Budget-friendly marketing to reopen your business

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Elena Stewart

If you had to close your business for COVID-19, it may feel daunting to reopen in a changed world. While it’s a big step to operate in this new pandemic climate, there are budget-friendly ways to get your customers back, whether it’s making small changes to encourage physical distancing or jumping on social media to live-stream a message to your customers.

Cost-effective marketing

With many businesses taking a big hit from COVID-19 closures, it’s common for most to be on a limited budget when it comes to marketing. Luckily, there are ways to get your message out that won’t take a big bite out of your bank account.

The first step is to revamp your social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter offer free opportunities to market your business, so it’s up to you to learn how to make the most of the platforms. One of the best things you can do is regularly post updates for customers: tell them when you plan to reopen and your new hours, highlight any changes you’ve made to the store or business to prevent virus transmission, and tell them about any special offers you’re running as you relaunch.

Remember that more is indeed more when it comes to social media marketing. Don’t fall victim to underpromoting and missing out on reaching past and future customers.

Live-streaming

One of the best things you can do to connect with customers is live-stream video messages. You can use live-streaming in a number of ways, whether it’s to give customers a tour around the business to show them any new physical distancing measures in place, or simply to check in and say hello to your customers. Your clientele will appreciate seeing your face, and will feel connected to you in a way that will make them want to visit your business as soon as you reopen.

Another great way to use live-streaming is to promote certain products or services. In your video message, tell customers about the new offerings, and promote any special sales you plan to provide for reopening.

As with all marketing, when you live-stream be sure to think about your clientele and audience. Craft messages that are relevant, and if you are struggling for content, reach out to regular customers and ask them what questions they have about your reopening. Use those questions as a guide for what to highlight when you record video messages.

Physical measures

While social media marketing will be a helpful tool for getting customers back in your business, you’ll also need to ensure it’s safe for them to visit.

First, be sure your business is set up to allow for proper social distancing. If needed, you can use simple and low-cost materials such as colored tape to help direct the flow of traffic within the store or business. You can mark out arrows on the ground for how customers should move around the space, and indicate six-foot spaces for people standing in line for check-out.

Another important element to consider for businesses who have cashiers is installing plexiglass sneeze shields at checkout stands. It will help prevent your employees from contracting the virus, and will make your customers feel safe at the same time. Adopt strict cleaning measures, and consider placing hand sanitizer at entrances and checkouts to keep the virus from spreading.

In addition to signage for traffic flow in your store, be sure to have a sign at the front door that requires customers to wear masks when inside. You can have signs printed quickly and easily through office supply stores; Staples is a great option, but be sure to look for online coupons and discounts before you spend a fortune on printing costs.

Reopening after a long absence can be exciting, but without proper marketing, you’ll fall short of attracting customers back in your business. Use social media to your advantage for low-cost and effective marketing, and don’t be afraid to use live-streaming to connect to your audience. Adopt strict measures for physical distancing and be sure to clean regularly to keep your staff and customers safe.

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Elena Stewart is a certified life coach who specializes in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. She successfully transitioned from the corporate world to running her own business, and she now helps others achieve their career goals and dreams.

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