What will our businesses look like after COVID-19? Nobody is quite sure since there is no real end date for the virus in sight. One thing we do know is the importance marketing will play to lure customers back into our stores, restaurants, stores and offices.
Getting many customers to their physical location can be a challenge for many small businesses. This is why it is important to have a robust e-commerce website that attracts customers and customers so that they can do business with you from the comfort of their own home. More importantly, however, entrepreneurs need a solid marketing strategy to lead them through the current crisis and then into the business landscape after the pandemic.
To get an insight, I spoke to the founders of A&E, a digital agency with a large portfolio of Fortune 500 corporate clients, including J&J, P&G, Netflix, VF Corp, and Wells Fargo. The founders – a powerful sister duo – Amra Beganovich and Elma Beganovich are mega-social influencers with over 2.2 million followers.
You can learn more about it here: Forbes, Bloomberg Television, Financial Times, Inc. and Business Insider Video.
Amra & Elma Beganovich: Marketing after the pandemic will further increase spending on digital channels such as social media (Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc.) as consumers are trained in online shopping. It is [usually] more expensive for companies to break consumer habits, but the pandemic broke the habit of going to brick-and-mortar stores and directed consumers toward e-commerce and app shopping.
In addition, social media continue to evolve and produce tools for retailers to direct and track traffic from different channels, be it from influencer marketing or direct marketing through the brand's own platforms. For example, companies can now use swipe-up links in Instagram's InstaStories – whether on the brand's social channels or through influencers – to understand where their traffic is coming from and increase the overall visibility of their brand online.
Technologies will evolve, reducing the cost of digital marketing, making it a very lucrative form of marketing for companies of all sizes and in all phases.
Amra & Elma Beganovich: It depends on which target group or groups the small company wants to reach. For example, if the target audience is Gen Z, it's best to contact TikTok. If the target audience is Gen Y (millennials), it's best to contact Instagram and YouTube. Gen Z is also present on Instagram and YouTube. Therefore, it is important to analyze the data of each platform before you go on the market. After all, it is important to analyze the available formats and understand what works best for your industry. On the one hand, videos are ideal for makeup or cooking instructions. On the other hand, the Instagram feed is a very powerful medium for visually oriented industries such as the fashion industry.
Amra & Elma Beganovich: Small businesses can use Instagram Live and Facebook Live to increase customer spending in several ways. First, small businesses can work with influencers and invite industry-relevant guests to provide their customers with valuable information (e.g. healthy recipes to strengthen your immune system during the pandemic).
Second, small businesses can have their own live sessions in which they tell their customers (including ex-customers and potential customers) what's new in their stores and how to buy during the pandemic, e.g. B. Pick up at the roadside or view the items. "Personally" via FaceTime. Use Instagram Live and Facebook Live to talk to your customers and tell them how to adapt to the new normal – how to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
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Amra & Elma Beganovich: The first step on your social media journey is research – do your homework! Do you research where your target group virtually "hangs out"?
If you want to hire help, don't hire interns or beginners. [employees]; Social media is much more advanced and the use of analysis tools is increasing. There must be someone to advise you on the strategy to be set that makes sense for your target group and industry.
The second step would be to understand what content your audience can produce, so to speak. Content is still the be-all and end-all in social media, and every brand needs to plan it carefully as this content takes customers through the virtual door. Shops used to be what the company stood for, now it's the company's Instagram feed – that's how potential customers judge your brand!
Once the brand starts publishing, measure the analysis – what works and what doesn't? What needs to be improved? All of these steps can be performed inexpensively. You just need a lot of strategy and planning before you dive in.
Amra & Elma Beganovich: We recommend small businesses to have a budget that corresponds to the salary of a high profile marketer, e.g. B. $ 120,000. For this reason, it is often inexpensive to hire an agency. A small company receives an entire team of experienced employees for the price of one employee. As a last resort, if the small business is really in a budget crisis, consider hiring a part-time senior marketer. This person will be even cheaper and offer long-term solutions and anticipate future problems.
Amra & Elma Beganovich: There are many ways to measure ROI on social media. Some of the key performance indicators (KPIs) we use for our customers: follower growth, website traffic via custom links, promo codes for sales, subscribers to newsletters, customers who fill out forms to sample products (e.g. skin care ) get, or walk traffic to physical stores.
Decide with your agency or marketing person how best to measure ROI for your brand's goals and which KPIs to use to track performance. Also keep in mind that a KPI is not set in stone and that the brand can switch from one to the other to see what is best suited for positioning your brand in the market.
Amra & Elma Beganovich: It is important to discuss the general pitfalls, which in turn [goes] can be traced back to working with an agency or a high-ranking marketing person in order not to make these elementary mistakes. One of the most common dangers of influencer marketing is that small businesses try influencer marketing for one to three months and quickly come to the conclusion that it doesn't work.
It is important to keep an eye on the consumer's decision. The consumer must see your product at least seven times before making a purchase decision. So wait a few moments for all of your campaigns to complete before pulling the plug. Spread your budget instead of jumping and getting on too quickly. Choose influencers as brand lawyers who share values with your brand and are there for a long-term partnership.
It is important to closely monitor your industry and choose the right influencer partnerships to achieve sustainable results. Many small companies such as Revolve, Cluse and Tarte have developed into a well-known name in the industry through intelligent marketing strategies for influencers.
CONNECTION: 5 Intelligent Advertising Strategies During the COVID 19 Crisis: Why You Should Spend More Now