A Fortune 500 CEO has been quoted as saying, “Market share is gained during tough times.” This has been proven time and time again over the years. And for small business owners, we have not seen many times more tough than the last two months. Fortunately, some businesses have had the cash reserves to take this quote to heart and keep a strong marketing message in place. They will no doubt reap the benefits soon. However, many small businesses have had to cut all marketing efforts during this time and may be caught off guard by not having a plan on how or when to reenter the marketplace.
States are now starting to reopen, and although we are a long way off from “normal”, it’s encouraging that we are at least starting the journey towards it. As we begin this voyage, now is the time to re-engage and make sure that you are staying a step ahead with how, when, and where you are marketing your business! That’s why we have put together a simple checklist to help you keep your business on track for a strong rebound:
- Confirm your state’s reopen date as it applies to your business and determine the date your business will officially reopen.
- Update your website pop-up and blog (if applicable) to announce the new open date and any new details regarding your reopening. If you don’t have a pop-up on your site, now is the time to add one - people need to know you’re back in business!
- Check your Google Business listing to ensure it communicates that you are open. Google automatically set many businesses to “closed” and you’ll want to make sure your business listing is updated accordingly.
- Send out an email to your current clients and leads that have reached out to you during this time telling them your open date and the rules that will continue to apply once you have reopened – i.e. Will you be appointment only? Should they wear masks when they come in? etc. This email can link through to your COVID-19 blog post on your website and will be a good first step to getting your schedule filled up again!
- Get your PPC advertising campaign turned back on and set to normal pacing and budget at least two weeks before your open date.
- It is CRITICAL to stay ahead of everyone else who will turn back on their advertising as soon as your state opens. Ideally, we want to make sure we are back to pre-crisis spend rates at least 2 weeks before the open date. This will allow you to get a jump on the competition and start capturing leads and scheduling appointments for when you reopen. It will also help your PPC campaign get back to optimizing as best it can after being paused for an extended period of time. This step is key to ensure that strong rebound we mentioned earlier!
- Get your other ad campaigns running at least two weeks before your open date. (i.e. Online Video, Retargeting, Social Media, etc.)
- Remember the marketing funnel and the importance of being present at all stages. You want to make sure that you are continuing your branding campaigns, as right now your audience is more engaged since they have been stuck at home and are researching. It is critical to take advantage of this research time and stay top of mind, so that when your state opens, you are the one that they call. This will ultimately make your PPC that much stronger, since you have the unique ability for a limited time to capture market share while your competitors aren’t as visible.
According to Nielsen, there has been a 40% reduction in ad spend/buying but a 60% increase in media usage. This means that right now there is a larger audience to reach with significantly less ad clutter. As your state continues to open up, we are going to see ad spend increase and media usage go down, and it will be a gradual return to normal. What we are trying to do with staying 2 weeks ahead of the reopen is take advantage of that opportunity to get more bang for your buck.
In the coming months, the competition will kick back up and opportunity to get new market share won’t be as prominent.
Don’t fall behind. Establish yourself as an industry leader as your state reopens! Contact us today and one of our account strategists can review these steps with you and provide a more in-depth strategic plan to get things rolling for your business today!
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