In today’s world, the happy photos of puppies and memes we usually see fill our social media feeds are commonly replaced by heart-wrenching tales from all our favorite local businesses about how they’ve been negatively affected by the pandemic and need our support to survive.
Let’s be real: COVID-19 has been hard on all of us.
In fact, 80 percent of businesses reported that they’re concerned about financial hardships due to prolonged closures, and more than half said they might need to close permanently if things don’t improve (US Chamber of Commerce).
Data from a recent Yelp study shows that 60 percent of business closures due to COVID are now permanent (CNBC). The areas that show the most closures are restaurants, bars, nightlife venues, clothing stores, and home-decor businesses, whereas professional services like contractors and lawyers report lower rates of closure.
These numbers are simply too high to be taken lightly — but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
What We’ve Learned
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and as we continue to make our way out through to the other end, our team at OpticTour has helped tons of businesses understand the power of digital marketing in a changing world, and we’ve found that it’s absolutely vital for them to do what they can to keep their brand top of mind.
The biggest takeaway?
Those who have spent the necessary time and effort to put their name out there through paid and organic posting on social media platforms, Yelp, and Google coupled with other digital marketing tactics have been able to stay open, provide their customers with what they need, and continue to increase their revenue in a world that’s got “business as normal” in a chokehold.
Brands everywhere have turned to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and more to do what they can to stay connected, offer updates and information about their operations, and continue to do business with consumers everywhere through regular postings, ad campaigns, and more.
In fact, 66 percent of consumers believe it’s comforting and reassuring to hear that a brand they follow is doing what they can to mitigate the dangers of COVID, and 46 percent said they look to brands for optimistic messaging about the future.
Let’s take a look at one of our clients, Clay Pit.
We’ve been handling their social media marketing, review management, and more for quite some time now — but we want to draw your attention to their Google Posts in particular.
Google Posts are essentially just updates and information that appear towards the bottom of your GMB listing, and they’re entirely free to create.
They’re a great way to further highlight your uniqueness and put timely information right in front of the eyes of potential consumers, whether you post about company events, promotions and sales, new products and services, COVID-related ongoings, and more.
Clay Pit usually averages at about 1,000 views for regular Google Posts (for example, ones that discuss ongoing promotions, new drink specials, updated hours of operation, etc.)
But when we made a post updating their audience on their decision to continue instilling their COVID safety precautions, they received over 7,000 views.
So, what does that mean?
It means your audience is looking for you to communicate with them about what your business is doing, maybe now more than ever — and if you’re not using channels like Google Posts to communicate with them, then simply put, you better start.
So… What Do We Do Moving Forward?
As we continue to navigate the waters of the COVID and post-COVID world, you might be thinking it’s better to save all the money you can by only spending on essentials that directly relate to your business — but generating brand awareness is the most essential thing you can do if you want to ride that wave to its completion.
Think about it this way: If you don’t devote yourself to getting your name out there, you’re going to be surpassed by those who did — or by those who already have brand awareness, like larger companies and chains.
The organic ways people learn about your company are starting to change. Competition is up, too — compared to six months ago, nearly one in three small businesses report facing more competition from surrounding companies (US Chamber of Commerce).
That’s why it’s increasingly important to spend the necessary time and efforts to effectively market your business online — especially since one thing that’s gone up over the course of COVID has been the amount of time we spend scrolling through our phones (Emarketer).
For example, let’s take a look at what we did for one of our clients, Teriyaki Madness. After running a series of Yelp advertisements for them, they received more page visits than they ever had before — in the middle of a pandemic, no less.
Once we started running the ads, from August to October, the owner reported a 166 percent increase in user views and 161 percent more customer leads than he did from the 7-month span of January to July — where he didn’t run any ads at all.
So yes, you need to spend money to make money. Perhaps now more than ever.
We’d Love to Help You Out Through to The Other End
While it all starts with you, you don’t have to figure things out all by yourself.
At OpticTour, we seek to guide our clients through any marketing endeavours they’re trying to undertake, building them a strong digital foundation and teaching them how to effectively share their products and services with the world, create authentic connections with their audience, and grow their company to new heights.
Whether you’re ready to run Yelp advertisements or still don’t even really know what they are, we’re here to guide you along the path of digital marketing and out through to the other end. We can run personalized advertisements, take care of all your social media and review platforms, shoot promotional videos, create a Google 360 Tour to give people an authentic feel of your space — the possibilities are endless, and they’ll all serve to help you not only survive but grow your business for years to come.
Let us help you the way we’ve helped so many others. Whenever you’re ready, you can fill out this form to schedule your free consultation.
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