By Sunday, March 22, 24 out of 50 cities most affected by COVID-19 faced significant cut hours for hourly employees according to Homebase
By March 29, more than 50% of businesses were not operating in major cities: Las Vegas, Pittsburg, and San Fransisco (Homebase)
Content marketing generates 3x as many leads than paid advertising and costs less to produce
All businesses across the country have felt the powerful effects of forced closure due to COVID-19, large or small. Business owners are facing immensely difficult decisions, along with major cutbacks. The only way to stay afloat and save jobs is to generate more leads and make sales. But how do you do that when your doors are closed?
Most restaurants have had the flexibility of takeout and delivery services. Big franchise companies and retail stores have the ability to go online with their stores, utilizing the good old-fashioned US Postal Service to deliver their products.
What does this mean for the local business?
Going digital with your marketing strategy has been the best offense when it comes to lead generation. Here are some great tips on how to gain leads for your business during closures.
Why You Need to Know About Sales Funnels
Before we get to our list, we need to make a quick note about sales funnels. It’s a digital marketing term that basically outlines what strategies you can use to turn web traffic into leads, and then of course, sales. It supports the idea that digital marketing helps you reach the most people online, both in your local community, and on a global scale!
Web traffic is the number of people visiting your website. This comes from paid advertising, social media, organic searches from search engines (like Google and Safari), email and content marketing, and so much more.
Sales funnels target these sources using your business’s target audience as a foundation to create a custom digital marketing strategy. This helps you generate leads for your business by utilizing your unique brand, combined with persuasive messaging. This is also what you use to try and reach your demographic, and it’s what creates the sales funnel.
The next step in the sales funnel—from the foundation to the source of your web traffic—is deciding how you’re going to funnel in leads from viewership.
How You Can Gain Leads for Your Business
Up Your Social Media Game
Social media has taken the Coronavirus by storm. The influx of memes and quarantine videos has been an outlet for people to cope with the challenges of social distancing and business closures, not to mention a lack of live entertainment.
It’s your chance to get behind popular culture! You can also reassure your customer base that your business is still here, and you plan to stay. Be sure to include customized CTAs (call-to-action messages) depending on the social platform you’re using. We’re talking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, what have you.
Include links and messages that bring users back to your website, to a digital advertisement, or a subscription list—something that allows people to take the next steps if they’re interested in learning more about your brand, or trying one of your products or services.
Go Live Online
We’ve talked before about how going live online can help you connect with your customer base on a virtual level. The same principles can be applied here, especially as you try to find ways to stay connected with your existing customers while creating new ones:
Live Chat: a live chat service, especially when operated by a real person, is an absolute asset to your website. It’s a great customer service tool that lets you answer questions for potential customers and give a more personalized user experience.
Instant Messenger: basically the live chat for your social media, like Facebook Messenger. It accomplishes the same customer service portal when you use it professionally for your business.
Live Stream: this combines video with social media to offer instant online broadcasting to your customer base. From product demonstrations, live interviews, and virtual contests, check out our article in the link above for the best ways you can use live streaming to your advantage!
Webinars: online seminars, or “webinars,” give you the opportunity to offer how-tos and other helpful tutorials and classes that can educate people about who you are, and what you do.
Utilize Email Marketing
Email marketing is an underutilized tool by small businesses. But when it’s done well, email marketing can be a powerful strategy to bring in new customers. In your web content and social media, it’s important to have easily accessible links and buttons to subscribe to an email list.
Subscribing to an email list is no small thing. People aren’t willing to give out their personal information so easily. Once you have it, it’s important not to “spam” your subscribers with email blasts, but still be consistent and create persuasive, engaging, helpful content they can use to be a loyal customer of your business.
It can be challenging to get this balance right, but the results are well worth the effort!
Who doesn’t like free stuff?
Incentives come in the form of discounts, referrals, free trials—all these things are attractive to people trying to get a bargain on a budget while getting a quality product or service. The incentive shouldn’t outweigh your profits, but on the other hand, they have to be appealing enough to your customer base to be worth what they’re spending.
In a time when everyone’s trying to cut costs, “30% off” and “buy one get one free” are still some of the best tools to generate leads and continue making sales.
Lean on Content Marketing
Putting out creative, engaging, and persuasive content is more important now than ever. Content marketing generates 3x as many leads than paid advertising, and costs even less to produce.
When you create a content marketing strategy, you give your target audience the answers to the questions they’re asking about your brand in a creative, but no less educational way. The content you put out has to matter outside of the sales pitch. While at the same time, it should also reflect your expertise as an authority within your niche industry.
Video marketing is essential right now. It enables you to stay personal and connected with your target audience, and you can collaborate with partners and influencers while you do it (via Zoom, of course)!
But there’s also a lot of written content you can be developing that has proven to effectively rake in leads:
Checklists & Tips
Want to Know How You Can Most Effectively Gain Leads for Your Business?
Closing your doors doesn’t have to mean hitting “pause” on your business. There are plenty of ways you can still generate leads and make sales with a few focused, well-crafted digital marketing objectives. Here at Digital Resource, we have the tools and the expertise to make it happen!
If your business is struggling and you’re not sure what your next move should be,contact us today for a FREE consultation! We can help you get through this together.
Alexandra is a content specialist, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She has a passion for literature and writing, and has extensive experience in content writing for digital marketing.
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