The 7 Best Ways To Promote Your Small Business’ Reopening
Was your last happy memory as a small business owner somewhere around March 2020? No doubt the last 15 months have taken their toll. And if you’re in a region where restrictions are easing, we are sure that you’re busy planning the reopening of your business.
And likely, with some extra effort.
The COVID-19 Pandemic is still very much here. Customers have concerns about health, safety measures, economic impact, and quality checks.
Which means you have to go the extra mile in convincing your patrons to come back to you and support your small business. It is going to take some extra effort, an ongoing campaign, and a relentless spirit. All of which we know you’ve got ample amounts of.
And when it comes to creative design ideas? We’ve got you covered. So let’s get to it.
The Marathon that Reopening can be
From a customer’s perspective, there are only two stages – lockdown and reopening. But a small business owner knows that there are many steps before, between, and after these stages.
Reopening your small business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is not a sprint, but a marathon. Pace yourself and prepare to break down and attack this feat in small parts.
Dividing your small business’ reopening into smaller steps helps you prioritize activities relevant to each stage, get the right message out, and plan targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
Marketing campaigns will change the face of your business and the reopening when done right.
So, how do you do that? Can you really make your small business’ reopening a resounding success with some creative marketing?
Let’s find out.
Stages of Reopening and How to Promote them
Like we said, your small business reopening is a marathon, and each stage needs a different tactic for it to be a success.
Your customers’ expectations of you will vary based on this as well. From when you are going to reopen to when you officially reopen – and beyond. That’s why the promotion strategies will also vary.
Below is a roundup of promotional ideas from Kimp for your small business’ reopening.
Pre-Reopening Stage: Anticipation and Curiosity Generation
Let’s say you’re a couple weeks away from restrictions being removed and your business reopening. Maybe you have been preparing your store and operations for a month for this. But, have you prepared your customers? Marketing in the pre-reopening stage is more about acclimatizing customers to the idea of new normal than getting them to buy your products.
The trick is to build anticipation and curiosity about this 2.0 version of your business. The more customers know you are ready to get out there and give them an unforgettable experience, the easier it will be to generate sales.
So, what should you be doing exactly? What are the marketing and promotion efforts for this stage of a small business reopening?
1) Email Outreach
Once you know your business will be open to patrons soon, reach out to your existing customer base. The best way to do that would be via email marketing.
Newsletters feel personalized, professional, and are an effective way to get your message across to your existing customers.
You can share exclusive offers, solicit referrals using Bring-A-Friend discount, and also encourage your customers to give you a social media shout-out.
Your customers announcing your business’ opening will give you a great boost of credibility and make them feel important. This will also make them more likely to engage with your small business once you are open.
This communication channel will also come in handy once you are open and want to drive foot traffic from your existing customers.
Kimp Tip: Keep the text to a minimum in your newsletters and opt for designs that use graphic design to get the point across. Visual content-based emails have a higher degree of shareability, and customers are more likely to engage with such newsletters.
The email above from Warriors Basketball strategically uses imagery of kids playing with their masks on, to emphasize on the safety measures taken by the academy.
2) Reopening Announcements
When you finalize the finer details like the date, time, and store locations for your small business reopening, it is time to design the announcements.
Announcements are vital because they start the conversation and draw customer attention. Be consistent, creative, and proactive in all announcements. Public memory is short-lived, so your announcement advertisements and social media posts have to be visually engaging and frequently shared and posted.
Make it impossible for your audience to ignore that you are back. An abundance of information will help you gain your customers’ trust and get them to walk in when you open.
Just be sure to break it down into bite-sized chunks or to use formats like video and carousel ads to get across multiple pieces of information.
Kimp Tip: Ensure that your announcements cover a wide range of channels – both web and print. Provide a consistent brand experience to your customers by keeping the style, tone, and content of these announcement posts similar.
Opt for GIFs or short videos for higher engagement and shareability rates on social media.
3) Social Media Content
95% of accounts on Instagram follow a business account. Social media users agree they follow a business to get the latest updates and product drops.
So, if that is the expectation, you must deliver, right?
Use your social media profiles as message boards to roll out important announcements and updates about your business. You can:
- Share updates in operational times of your store.
- Spread awareness on social distancing, maximum store capacity, health and safety measures in place.
- Launch COVID-19 related policies such as bring your own bag for shopping, mask etiquettes, contactless sign-ins, and so on.
- Share demo videos on ways to interact with your staff and follow seating instructions, if you run a restaurant or cafe.
- Create teaser videos for the launch to create excitement with exclusive offers.
Kimp Tip: Creating social media posts does not have to be expensive or tiresome. You can shoot videos and photos from your device and retouch them using a professional service (like Kimp!) to make them social media-ready.
Kimp Graphics allows you to get all the designs you need for a flat monthly fee. And Kimp Video can help you with all the marketing videos you need – include animated videos and animating static designs so that you can save on shooting costs. Reach out on the live chat at www.kimp.io to learn more!
Social media posts like the ones designed by Kimp above are a great way to keep followers in the loop about reopening announcements. In this case, the brand is in the travel industry and is keeping its audience informed of reopening plans in various destinations and encouraging them to start planning.
4) Website Updates
Irrespective of all the social media updates and advertisements, it is good practice to always keep your website up to date.
Customers have started looking up local businesses more and more, as the pandemic progressed. “Business near me” searches went up by 200%, and most of these searches will lead the customer to your website.
Update your website’s banner, header, and homepage to reflect your reopening announcements. If possible, create a separate page with the updated timings and your efforts for maintaining a safe and clean space when you reopen.
Having all the information in one place will assure the customer and build trust for your brand.
Kimp Tip: Have you revamped your business based on the pandemic? Do some services on your website no longer exist? Give your website a quick makeover with Kimp Graphics by updating product images, headers and sliders.
And don’t worry about coming up with completely new designs from scratch. Consistency is key to branding and building brand awareness. So you can easily repurpose and adapt design concepts from one design to another.
Say for example the email design below, could be transformed into a landing page design with a few tweaks.
The “We are Open” Stage: Add Value, Value, and More Value
Your announcements worked, customers are here, and you are open! Congratulations!
The time is now to remember that reopening a small business amid the pandemic is a marathon. Stage 1 is over and with good progress. But keep the momentum going.
This is the stage to connect with your customers, address their queries, give them shareable content and keep them informed of all that is happening with your business. You want the customers to come, bring friends, and keep coming.
Some ideas to do that include:
5) Update Your Social Media Channels
As we’ve previously mentioned, social media is a great way to connect with your audience, engage with them, and invoke their interest in your small business.
Identify the platform where your audience is most present and create content that resonates with them. Once you are open, follow the reopening announcement with a “We are Open” post and a “Thank you for visiting” post on social media. Inform the customer of your every move to entice them back.
You can also use your social media profiles to educate your customers and resolve any issues they commonly face.
Reopening can be chaotic with extra safety measures, unprecedented protocols, and changing business models. Create a FAQ page on your social media using Instagram Story highlights, Facebook pinned posts, Twitter pinned thread, and so on.
Announce discounts, giveaways, and new launches for in-store purchases to peak customers’ interest and increase foot traffic to your business.
Kimp Tip: When you create content for Instagram, remember that feed aesthetic is important. Come up with your theme for your new content marketing strategy and talk to your design team to create graphics accordingly.
There is no necessity that content like FAQ or Updates has to be boring. Contact Kimp Graphics for unique and branded post templates for different social media platforms for your business.
Swiggy – India’s Food Delivery Startup created a “Best Practices & FAQ” highlight on their Instagram page.
6) Shareable Content
You have had a long year. Now that you are finally open, your small business needs all the help it can get. Social media holds the power to do that for you.
Creating content that resonates with people, increases your engagement rate, and makes people share it – can do wonders for you.
So, what’s the secret sauce?
- If there is one thing you must know is that for shareable content, videos win hands down across all platforms. Instagram feed videos, IGTV, story videos, Facebook Videos, Twitter Videos, LinkedIn Videos, YouTube videos – the options are endless.
But which videos exactly?
Popular video content ideas on social media are:
- BTS Videos on product creation, restaurant setup, cooking videos, retail products, or event planning meetings.
- Instagram Reels that inform, engage and let you hop on the latest trends
- Customer testimonials
- Informative and educational content such as benefits of a product, How-To videos, and important facts for the customers.
- Animated explainer videos
- Quick animated videos that work like GIFs
- If you want customers to share your content, leverage the power of Memes. Topical, funny, and relatable memes always delight your customers and are one of the most shared content forms. So, create some kick-ass memes, animate them, and you can bet your posts will get shared.
As seen above, Starbucks creates aesthetic and engaging reels on its Instagram page.
Kimp Tips: Creating videos and memes continuously is not everyone’s cup of tea. Especially when you have a business to relaunch. But you need them. So, instead of investing in high-tech shooting gear and an editing team, choose a design team to create professional videos out of the footage you capture on your phone.
7) Local Marketing
Most small businesses thrive because of local customers. The interest in local business is also going up because of the pandemic-based travel restrictions. So, this is the time to get back to the basics and invest in local marketing to promote your small business’ reopening.
Update your “Google My Business” listing and all other third-party platforms with updated images, current branding, and relevant details.
Distribute flyers, posters, and brochures announcing your reopening and the latest offers in-store. You can also consider updating your storefront with renewed marketing material and updated branding to interest the attention of passersby.
Get the neon sign out and install a digital screen. Run your advertisements and save the cost of a billboard.
Local marketing is cost-effective, targeted, and is flexible. It allows you to reach out to customers who would be interested and cross-market with other partners.
For example, if you run a clothing store that sells leisurewear, consider distributing flyers near a gym. For a florist, you can advertise at the nearby event venues for better results.
Kimp Tip: Creativity has to be at its peak if you have to attract the attention of a passerby and make them take a second look at your material. Choose professional services to gain an edge over your competition.
If you are going all-in on print, ensure that the branding is in place and your web materials match the print ones.
Check our Kimp Guide on how to make your logo and other marketing material print-ready.
Keeping the buzz alive: Consistency and Feedback FTW!
With all your hard work in marketing and operations, we hope that your small business reaches a steady-state soon. In the meantime, keep in mind that promotion strategies need slight tweaks now and then even after business gets back to normal. These tweaks allow you to stay relevant and stay ahead of the curve in your industry.
- Digital marketing allows you to leverage the power of analytics. Keep a track of how your website, social media posts, and advertisements are faring. Run A/B tests until you hit your targets.
- Run surveys to understand customers’ pulse on your print marketing efforts.
- Try social listening (keeping track of customer pain points, needs, and brand mentions) can help you shape your marketing policy for the future.
- Innovate and try new trends. You never know what can go viral. Check our guide on creating viral content so that the buzz on your small business never fizzles out.
Kimp – Small Business’ trusted Partner
Running a small business through a pandemic is a monumental task. And on top of this, it’s more important than ever to put only your best foot forward.
So choose a professional team to help you show off your brand, and all that you have to offer, through effective designs.
Kimp understands the value of good design for small businesses and has consistently delivered results for our clients. With us, you can up your marketing game like never before.
And you know what the best part is? Our flat-rate design subscriptions allow you to work with a dedicated team. One that will get to know your preferences and needs and allow you to spend less time on your designs projects. And more time on your business.
So, stop spending tons on marketing design and not getting tangible results. Choose Kimp.
Sign up for the free trial today and see how Kimp can help your brand get back in business.