Time for some good news! As small businesses push to re-open to the awaiting public, the Queensland Government has delivered the goods in the form of a $10,000 grant for all small businesses who have been subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus, to give them the boost they need to get people back through the door.
"The program aims to see small businesses:
- prepare for the safe resumption of trading in the post COVID-19 recovery
- access digital technologies to rebuild business operations and transition to a new way of doing business
- respond to online opportunities, where possible, to sustain employment and maintain potential for longer-term growth
- upskill and reskill business owners and staff to benefit from new technologies or business models
- embrace business diversification to adapt and sustain operations
- create or retain employment." Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program, Business Queensland
We see this as an opportunity not only to recover, but to bounce back better than ever once the sanitiser has been moved from the pocket to cupboard. It begs the question though, what could your business do with $10,000? And perhaps more importantly, what could your business achieve with $10,000?
Well, here's our personal favourite suggestion made by the guys at the Gov' -
"In recognition of the significant impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses, the funding can be used towards...
building the business through marketing and communications activities, for example, content development (web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media etc.)" Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program, Business Queensland
In recovering from the shut down, it's super tempting to drastically cut back or eliminate advertising and marketing altogether, especially after having laid off employees and taking huge pay cuts. However, this is no time to go off air. There are actually a load of studies that date back as far as the 1960's which consistently illustrate that "companies that continue to invest in marketing and advertising in down markets not only enhance market share and brand perception during the downturn, but also when things improve."
Here at Neighbourhood, we strongly believe that increasing your marketing budget as you stabilise and push forward will be the quickest way to get your company off the ground again and have the opportunity to bring back employees, hire new ones and return to the land of profitability!
As a digital agency, not only do we spend our every waking hour where your customers live, the nature of digital marketing offers the ability to quickly test, learn and optimise what's working in order to spend your budget as wisely as possible, and only put money behind those initiatives that will actually lead to sales and generate the greatest ROI.
We would recommend:
- Enhancing your content marketing strategy with Google-friendly content and integrating this with video to focus on your areas of expertise, vastly encourage B2B sales and bolster trust
- Increasing paid search (Google Ads) to quickly increase brand voice, traffic and sales - because remember, 90% of searchers haven't made their mind up about a brand before starting a search!
- Focusing on Email marketing (targeted to particular segments of your email list) to touch base with your customers and prospects to keep them up to speed with your latest products / services
- Drilling down on who you're targeting and how their needs have changed with an in-depth buyer persona workshop to refine your messaging and ultimately only target those leads who are guaranteed to buy from you!
- Optimising your website for search engines to ensure your messaging is not landing on deaf ears and your refined messaging is not going to waste!
- Running a Facebook Ads campaign to get the word out to those you want to hear, on the platform they're on most while stuck at home!
With so many options available to you, it's important to remember that a one-size-fits-all approach will not withstand the complexity and data-driven nature of digital marketing. Despite this, many penny-saving companies have not been deterred and as such have tried to handle digital marketing and advertising in-house, to no avail... Not only is it increasingly expensive to house and pay for the talent and resources needed to be successful in digital, the technology, hardware, software and service costs stack up and can leave a business swamped in overheads before the real work has even begun. There's no time for this when you need to increase sales now! To cut a long story short, digital marketing is no longer a DIY business.
It's a far safer bet (and not to mention, wildly more cost effective), to hire an experienced digital marketing agency (like Neighbourhood!) and let them sweat the small stuff. Done properly, digital marketing more than pays for itself, with the knowledge that for every dollar spent, an incremental dollar of revenue is generated, which would be pretty useful in the current climate, eh?
While some tough times lie ahead, the worst of it is hopefully a thing of the past! Your company can and will bounce back from all of this nastiness even stronger, with the right partner under your wing to take proactive steps to hit the ground running now - rather than just waitin' on the world to change.