Marketing Tips for Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Crisis

Marketing Tips for Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has affected almost everyone, including small businesses. Many businesses have closed their doors, laid-off employees, or go bankrupt. Those that remain open will likely deal with reduced sales and other obstacles.

Here are a few marketing tips for small businesses during these challenging times.

Highlight the Ways That You Are Helping

If you watch TV, you have likely seen endless commercials showcasing businesses’ efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus. This includes allowing employees to work from home, donating time or money to hospitals and front-line workers, and eliminating late fees for existing customers.

Use this opportunity to highlight the steps you are taking to protect your staff and customers. Make sure that the marketing material you create remains authentic. If the video or social media post is too promotional, it may backfire.

Invest More in Your Marketing and Advertising

You have less competition as more businesses scale back on marketing or advertising. Use this time to invest more in your marketing campaigns and paid advertisements. With less competition, you should experience higher click-through rates, providing a greater return on your marketing spending.

You should also reassess your marketing budget. For example, you may need to hold off on marketing that involves physical aspects, such as promoting an upcoming trade show or event. Focus on online marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, and search engines.

Consider Changing Your Delivery Methods

If you have physical products or operate in a physical location, customers may appreciate delivery options that limit exposure to the public. This may include dropping off items at customers’ homes or offering curbside pickup.

For service-based businesses, consider setting up virtual appointments. For example, you can complete a virtual meeting to discuss SEO services and other consulting work.

Offer to Forego Late Fees or Penalties

Many of your customers may be struggling financially right now. During the COVID-19 crisis, you can pause late fees and other penalties.

While you may miss out on a few dollars from frequently late customers, you can generate more goodwill with your existing customers. This should lead to greater brand loyalty when the threat of coronavirus passes.

Find Out Where Your Customers Go Online

Your marketing efforts may not provide the desired results if you fail to connect with your customer base.

Find out which marketing channels your customers use most. In most cases, the answer is Facebook. However, if you have a younger-skewing customer base, you may also need to market your products or services on Instagram or TikTok.

Create Special Offers and Discounts

Another way to ease the financial burden on your customers is to offer discounts or special promotions. Entice customers to continue shopping by offering them discounts on popular products or services. You may even discount services to your existing customers to encourage ongoing support.

Use these tips throughout the coronavirus pandemic to boost your ROI. Just remember to reassess your marketing campaigns when the threat of the virus passes.




Are you struggling due to the coronavirus? If you are worried about keeping your small business open during the pandemic, use some of the following online resources:

Small Business Administration Loan Options

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is processing loan applications for the COVID-19 relief package signed into law on March 27, 2020. The relief package provides affordable loans to struggling businesses.

While the funds for the loan program were used up within the first few weeks, several major businesses have returned their loans, opening additional funds for small businesses.

The SBA also offers a Paycheck Protection Program and other relief options. If you currently have a lot of business debt or expenses, one of the SBA programs may suit your financial needs.

CDC Guidance for Small Businesses

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued numerous guidelines and recommendations to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The CDC has compiled its recommendations for small businesses and employers, making it easier for you to protect your workers and customers.

The available guidance includes recommended steps for preparing for a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace. You can also learn how to reduce transmission among employees, such as by encouraging sick employees to stay home.

Check back regularly for the latest updates to the CDC recommendations as the CDC frequently compiles the newest information on coronavirus.

US Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Response Toolkit

The Coronavirus Response Toolkit from the US Chamber of Commerce includes various resources for businesses during the pandemic.

Most of the website resources are graphics you can print and display in your workplace. This includes signs showcasing the symptoms of COVID-19 and displays encouraging people to practice social distancing.

Along with graphics, you can find recommendations for small businesses. The site includes a preparedness checklist, which includes prioritizing critical operations and suggestions for establishing teleworking policies.

US Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources

The US Department of Labor has comprehensive online resources for business owners. The information covers workplace safety, unemployment insurance flexibilities, and support for dislocated workers.

The information on the website offers guidance for keeping your business operating during the coronavirus pandemic and resources for ensuring that your staff receives adequate compensation and insurance.

Internal Revenue Service

If your employees take paid or unpaid time off during the COVID-19 crisis, your tax liabilities may change. This can be a confusing time for determining tax requirements for small businesses. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has added helpful FAQs and other online resources.

Using IRS resources, you can learn which tax relief options are available. For example, you may qualify for the employee retention credit, a refundable tax credit against various employment taxes. This tax credit helps limit your liability for employment taxes and may ease your financial burden.

Along with these resources, additional online tools and programs continue to help small business owners. Watch for assistance programs and resources geared toward your industry or region.