go even further now. The end goal is to be one of the businesses that shows up when someone uses their map app to search or types "near me" at the end of their Google search. Doing this successfully will open you up to a customer base that's been there the whole time, that you'll be able to keep around long after COVID-19 is gone. 

5. Create a Safe Environment and Let People Know 

One of the reasons that businesses are closing left and right is that no one knows how safe it is to go out. Do your best to create a safe environment at your location and make sure that you let people know that you've sanitized, you're enforcing masks, and are maintaining social distancing in your business. 

The key to success here is being organized, which you've had plenty of time to do. When you relaunch your operation, your customers should feel safe coming into your location. 

6. Get Blogging 

A blog can go a long way in times like these. Something customers value as much or more than anything else is a sense of connectedness with the businesses they choose. You can cultivate and foster this sense of community by letting people know what you've been up to during the pandemic on your blog. 

You can write about the good days, the bad days, and always make sure to promote your products and services along the way. Again, more people are at home and willing to spend 5-10 minutes reading a blog post, so long as you let them know it's there. 

7. Reach Out to Former Customers 

The people you need to reach out to first are your former customers. If you use a good CRM program or service, then you can get their contact info and send them an email blast with any COVID-related promotions you have going on. Customer retention is a big deal, pandemic or not, so this should be a big part of your recovery strategy. 

8. Online Positivity 

These have been hard times for everyone, so it's not going to do you any good to complain about it online. Maintain a positive attitude on your social media channels, your blog, and all other promotional tools. People respond to positivity and your customers will show their support because you've gone through this hardship and come out on the other side with a good attitude about it all. 

You should also consider forging new relationships with other local businesses. Create a cross-business promotion to boost sales and improve your local economy. The better each business does coming out of this, the better the whole community will be. 

9. Repurpose Your Products 

If you're able to, adapt your business to create more COVID-centric products. For instance, if you're a small clothing shop, you could start selling reusable masks or if you're a brewpub, you can use your equipment to start making hand sanitizer. Figure out what there's a shortage of and what people really need, and start manufacturing and selling it to stay afloat. 

Your customers will love seeing your local marketing craftiness and the readiness to supply the community with helpful supplies. 

Figuring Out Your Local Marketing Strategy 

Every standing business in your community is going to have their own local marketing strategy in order to stay afloat. Use some of these tips as a jumping off point, but try to maintain a unique approach so that you stand out from the crowd. These are unprecedented times and they call for unprecedented measures in local marketing.

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