You can find here everything small businesses need to know to overcome a recession and run a smooth transition into the new digital economy. Get ready for experience-backed insights and proven practices on how to provide digital business transformation in 2020.

Nobody has expected to face it so quickly. The Coronavirus recession starts manifesting itself in various business fields and operational areas. There is probably no industry unaffected by this global situation. When the turbulence of an economic downturn is shaking the whole world, we need to share and learn about how to go throughout all this together. In this article, I share my digital marketing insights to support startups, small businesses, and medium-sized ventures in these challenging times.

Why We Need to Adapt Even More Quickly Than Expected

Being locked down at homes, we have been expecting to come out and see the sunshine of the new post-Coronavirus world. However, things are going to play out in another way. Many countries are preparing to face up the next waves of Coronavirus: some of them have already announced a new lockdown coming in a few weeks, others expect to see a similar situation closer to fall 2020.

Although most of us haven’t been probably ready for this, the importance of being a digital business today is quickly growing. Things will never be as before. We need to adapt to the new normal and inject our businesses with a dose of transformations and radical changes to help them survive in the upcoming crisis.

Invest in Becoming a Digital Business

Are you a startup, small business, a medium-sized venture or… even a large international enterprise? All of us need to learn how to become more “digital” today. You should accept what’s quickly rushing to us — these are online purchases, product deliveries, the ability to interact with the audience only online, managing business operations remotely by using custom enterprise apps and software, setting partnerships and closing deals at online meetings, remote team management, and so on. We should learn more about how to collaborate remotely and keep up our team’s spirit regardless of a lockdown and recession.

“We use Slack, Notion, G Suite, Jira, and Miro, and find these tools really helpful while we are working from home. It helps us keep our processes on the wheels rolling like previously, without any damage to the clients’ projects.” — Dmytro Venglinsky, CEO of Fireart Studio has recently shared with Hackernoon.

While it might already be a reality for most tech startups and enterprises, small businesses are not ready to enter the digital economy. It’s very unlikely that small businesses have taken all the required actions to step into the digital future. Here I would like to outline what’s needed to make it possible.

The First and Easiest Step: Set Up a Social Media Presence

Haven’t yet done it? Please, speed up! Having a bright, active, and well-established social media presence is a must for every business today. Your audience has been there before and it still is there today, especially in current conditions. It’s not recommended to register your business profile on all social networks possible because it may be challenging to manage all of them appropriately at the same time. However, it’s advisable to choose a few social platforms that are supposed to be the most effective for your business. Commonly, these are Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Invest in producing high-quality photos of your products, internal manufacturing processes, creative teamwork, and even shots of a building where all this magic happens. Later, you can use these visuals for your future social media posts and setting relationships with your online customers.

Do you deliver products directly to your customers’ homes? If they don’t mind, take a photo or video of how your team is serving your customers. Their smiling faces can make real magic and drive engagement on social media.

Many people share their own photos or stories featuring brands online. You can find them by your branded tags on social networks (they include a brand name, product names, or the titles of special offers) and leverage them in a social media marketing strategy as a customer-generated content. Potential customers trust your previous customers. That’s why this kind of content can work as positive feedback and social proof of your brand. It should raise your brand awareness, grow customer loyalty, and increase conversions.

Consider Building a Website and Custom Mobile App

First of all, digital presence includes having a robust website. In times of uncertainty, investing in website design and development might seem challenging for a small business budget. However, have you considered building a site on free platforms like Wix, Webnode, Weebly, etc.? It is an alternative solution if your business is on a budget.

In case things are going a bit better, it’s recommended to hire a reliable web development team and collaboratively build a website with all super-features included. Your future site can have a custom design that reveals your brand’s unique personality, a specific layout, a convenient eCommerce store, different contact and payment options, and a blog featuring industry insights, your company’s news, and personal stories. These are just a few of the must-have things for a small business website.

Also, you must know that there are many ways you can grow your small business using a mobile app. Food ordering and delivery app, online booking app, eCommerce app, an educational app, etc. — there are plenty of options. A custom mobile app can help you increase brand awareness among mobile users, expand your audience, generate additional revenue by offering paid app features to users, and stay in touch with your customers anytime and anywhere.

Add a Human Touch to Your Marketing and Advertising

We all are humans. We feel, share, and interact with each other. And we must keep it in mind when implementing digital marketing. Your ads shouldn’t only promote your brand but also engage your audience and interact with people at the emotional level.

Today, people don’t buy products or services, but magic related to them. Share your unique brand story on how your team is overcoming a recession, how you collaborate, and all together work to still deliver products and services to your customers.

Craft your own brand style and unique voice. There are plenty of ways to make your marketing and advertising more appealing. You can use beautiful custom illustrations to maintain your brand style, unlock the power of animated videos to educate your customers creatively, and make your brand messaging more empathic to cheer your audience up in a recession.

Adjust Your Offering to New Customer Needs

Entrepreneurs should seek new solutions that will allow customers to continue interacting with their brands online. Consider starting your own online courses (related to your niche and services), online consulting, free product deliveries, webinars, and social campaigns that will generate returning customers.

Think of your customers. What are their most common activities, where they spend their time, what are their needs and problems today? They have changed, and you should investigate how. All together we need to rethink the business world and provide a smooth transition into a new digital economy. Are you ready to contribute to this process by reimagining your own business today?