Estimated read time: 6 minutes
I recently provided 11 ideas for how B2SMB brands can engage and keep small business customers amid the COVID-19 crisis. This post highlights 5 terrific and different examples to check out.
Many B2SMB brands have already started tailoring their messaging to the current times, some offering their SMB customers and prospective customers information or assistance. These efforts, which are a must, should ultimately help those customers better weather the crisis while creating more trust and loyalty for the brands.
Interestingly, I’ve heard marketers and other experts say that now isn’t the time for brands to be marketing their products, lest they seem overly promotional during the crisis or taking advantage of it. That thinking is misguided. It’s true that companies must be careful not to appear to be leveraging the crisis for their own gain—but SMBs need help now more than ever. If a company’s products can help SMBs in this situation, it should be talking about them.
While there are many brands extending help to SMBs right now, here are five examples that caught my attention:
Zapier: Helping SMBs to use their products
I have been a big fan of Zapier content for some time. For those not familiar with Zapier, it’s an SaaS company that enables companies to automate processes by connecting two or more technologies.
Zapier regularly produces beginning-of-buying-journey content that does not mention its product. But it also produces content that does include its product that is appropriate for the beginning or middle of the buying journey.
This recent post on how to stay informed during the crisis without being overwhelmed does a great job of providing useful information while mentioning how their “Zaps” can help.
Walmart: Providing supply chain relief
The global retailer was quick to acknowledge that many of its small suppliers are struggling. The company is waiving rent payments for the many small businesses, including eye doctors and hair salons, that operate inside of Walmart stores nationwide, while rolling out a new supply chain financing program to help them get loans and other financial relief from banks faster.
This acknowledgement and relief effort will go a long way to help suppliers weather the crisis and stay afloat—while reminding them that Walmart helped them along the way.
This is a good example of how brands can do several things to help their SMB vendors.
Mailchimp: Providing free services
The marketing platform makes a bold statement at the top of its website: “We’ve got your back.” It then explains that it’s offering a free custom domain for up to five years for businesses that publish a website on Mailchimp.
Many small businesses still don’t have a website—yes, there are many—or haven’t updated their site in years. The crisis is a wake-up call that they need to improve their web presence. Moreover, times like these are ripe for the launch of new companies.
Mailchimp’s offer is thus a great example that shows you can do something for specific segments—in this case, companies without websites or those thinking of starting a business—while generating general goodwill.
Spectrum Business: Sharing insights and tips
The business internet and phone provider has ramped up its already-impressive peer-to-peer content by producing more articles featuring business owners and how they’re adapting their practices and pivoting amid the current tough business climate.
Business owners always love to read about what other businesses are doing—and that’s even truer in today’s environment. Customer stories are one of the most powerful types of content in your marketing quiver.
Facebook: Giving SMBs tools to weather the crisis
Facebook rolled out several new initiatives to help SMBs amid the COVID-19 crisis, including $100 million in cash grants and ad credits, digital gift cards that businesses can offer customers and an online fundraising tool.
Helping SMBs improve their financial situation and engage their own customers right now is not only a terrific thing to do—it also will improve the odds that those businesses will still be around, and Facebook customers, when this crisis is over.
Finding the right way to help SMBs
These are just some of the B2SMB brands taking action to help small businesses right now. The B2SMB Institute recently unveiled a new effort to help small businesses during the crisis and promote its #BuyFromSmallBusiness campaign.
By now your company has done something to support SMBs. As the crisis continues, please revisit…. Happy to brainstorm with you.