Vodafone has launched ‘Shout Out for Small Businesses’. The new campaign invites small businesses, who have taken bold steps online to keep their business going during the pandemic, to share their stories for a chance to win a social media marketing boost on Facebook and Instagram.
The 10 selected businesses will receive a dedicated social media marketing campaign to be created in partnership with Vodafone’s expert digital marketing teams. The campaign will also feature on Vodafone’s own social media channels, with more than 1.2 million followers.
To enter, businesses should visit the V-Hub by Vodafone SME digital support platform, and share their story of how they’ve adapted their business during the crisis. Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges including Enterprise Nation Founder and CEO, Emma Jones CBE; former Dragons’ Den investor and entrepreneur Piers Linney; and Vodafone UK’s Head of Small Business, Andrew Stevens. The winning businesses will be selected based on how well they demonstrate a combination of inventiveness and tenacity to carry on during the pandemic.
logo for Vodafone UK’s Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign
As well as social media exposure, each selected business will receive an in-depth digital business strategy session with a V-Hub by Vodafone adviser, who will provide an independent assessment covering a range of digital areas, including e-commerce and cybersecurity, and a peer-to-peer mentoring session with some of the UK’s most innovative small business owners to help guide their long-term online marketing strategies.
Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “We’re always looking at new ways we can support small businesses. What’s become very clear during this pandemic is that all businesses, no matter the size, need an online presence.
“That’s why we’re helping businesses to develop the skills to get online, and using our own online presence and experience to give them a boost.”
Emma Jones CBE, CEO and Founder, Enterprise Nation, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that it has never been more critical for small businesses to get online.
“This campaign from Vodafone will provide businesses with a much-needed marketing boost and provide them with the support and guidance they need to ensure their online marketing strategies are as effective and resilient as possible.”
Vodafone has continued to support small businesses throughout the pandemic which has included offering small businesses six months free broadband in 2020. This was followed up in January 2021 with a new offer of 12 months free broadband (with just a £20 [exc. 20% VAT] set-up fee) which remains available until 28 February 2021 to new and existing small business customers who are due an upgrade.
Alongside offering free social media promotion, the Shout Out for Small Businesses campaign aims to highlight the key challenges small businesses are facing during the pandemic, while also supporting those businesses who lack digital capability. Research conducted last year by Vodafone during the height of the pandemic found:
77% of UK small businesses felt they needed to make better use of digital tools to grow their business;
82% still needed to expand their presence online;
40% felt that their lack of online sales knowledge had held them back during the COVID-19 crisis;
25% felt they didn’t know enough about online security threats.
To support small businesses further on their digital journey, Vodafone launched its V-Hub by Vodafone SME digital support platform. The platform offers a wealth of resources covering digital topics alongside the chance to speak with a dedicated adviser – for free – either via webchat or over the phone. Vodafone has also collaborated with Facebook Blueprint to provide a curated list of free courses on marketing online.
Businesses have until 26 February 2021 to submit their stories.