Small Business Marketing 101: Cause Marketing in the Time of COVID-19

We’re living in a strange and scary time for small businesses. While every business is feeling the effect of COVID-19, some businesses feel it more acutely than others – with small and local operations taking the biggest hit. We’ve been sharing and will continue to share resources on our social media channels, so follow Celero Commerce on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for tips on supporting small businesses safely during this difficult time.

Whether you’re a small business owner who’s had to temporarily close shop or one who’s struggling to stay open, you’ll benefit from keeping in touch with your clients and customers. Amid this national crisis, one of the best ways to do so is through cause marketing. This can be an inexpensive and effective way of maintaining visibility while also helping others in your community.

My career in marketing and sales has taught me the value of networking and building connections in your community and industry. Think about how you can get your company involved in local charitable efforts related to COVID-19, preferably ones that tie into your line of work. For example, if you’re a local restaurant, now would be a great time to start a food donation program. With public schools closed across the nation, children who rely on school for their meals are now more food insecure than ever. If there’s already a program in your community working to get meals to those kids, join in. If not, start one of your own. Many restaurants have extra ingredients that they’d otherwise throw out, which can be used to make free meals instead. The Loyalist Market, a Charlotte, NC-based restaurant, is a great role model for other local restaurants who want to get involved. They’re offering free sandwiches to kids who would normally be eating for free and reduced price at school.

Some small businesses are getting super creative with their cause marketing during the COVID-19 crisis. Several alcohol distilleries, for example, have revamped to produce hand sanitizer that they donate to people in need (i.e. hospitals, food banks). Local boutiques are sewing protective masks to donate to healthcare workers. As these crafty small businesses prove, there’s always something you can do to help out, taking advantage of the resources that you already have at your disposal.

I understand that many small businesses may have too much on their plates and too little in the bank to help out. But, if you can, I encourage you to get involved in cause marketing, even in small ways. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also increase visibility and grow your brand at a time when that’s desperately needed for so many small and local companies. #InThisTogether #ShopLocal