It’s been a long year for businesses as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As COVID-19 vaccine distribution gains steam, COVID restrictions are beginning to diminish. On Monday, March 22nd, Washington State moved into Phase 3, one day before the one-year anniversary of the stay-at-home order. As your business returns to more normal operations, it’s important to let people know you’re reopening. Now is the perfect time to help new customers discover your business and remind those faithful customers that you’re still here! Start post-pandemic reentry out strong!
Under Phase 3, most indoor activities are allowed at 50% capacity (with social distancing and mask-wearing enforced). Indoor entertainment establishments, including theaters, arenas, and museums are permitted at 50% capacity or 400 people, whichever is less. Similarly, fitness centers and retail stores are allowed up to 50% capacity. However, the showers at gyms remain closed, as do the dressing rooms at retail stores, which continue to encourage curbside pickup. -Restaurants and other dining facilities are also capped at 50% capacity, up from 25% in Phase 2. The change allows restaurants to have up to 10 people per table, up from a six-person table limit.
At-home gatherings allow for more people to be in one place as well. Phase 2 restricted gatherings with people outside your household to a maximum of five people indoors and 15 people outdoors. Under Phase 3, the maximums change to 10 and 50, respectively. Even though they may still work from home, your customers will want to know that you are operating. They’re likely looking for a new activity or restaurant to cater their barbecue.
There are several benefits to good marketing. Don’t let either time or budget prevent you from tapping into today’s market. People are excited to get back out there and resume their “normal life,” which includes going out with friends for shopping, dining, and exploring.
There is always something you can advertise. Have you moved locations? Have your hours changed? Are you offering a new service like curbside pick-up? Have you put in new safety measures to protect your customers?
Online marketing is critical, and here are some stats to prove it:
As you can see, there’s a large online market to tap into, even for businesses that are primarily brick-and-mortar. Online advertising will only increase in a post-COVID world.
Online advertising is a great way to reach those spending more time at home on screens. During the stay-at-home order, many businesses and schools switched to remote working and virtual learning. It’s clear that working from home is not only possible, but it’s a good option for many. It even has a well-recognized acronym, WFH. This is a great opportunity for you to increase visibility and your digital footprint.
Don’t know where to start? Google Search and Display Ads can help you reach the people in the market for your business. Both types of ads can reach people most interested in what you offer. Reaching the right people is crucial in a smaller city like Spokane.
With Google Ads, you have complete control over who sees your ads. Google helps you target specific demographics, so that only the people most likely to be interested will see your ads. You also determine the monthly budget cap and only pay when users click your ad. Ads that don’t get clicked? They’re free and they get you brand exposure. Google provides estimated results based on campaign specifications. Google Ads is an easy and consistent way to increase awareness with a low ad spend.
Google has a broad reach. Their mission is to be widely accessible and usable and to organize the world’s information.
Facebook became another great option when it released Ads Manager. Facebook Ad Manager and Google Ads are similar. The biggest difference between the two is the online location where ads are displayed.
Facebook’s Ads Manager can reach audiences on several apps, including Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Facebook’s mission is to give people community. They are accomplishing this through the many users on their social networking apps. Your ads will be displayed to any of these users with Ads Manager.
While digital marketing created new ways to connect your business with your clients, there is still value in print. Sending a newsletter by mail and creating a billboard are often necessary means of advertising your business.
Newsletters help keep customers and clients current and remind them you exist altogether. Frequent newsletters can develop a level of trust and awareness with your audience. However, if they are too frequent, newsletters become annoying. Think of your newsletter as a great dinner: it’s better to leave them wanting more than wishing they had less.
With billboards, you pay for visibility to get in front of interested customers. Sure, people uninterested in your business will see your billboards, but so will those who had no idea your business existed.
While your marketing budgets may be low and your time preoccupied with rebounding, it’s an excellent opportunity to invest in advertising and get ahead of your competitors.
Internet Live Stats. (n.d.). in 1 second, each and every second, there are... https://www.internetlivestats.com/one-second/#google-band
Lake, C. (2016, March 29). The rise of 'Micro-Moments' and how to optimise for 'near me' search queries. Search Engine Watch. Retrieved March 29, 2021, from https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2016/03/29/the-rise-of-micro-moments-and-how-to-optimise-for-near-me-search-queries/
Progressive Grocer. (2019, May 6). Consumers Use Mobile Phones to Make In-Store Purchase Decisions: Survey. Retrieved March, 2021, from https://progressivegrocer.com/consumers-use-mobile-phones-make-store-purchase-decisions-survey
Statista. (2021, January). Global Digital Population as of January 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/