Small Business Marketing Tactics During a Pandemic

BY Rachel Cagle
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We are not anywhere near returning to business as usual, and if your clients’ marketing messages try to say otherwise, they’ll likely lose customers. Small business marketing needs to adjust to the times, especially difficult ones such as these. McKinsey research says that the COVID-​19 pandemic has caused several changes to consumer behavior that your clients, particularly small businesses, need to pay attention to in order to continue building customer loyalty.

The Importance of Community in Small Business Marketing

It’s not safe or easy for Americans to travel during the pandemic, so they’re primarily focusing on how COVID-​19 is affecting their local community, particularly small businesses. “Supporting familiar, local businesses has become important to many U.S. communities, driven in part by greater confidence in their quality and safety,” reports McKinsey. They’re also more interested in localized advertisements during this time since their immediate surroundings are all that they can safely interact with at this time. Luckily, with small businesses first and foremost focusing on their local community for their primary income, they’re already well-​situated to continue producing localized advertisements that local consumers will be paying the most attention to.

Taking a Stand During Troubled Times

McKinsey says that approximately 61% of consumers, “claim that how a brand responds during the crisis will have a large impact on whether they continue buying it when the crisis is over." America has two big crises in the spotlight right now: COVID-​19 and Black Lives Matter. One of the easiest new tactics for small business marketing to utilize in order to market themselves is to promote how they are addressing both issues. What steps are they taking to ensure customer safety during the pandemic? Are they switching to primarily online sales or are they limiting how many people can be in their stores at a time while mandating masks and regularly sanitizing high-​touch locations? And how are they addressing the BLM movement? How are they showing their support (social media posts, store signage, publicized donations to related organizations) or are they actively condemning the movement? The way small businesses are addressing both of these important issues has the power to permanently sway future customer relations and therefore future sales, as well.

Online Availability

To combat the pandemic, many Americans are choosing to remain at home as often as possible in order to social distance. That means that most of their brand interactions and shopping experiences have been happening online for the past few months and will continue down this road for the foreseeable future until a vaccine is created and the pandemic is finally behind us. For small businesses to remain relevant, they need to improve their online presence. Well-​designed websites, as well as digital advertisements, are key to remaining top-​of-​mind with both local and national customers when it comes to small business marketing. If you aren’t sure how your small business client is faring with their online presence, run a Digital Audit on AdMall by SalesFuel to see where improvements can be made.