By Faisal Rehman – Freelance Systems Administrator and a writer at softwarespice.com. With 10 years of technology and systems experience, he writes about best web hosting for small business and how to start a successful blog. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
The coronavirus outbreak has expanded to nearly every corner of the world.
The World Health Organization has described COVID-19 as a pandemic and has declared a global health emergency. The virus has taken many lives, and strict lockdowns have been imposed by the authorities around the world. From having to practice social distancing, staying at home and working remotely, wearing masks, using sanitizers and washing hands, the virus outbreak is something none of us expected.
Due to the pandemic, businesses have suffered and are going through financial crises. The question is, will they survive? Also, what strategies should all small business owners implement to get through the hardest time while recession and economic downturns are putting them down?
Thankfully, we have the internet, and it’s the only platform that can bring businesses back to normal during tough times.
While everyone is working remotely during the pandemic, here are 15 ways to increase revenue:
1. Focus on digital marketing
Your customers have been homebound and the supply chain problems have started to affect them More people are using the internet than ever before and shopping online since the stores are closed. So, this is the best time to get the most out of digital marketing. According to Statista, home delivery in France crossed the 90% line and it’s the biggest increase in commerce activity. In a struggle to survive, you need to embrace the digital trend and move your business to the digital environment.
Of course, digital marketing helps you build a better business and there’ll be no heavy costs. You need to build an online presence and start networking. Do quick research about your audience and what it’s looking for. Take a deep breath and come up with unique ideas on how you can fill the gaps. It’s time to quickly transform your products or services into different packages and remember the following rule:
“People pay more for the same product packaged in a different way” — Russel Brunson
2. Strong communication can take your business to the next level
The pandemic has quickly changed how companies operate. Establishing a set of best practices for communicating with customers in the ongoing crisis has become a top priority. Now is the time for executives to reach out to their valued customers and react fast.
- SEE HOW YOU RANK: Take Keap’s Lifecycle Marketing Assessment and compare your business against the industry’s top performers with our proven formula and instantly reveal the strengths and gaps of your business.
3. Get on social media
By leveraging social media platforms, you can build a strong and long-lasting relationship with your customers. Small business owners say that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide the biggest business marketing opportunities. People are locked down and the pandemic news is horrible but still, there is a hope to save your business and increase the revenue.
Social media plays an integral part in the success of any business. You can easily engage with your clients by live streaming your events and posting live updates. Furthermore, social media helps to capture new customers and creates opportunities to attract new potential clients. Also, you can connect with like-minded business professionals to build B2B relationships. Use the following tips to stay connected with your customers:
- Post frequent updates
- Host live sessions
- Immediately respond on your business page inbox
- Use Facebook groups to poll and get customer feedback
- Use native messenger apps
- Create Twitter events
- Live videos on Instagram
4. SEO to drive targeted traffic
COVID-19 has changed the current internet trends and at this critical point in history, businesses can leverage SEO to survive the pandemic. SEO isn’t new and, frankly, small business websites that are search optimized are doing a lot better. Therefore, use the right long tail keywords using the best free keyword research tools to target your audience. Run a thorough audit of the website, find the loopholes, fix the broken pages and update SERPs for the traffic boost. Also, these days, local SEO has doubled its value. Therefore, focus on it as the combination of local SEO and geolocation will help you to get traffic from the people in your area. Eventually, it’ll improve your brand trust and sales growth.
You can use these compelling SEO tips to increase your online presence.
5. Use Google My Business
It’s free and an easy-to-use tool that allows your business to appear on maps and listings. You can manage your company’s appearance and help people find your business online, and tell them your current offers. GMB lets you add:
- Your business name
- Most related items
- Link to your website
- Recent updates
- Ask a question
Using Google My Business, you can instantly connect with people who leave reviews. That’d be a fantastic addition to your business and highly recommended as it automates the engagement process and your business will run on auto-pilot.
6. Host webinars
An interactive, high-energy and fast-paced webinar is a great way to capture leads for your business. According to the Content Marketing Institute, marketers consistently rate webinars among the top five most effective and 12 most frequently used tactics. Since there is no travelling, you can host successful webinars ideally by telling stories and real life examples to help people. Remember, your goal is to help people by providing them value and giving them what they’re looking for.
This is a difficult time for everyone, therefore keep your costs low for your attendees, give them bonuses ad offer something that is really valuable at the end.
7. Extend your money back guarantee
My take on this: extend the money back guarantee on your products. For instance, if you’re giving a 30-day money back guarantee, double it. Why? Because these are challenging times for all of us, and it’s important to do what we can to foster a sense of community and shared effort. This way, you can help people to succeed and get them to take a leap of faith.
At the end of the day, it’ll be a win-win situation.
8. Offer a free trial
Offering a reasonable free trial is a solid step toward building goodwill with new customers. A free trial will boost your business revenue because it makes an impression that your product can be trusted. Also, if you’re confident about the quality of your product and the benefits it can give to people, free trials will certainly convert into sales.
It totally depends on you to define a free trial duration, either two weeks or a month.
Keap is already offering a free trial for CRM, invoices, payments, email marketing and more.
9. Identify sales opportunities through your data
Data is the most valuable asset for any business and it’s the best source to find sales opportunities. The data transformed into actionable insights gives you a clear picture of your customers’ potential needs, wants and challenges. It’s not rocket science to collect that data through the sources you have, the most important part is to research and develop the data into sales opportunities. If we take an example of email marketing, just one campaign will give you the customers’ interests via the number of opens, clicks and conversion rates.
10. Listen to your customers
If a business has no customers, will it survive? No! So, pay attention and listen to your customers’ problems. Listening to customers means to solve their problems not just by answering their calls or sending canned email responses. Your customers are the only source that’ll help you improve your products and services.
After all, it’s a customer’s feedback that lets you know how they feel about your product. A successful business owner is actually a great listener. Recently, Zoom’s CEO streamed a webinar, admitted mistakes and answered questions directly from the users. Doing so communicates that he gives value to his customers’ concerns more than anything.
11. Offer free shipping
The pandemic has caused hundreds of thousands of stores to close temporarily. Even popular retail brands including Apple and Nike have closed their stores worldwide. People are left with only one choice—to buy online—but shipping cost is a huge barrier that stops them. Also, for smooth and hassle free payments, focus to integrate more alternatives to PayPal with your ecommerce website or store.
According to comscore, about 40% of online shoppers don’t buy if there’s no free shipping. If you can, you must consider a free-shipping offer.
12. Bundle pricing strategy
Product bundling is a proven method to increase sales and profits. It also reduces marketing costs. For instance, if you have five products, you’ll have to market each one separately. On the other hand, if you bundle them into a single package with a discount, you’ll spend on marketing the whole package. It’ll attract more customers, and higher will be the overall profit margin.
13. Motivate your team
Working from home has become common. There is panic everywhere due to the coronavirus outbreak. So, it’s your responsibility to spread happiness and encourage your team. Appreciate the work they’re doing from home and don’t punish or send harsh emails on their mistakes. Working from home during the pandemic is a new experience for most people. It has affected the employee productivity because most creative activities are done in face-to-face environments. However, due to the outbreak, everyone has been forced to work from home with no training. Therefore, stick with your employees in the bad times and keep them highly motivated.
14. Elevate your brand using LinkedIn
There are multiple ways to improve your personal branding like blogging on your business website, being interviewed by other brands, hosting podcasts and sharing market views on social media profiles, especially LinkedIn. You’ll find a large and active audience on LinkedIn and by publishing long-form content that’s relevant and compelling, people will follow you, and in turn, more people will become loyal to your business.
15. Plan for the unexpected
“To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect” — Oscar Wilde
Here’s a key lesson we’ve all learned—be prepared for anything. No one knows what’s going to happen in the future. Due to the massive coronavirus outbreak, millions of businesses have been impacted and thousands of employees have lost their jobs. The question is do you have a plan and are you prepared to find new business opportunities while there is stress everywhere?
The solution is planning ahead and being upfront. Pre-planned mindset will help you deal with any crisis quickly and responsibly. Keep moving forward and go with the flow.