A new countrywide SME support campaign will offer small businesses free marketing exposure, financial management tools, and support to digitally transform their business as they attempt to re-open following the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
As a growing number of small businesses begin to shift online to meet changing customer behaviour resulting from COVID-19, Lulalend, SA’s first online funder for SMEs, has launched its Open for Business campaign.
The campaign will provide:
- Marketing support: including exposure across Lulalend’s high-profile digital platforms
- Digital capability assessment: free audit by Lulalend’s digital marketing experts
- Access to cash flow forecasting tools: a snapshot of an SME’s short-term financial future
- Mentorship: connect over lunch with an inspiring mentor from your industry
The free marketing support will promote SMEs on Lulalend’s blog to help increase their exposure and improve vital search engine rankings. Businesses will also be promoted across Lulalend’s social media platforms under the Open for Business banner.
The campaign comes as internet traffic has continued to rise by 15% since President Cyril Ramaphohsa announced the lockdown in March, according to Seacom, the network service provider. These increases have included hikes in video consumption and standard web browsing.
A study from Nielsen also showed 29% of people were shopping more online since the start of the outbreak.
Michael Rampjapedi, digital marketing manager at Lulalend, said SMEs featured on Lulalend’s blog will be able to grow traffic to their sites.
“The most important benefit is the visibility, especially for a new site. You’re getting free traffic to your site. And that’s immediate, cost-effective, exposure.”
Rampjapedi said there will also be long-term benefits for a business’ search engine ranking.
Linking to the Lulalend site improves a new site’s domain authority: a group of factors that influence a site’s ranking.
“The Lulalend blog’s domain authority is similar to that of the banks. So, having those kinds of associating links is beneficial for a new site’s authority,” said Michael Rampjapedi.
Meanwhile, Lulalend’s cash flow forecasting tool will allow an SME to view a monthly breakdown of it’s expected turnover and estimated expenses for the next six months.
The Open for Business campaign will also be regularly providing valuable content to help businesses operate effectively during the pandemic, such as this Back to Business guide.
The guide, which was produced in partnership with the National Small Business Chamber, covers topics including:
- Marketing your SME during COVID-19
- Increasing your cashflow
- Communicating with your team
Within Lulalend’s SME community, there have been many stories of entrepreneurs adapting their businesses overnight and finding new ways of doing things to cope with the impact of COVID-19. Lulalend is offering business owners the chance to meet and learn from these inspiring individuals.
SMEs can list their businesses here.