Over the past week or so, having to stay home and quarantine/social distance, I’ve found myself with some extra time on my hands to do some thinking.

Some thinking about my goals, what I want to do in the future, how to not kill my family while quarantining with them (kidding…maybe).

I’ve also been thinking about the small businesses and entrepreneurs in my community and everywhere else who are facing tough times due to people/customers being encouraged not to go enjoy themselves at restaurants, stroll around their favorite stores or visit their favorite coffee or smoothie shops.

All of these places have a very particular essence, or distinct physical brand that draws people into their place of business, but it’s my hope that those business owners and entrepreneurs also put the same time and effort into establishing their online stores, experiences and digital brand as well.

With a strong digital brand and presence, you can still connect with current customers, draw new ones in and reinvent new, innovative ways to engage employees.

Here are a few ideas to get your brainstorming session started on ways to connect with customers, even when they’re stuck at home:

  1. RUN AN ONLINE SALE

    With people staying home for most of their time, they’re looking for things to occupy them and take their minds off of having to self-isolate. And online shopping is one of those distractions! However, it’s extremely important to note that due to self-isolation, a lot of people have reduced hours or are out of jobs, so they’re going things for them might be a bit tighter, and a sale could help them help you.

    Running an unexpected sale not only brings joy to your usual customers, but it also helps those who are looking for a little retail therapy with tighter pockets feel okay about their decision to support your local business.

     

  2. POST A GIVEAWAY
    What’s one of the best ways to bring attention to your online brand? Getting people excited about a chance to win something they love or are interested in trying, for free!

    Also consider teaming up with another local business who’s in the same boat as you to encourage your digital customers to support as many local businesses as possible, and show that you’re all trying to get through these tough times together.

  3. ASK QUESTIONS
    Now is the perfect time for you to focus on what you’re delivering as a brand versus what your customers truly want from you.Jump on social media and run a few polls on your Instagram Story. Send out a Google form to your email subscribers. Ask for responses/opinions in the comments of your posts.

    Empower your customers to help shape the brand you’re building for you and them. You can even further encourage participation in this effort by picking one commenter or respondent to win a digital gift card to a grocery story or another local business to show you really care about your customers and their well-being in tough times.

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