Are you worried the Corona Virus is going to kill your business?
It’s a scary thought, but during this social and economic crisis you need to be realistic about your chances.
But what if I told you this economic downturn isn’t actually a challenge. But an opportunity.
This article will show you 5 simple, cost-effective ways to grow your business online during the Coronavirus.
We’ll also show you exactly where your customers are right now (hint: they’re still spending money, just not in stores)
And how you can still sell products and services even if people stay home 24/7.
Here’s how you Coronavirus-proof your business.
#1 – Provide a product or service online
Are you running a brick and mortar store?
With customers now spending the majority of their time inside, this poses a challenge to your business model.
But the truth is, 99% of businesses can become online businesses with just a few small tweaks.
The data below shows the popularity in the search term ‘online fitness‘ over the past 90 days. For anyone in the fitness industry, the lack of foot traffic would be concerning. If that was your business you might think about cutting costs and reducing spending.
But the Coronavirus hasn’t reduced the popularity of fitness classes. That popularity has just moved online.
By moving your business online you could leverage that popularity and actually grow your business.
If you sell a physical product then creating a simple landing page can keep traffic coming in the door. The jump to an eCommerce store is smaller than you think.
And if you offer services, all you need is a webcam and a microphone and you’re good to go.
- Yoga studios are offering classes online
- Fitness instructors are live-streaming workouts
- Counsellors are helping people through video sessions
Now is the time to take the service you provide and start delivering it online.
Instead of giving up and closing your business, the number of people moving online is an exciting opportunity for you to expand and adapt.
Then when life starts to return to normal and you get your ‘Word of Mouth’ back up and running, you’ll have a business that’s twice as strong with multiple ways to get leads and sales.
Watch the following explainer video to see how to find your customers and why getting online NOW can help you 2x, 3x or even 10x your revenue this year.
#2 – Grow your ‘top of funnel’ audience
There’s less foot traffic to brick and mortar stores right now, but that means people are spending more time online than ever.
This is the perfect chance to target those ‘top of the funnel’ people who don’t yet know about your business.
When it comes to making a purchasing decision, all consumers have to go through the same sales funnel:
If you’re finding less people taking action and buying your products and services, then start focusing on creating awareness.
‘Awareness’ is the ‘top of the funnel’ where all of your customers started their journey. Even your most loyal customers were once unsure about your business and had to find out more.
Remember, the majority of your competition is retreating. That means more space for you online to be heard.
You can use this space to promote educational material and provide value for your audience.
The graph below shows the increase of time spent online by adults – with a worldwide average of 70%.
Do you think it would benefit your business to have 70% more contact with your potential customers?
How can you help make your audience’s life easier in this challenging time?
Answering that question, instead of pushing your products and services, will help grow the size of your audience.
And as the economy starts to bounce back you’ll have a huge audience of engaged people to target with your ‘bottom of the funnel’ sales messages.
Pick the channels that suit you best and stay in touch with your audience. Simply saying “Hey, we’re still open for business, but we think this content will make your day a little easier too” will go a long way.
These channels include:
- Your website home page
- Landing pages
- Social media
- Blog posts
- Email campaigns
- Your Google My Business (GMB) listing
With more people on the internet than ever, NOW is the time to get your marketing message right.
Infographics, eBooks, guides, checklists – whatever format you choose, your content should show that you’re still in business and still looking out for your customers.
By focusing on quality you’ll be keeping people engaged and when the inevitable bounce back happens and they’re ready to move through the funnel towards a conversion, you’ll be their logical choice.
#3 – Start automating your business
If you’re not automating part of your business yet, now is the perfect time.
With the economy in a downturn, you’ll have to sell more to keep your business profitable.
But you only have 24 hours in a day. So eventually you’ll run out of time unless you set up an automation system.
Consider the following simple system that can automate your lead generation AND lead nurturing.
Step One: Create a targeted landing page
Step Two: Set up Facebook Ads to send traffic to your landing page
Step Three: Create an enticing lead magnet
Step Four: Trade your lead magnet for emails and enrol people in an automated email campaign
The graphic below shows the difference it makes between hoping hoping your site visitors will convert. And creating an automated system combining a targeted landing page with a custom lead magnet to draw people in.
This system brings you traffic and leads while you sleep.
All you have to do is close the sale.
#4 – Take advantage of your competition’s uncertainty
Right now you’re feeling unsure of what to do…and so are your competition.
Which means taking action today can mean sprinting ahead of them in the race for traffic, leads and conversions (while they bunker down thinking hibernation will help)
This gives you the perfect window of opportunity.
How often have you seen your competition ranking above you on Google? Or getting the traffic you wish you had?
Now is a great time to invest in proven marketing strategies to outrank your competition and steal their audience.
Remember, your market is still looking for products and services – so if your competition is withdrawing, your business can service customer needs instead!
Digital attention is at an all-time high. So here are a few simple ways to stay ahead of your competition during this pandemic:
- Invest in Facebook ads: With your competition pulling back, you’ll be able to take more market share. And with less competition you’ll also see lower cost-per-clicks (CPC) and cost-per-impressions (CPM).
- Start creating social media content: Brand awareness is a low-cost strategy that can help increase your exposure while your competition hibernate. Start posting pictures, videos or behind the scenes live streams to keep people engaged.
- Focus on your SEO: SEO is a long-term strategy that requires constant upkeep. So if your competition is no longer creating content or driving traffic to their site, then this is your chance to optimise your site and really move the needle on your rankings. SEO is about momentum. So when the market starts to recover, you’ll have built the foundation for success.
Looking to find about more about SEO? Find out EXACTLY how much to pay for SEO during the Coronavirus.
#5 – Start future proofing now
Fingers crossed we won’t have to endure another pandemic like the Coronavirus.
But this social and economic upheaval isn’t the first we’ve endured, and it probably won’t be the last.
While things feel uncertain, NOW is the perfect time to start future-proofing your business against the next outbreak or recession.
As successful investor Warren Buffet put it:
“Be fearful when others are greedy. But be greedy when others are fearful.”
If your competition are moving backwards, you’ll never have a more open market to establish yourself in.
The goal is to diversify your income streams. If a world event dries up one of those streams, you’ll have others to fall back on.
For example, if you ran your business using only ‘word of mouth’, you’d be in a lot of trouble right now.
But if you use this opportunity to set up some simple Facebook ads, improve your rankings on Google, or create a targeted landing page; you’ll have other ways to generate traffic, leads and sales if your ‘word of mouth’ is threatened in the future.
Use this time to connect with your customers and you’ll create a sense of brand loyalty that will stick with you when we all come out the other side.
That’s going to be great for you in the next 6 months, and set you up for success if there’s another global challenge like this down the line.
This is where your customers will be for the next 6-12 months
Prior to the Coronavirus, there was already a strong year on year growth in the eCommerce sector.
This was part of a wider trend towards online buying behaviour vs offline.
The Coronavirus outbreak has only accelerated this process.
Your customers have been forced to rethink how they treat their health and how they interact with your business.
As customers have retreated to their homes, they’ve moved their spending online.
Consider the following searches from Google for ‘Yoga Near Me’ and ‘Online Yoga’ in the past 90 days.
The interest in finding a local yoga studio has plummeted as a result of Covid-19 and restrictions on movement.
But this hasn’t stopped people from doing yoga.
On the contrary, searches for ‘online yoga’ have skyrocketed as people look for remote classes. This is just one example of the way products and services are moving online to take advantage of huge consumer demand.
This means buyer behaviour is on the verge of changing FOREVER.
Our prediction for life after Covid-19
WE PREDICT: More and more people will choose to shop and make buying decisions from home both during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.
On top of this, consumers will become:
- Increasingly health conscious
- More inclined to shop online
- Driven to choose safe and sustainable businesses
- More inclined to shop through eCommerce platforms
Going a step further, virtual services will remain popular even when restrictions on movement are lifted.
These changes in consumer behaviour might seem scary to you.
And according to recent surveys, 27% of businesses expect the Coronavirus to have a moderate to high impact on their revenue (though the reality is likely to be much higher as more infections occur).
But while these figures may be confronting they’re actually creating new opportunities for you to expand your business, attract new clients and generate new revenue streams.
So what can YOU do to adapt to a more digital, online and health conscious world?
When it comes to your business success, it isn’t a matter of survival of the fittest. But survival of the most adaptable.
It’s time for you to adapt.
With the figures proving your customers moving online – and likely staying there once the Coronavirus pandemic ends – it’s vital you start acting today.
It’s time RIGHT NOW to decide what products and services you can provide to a world staying home.
These might include:
- Offering online consultations
- Providing online classes and services
- Creating an eCommerce store for your products
- Investing in Facebook Ads to increase your reach
- Investing in Google Ads to increase your leads
- Automating your email marketing to nurture leads
- Increasing your social media presence to support your clients
Get your business online in time and the future looks bright. But fail to act and you might miss your window of opportunity for good.
As food for thought, during the Global Financial Crisis, there was a 4.3% increase in profits during the recovery period for the businesses who invested in marketing and technology.
But there was a 0.8% loss in profits for those who cut their marketing spend.
So, what marketing steps can you take today to move your products and services online to meet your customers?