Daily news conferences are filled with experts who help us learn various ways we, as consumers, can continue to support our local and online businesses during this global health crisis. We’ve also heard a number of stories about the ways businesses are pivoting and changing the way they serve customers.
But what about how businesses support each other? Much of our work here at Smart Simple Marketing focuses on building business-to-small-business (B2SMB) relationships, so we’ve created this page to help companies find resources to help each other.
This page is a resource for our business-to-small-business community to use to support each other. The first section contains resources for holding meetings, conferences and other events online while social distancing is in effect. The next section offers tips for optimizing your online content so your prospects can find you. And the last section lists resources that businesses can use to stay informed and survive the global health crisis.
Resources for Alternatives to In-Person Training and Events
Don’t stop selling because of coronavirus; however, make sure your marketing messages are pitch-perfect and empathetic during this time. It’s important that we do everything we can to support each other during this unprecedented global health crisis. Use this opportunity to innovate and turn crisis into opportunity.
Tools you can use to hold online events
- Take your event online: Webinar Marketing for Newbies: 5 Steps to Creating and Marketing Your First Webinar
- Webinars are cost-effective: Top 10 Reasons to Hold a Webinar Today
- Explore tools for hosting your webinar, meeting, or virtual event:
- Adobe Connect: One of the more expensive platforms, but has a sliding scale based on the number of participants in your virtual events.
- Google Hangouts: It’s free but limited to 10 people for Gmail users and 25 for Gsuite subscribers; good for small events.
- GoToWebinar: Requires users to download and install software, and it’s good for large events and will record and archive them so you can extend their shelf life.
- Join.me: Web-based platform that’s good for mid-size events; it’s not free but the price point is not bad.
- Uber Conference: Good for up to 100 attendees and it integrates with social media channels so you can see your attendees’ profiles.
- ZOHO Meetings: Easy to use and comes with analytics; allows you to easily handle screen shares; pricing is based on the number of attendees to your events; integrates with a number of platforms.
- Zoom: Plans range from 100 to 10,000 attendees and include live and recorded webinar access; integrates with several CRM platforms.
Tips for successful virtual events
Whether you’re meeting one-on-one with a business partner or presenting to 10,000 people, the key to a successful virtual event is to make sure everyone has the right technology. At least one day before your event, send simple, step-by-step instructions to attendees that explain how to access the event. Include screenshots. If they need to download software, like with GoToWebinar or Zoom, let them know. That way, you aren’t spending the first 10 minutes of your event troubleshooting technical issues.
Examples of companies that are shifting to online events
Museums around the world have closed their doors during coronavirus and are sharing their content online through virtual tours with the help of Google Virtual Tours. Fitness studios and gyms are using video technology to hold group training sessions and workouts in an effort to keep their members healthy and their employees working. Churches and places of worship are using Facebook Live to hold Sunday services and community events.
Resources to Clean Up Your Content
Kudos to all of you who’ve been cleaning out closets, organizing your cabinets, and doing some serious spring cleaning at home during the social distancing mandates. When was the last time you cleaned up your digital assets for your workplace? Now’s the time to do it!
- Audit your content: We use Google Analytics, Screaming Frog, ahrefs, and a number of other tools to crawl our clients’ websites and audit their content looking for content to update, delete, or leave as is. Contact us if you’d like more information on content audits.
- Retool your email marketing messages: Review my message on tone-deaf marketing, and then review all of your email workflows to ensure they are not tone deaf about coronavirus.
- Over-communicate during the crisis period: Use a tool like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord, Jabber, Yammer or any number of closed networking tools to communicate with your employees, business partners, vendors, and other stakeholders.
- Other resources to help businesses optimize their content during COVID-19:
Resources to Help SMBs Stay in Business
How can you change your business operations over the next 30, 60, 90 or more days to help small businesses stay open and not close their businesses? During a crisis, it isn’t the time to talk about long-term business development strategies and growth. Small businesses need help now. It’s time to talk about survival. Share these resources with them.
- Association of Corporate Counsel: Their coronavirus page is packed with links to coronavirus-related legislation, employer resources documents, and information for businesses about mergers and acquisitions, anti-trust, insurance, government contracts and more — all during the current global health crisis.
- Forbes’ small business relief tracker: They update this daily. It has links to federal programs and local and state programs.
- Gartner’s coronavirus resource page for employers: Kudos to Gartner for removing their paywall and giving free resources to employers to help them “protect employees first.”
- GoFundMe’s Small Business Relief Fund: The crowd-funding fund will provide micro-grants to small businesses that are negatively impacted by COVID-19. As of March 25, 2020, donations to the fund were over $1.5 million.
- Smart Simple Marketing’s Facebook: Follow us for advice, how-to’s, and tips for doing business with SMBs
- CDC coronavirus in the U.S.: Map and data of coronavirus diagnoses and cases in the U.S.
- CDC coronavirus resources for businesses: Guide for preparing workplaces for COVID-19 and other valuable resources
- Small Business Administration: Guidance and links to financial resources for businesses and employers
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Response & Resources page with a corporate aid tracker, employee assistance fund information, and workplace tips
- U.S. Department of Labor: This government agency lists information about workplace safety, wages, unemployment insurance and more for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re Here For You
We will continue to update this page as more resources become available. If you have a resource you’d like us to include, please reach out to us. If you own or operate a business and you’d like to speak to us about overcoming your marketing struggles, we’re available. Contact us here.
In the meantime, we invite you to explore more resources on our website. Visit our blog.