The COVID-19 virus has sent the world as we know it into serious flux, and has turned the world of business and marketing into free fall. Yet, there is one business space that is holding out possibilities for revenue generation in these challenging times: Online—the digital & social media space.
Combined with a new feverish “buy local” sentiment, the digital market place can help local and small businesses compete. Buying local is now a clear priority for more than just the “conscious consumer.” Your customers know these are difficult times and with the right marketing and branding, they are showing signs of loyalty, especially to purpose brands, and those that are doing all they can to keep their people on payroll and offering delivery, take-out, and online products.
Add in all the new tools, platforms, advertising strategies, and creative design software at your finger-tips, and you have a trifecta that supports online revenue generation for the small business. We’re seeing businesses and brands rapidly adapt and find new ways to connect and engage with their audiences on Instagram and Facebook and other social media platforms to keep their customers loyal and to convert them into online sales.
We know that it can be difficult to keep up with this fast-paced digital and social media world, while also staying relevant and in business during these crazy times. That’s why we’ve compiled a few pro tips and tricks just for you, so you can pivot parts (or all!) of your business online to generate revenue now and take your social media presence to the next level and sustain it into the future.
First, let’s look at strategies to boost your online revenue. Consider these ideas:
Sell Gift Cards
Sell gift cards online either on your website, social platforms, or both. Consider adding a deal to the offer with a timeframe so people take you up on this call to action now for future use..
Take Your Services Online
If you primarily sell services, consider how you can offer the same value (and even the same price point!) through virtual services. We’re seeing this work well for yoga studios, gyms, artists, coaching services, therapists, and more for online classes.
Create Digital Products
What can you brand with your logo that develops and communicates your purpose? Consider creating and selling online eBooks, virtual workshops, webinars, events, and even downloadable branded calendars.
Stay in close Communication with Your Customers
Social media marketing is even more important now with stay-at-home orders in place. People are online more than ever before and it is critical for your business to stay top of mind by bringing customers to your digital selling platforms, and keep them loyal as things continue to change.
Create a Subscription Box and Deliver Direct
Our client, Roll ebike, has pivoted its business model to add a Farm-To-Door ebike delivery of a weekly subscription of prepared meals + eats + and eco-products to the Durango, Colorado community. Supporting other local businesses and farms is a key purpose of their new service line. Roll is partnering with Zia Taqueria, Adobe House Farms, Durango Olive Oil Company, and Bear Balm Durango. Of course, when tourists come back, Roll will be ready to deliver ebikes to hotels and airbnb’s, in addition to delivering locally grown and prepared food to the Durango, Co community. It is possible that Roll has discovered a new revenue stream for now and in the future—post COVID-19.
Pivoting to an additional online revenue model is a key first step to revenue generation today, but it’s not enough to translate into sales growth now or in the future. A well designed social media strategy is an essential second step.
Check out these 7 pro tips to help you step up your social media presence and promote your new online strategy.
We’re giving this away to you because we want purpose brands and sustainable businesses to succeed. We know these tips can help you deliver on your triple bottom line (people, planet, and profit).
1. Stay Creative & On-Brand:
When creating and posting content for social media, namely Instagram and Facebook, it’s essential to make sure everything is cohesive and evokes the aesthetic of your brand. Choose colors & fonts that are similar to your logo, create graphics that echo the style of your branding, and ensure that you are using high quality eye-catching photos. People are much more likely to become interested in your business if you take the time to curate an aesthetically clean and engaging feed that embodies not only your brand’s look & feel, but it’s purpose as well.
2. Use Instagram Stories & Highlights and Facebook Stories to interact with your audience on a more personal level:
The stories features on Instagram and Facebook give you an opportunity to interact directly with your audience / followers / customers, which is incredibly valuable. This feature allows you to:
- Post photo & video snippets throughout your day.
- Use filters to spice up your stories & stick to your brand’s aesthetic.
- Add colored text, icons, graphics, music & GIFs to make your stories engaging and provide information and context.
- Link and tag brands, people, and websites to your stories. This helps associate your brand with similar brands/businesses and can drive traffic to your website or products.
Using the Stories feature consistently can be very beneficial for your business: It humanizes your brand and shows your audience that you live your purpose every day; stories can provide an opportunity for your audience to get a behind-the-scenes look at your business/products; and stories allow you to see how many people are engaging with your content (by swiping up on your stories you can see how many people have viewed them).
The highlights feature on Instagram is another great place to showcase your brand, particularly, your recent work, recipes, client/customer reviews, causes your brand supports, and really anything else that helps differentiate your business. Since Instagram stories disappear after 24hours, this tool allows you to save specific stories of your choosing in collections or ‘highlights’, which then appear on your profile. For example, on our Live Creative Studio profile, we’ve created 5 highlights: Sustainability, Digital Marketing, Branding, Clients, and Creatives. Each of these collections showcases a different aspect of our business and provides samples of our recent work.
3. Use a design tool such as Canva or Adobe Spark to create clean, sophisticated and eye-catching graphics & posts:
Posting high-quality, aesthetically pleasing photos (try Unsplash) and graphics is probably the most important and beneficial thing you can do for your brand’s social media presence. People will automatically take notice of your profile if it is polished, cohesive and original. Choose an aesthetic for your feed that echoes the style of your brand, and stick to it:
- Use the same or similar filters on your photos.
- Use design tools like Canva and Adobe Spark to design your own graphics, and make sure they are all in the same style. This doesn’t mean they should all look the same. To differentiate choose colors from the same color palette and use design elements that are in a style similar to your branding.
4. Write your bio on Instagram and Facebook with style:
This is where your audience is first introduced to you/your business, and this first impression is very important and valuable. Use this space to clearly and concisely explain your brand, what you do, and why your viewers should be interested in it. On Instagram specifically, you only get 150 characters and a photo/logo, with which you must capture the essence & purpose of your brand:
- Start by asking yourself: Who are you, what do you offer, and how are you original or different?
- Now, how can you take the answers to those questions and arrange them, along with a photo, in a way that showcases the purpose of your business?
- Create a content calendar/game-plan & schedule posts consistently:
Posting and engaging with your audience consistently is one of the best ways to make sure people are always aware of your business/brand and your current projects or ventures. Create a content calendar with the intention of posting at least 3-5 times per week; if you post often, you will create frequent interactions with your current audience and also attract the attention of potential new followers.
5. Turn posts with high engagement into marketing promotions:
If you have an Instagram or Facebook business account, this allows you to see the analytics of your posts and engagement (how many people viewed your post or story, the demographics of your audience, etc.). It also shows you which of your posts have had the highest engagement—which can be valuable information for your business. For example, you can choose to promote or boost a certain post if it is doing particularly well, which means that your post will show up on people’s feeds as a kind of ad. The best part is that you can choose the demographics that your promoted post will reach, according to the content in the post and the audience you are trying to access!
6. Create a content calendar/game plan & schedule posts consistently:
Posting and engaging with your audience consistently is one of the best ways to make sure people are always aware of your business/brand, your current projects or ventures, and keeps your brand top of mind. We suggest creating a content calendar with the intention of posting at least 2-5 times per week; if you post often, you will create frequent interactions with your current audience and also attract the attention of potential new followers–yay!
7. Remember to lead and market from purpose—know your why!
It’s essential to show your audience that you are committed to your brand’s purpose and being authentic-—add meaningful quotes, graphics, or other communications that connect your posts to how your company benefits people and the planet. Your clear drive and originality is what will set you apart from other brands & businesses.
Happy pivoting and posting!
Let us know in the comments below if these tips were helpful, we’d love to hear from you!
Have a question or issue with digital marketing or social media for your business that we should cover in our next blog post? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments or by email—our goal is to provide insightful and valuable information that will help you grow your purpose brand.
Live Creative Studio is a marketing + sustainability agency based in Durango, Colorado with global impact. We work with purpose brands and companies of all shapes and sizes interested in or already launched on the sustainability path. We offer branding and logo design, graphic design, web development, digital marketing, and sustainability strategy. Live Creative Studio also offers a Lunch & Learn series—DIY marketing + sustainability pro tip classes on the last Thursday of the month at our Sustainable Business Hub, Studio 12 @ the Smiley Building in Durango, CO.