The lockdown of our economy has made Business Owners and Marketing Managers rethink the way marketing is done and how they can attract new customers.
Many Small Business Owners have traditionally relied on word-of-mouth referrals, networking events, and have had to look elsewhere for new prospects and customers. Social distancing has forced many of these events to convert to virtual platforms, which resulted in a prolonged sales process.
Business Owners have started to realize how important digital marketing is in their marketing strategies, and we know that more consumers moved to online shopping. During the lockdown, consumers became more active on social media platforms via their smartphones.
3 ways to will help you maximise your marketing investment going forward:
1. Optimise your Digital Marketing
To optimise your marketing on all the digital platforms you should consider some of the latest changes and trends. This includes regularly putting out quality content, that is of value to prospects. Ask yourself the question: How can we take advantage of all the time people are spending consuming social media and how can we enhance our engagement?
Other areas that need your attention would be SEO as search engine behaviours might change, for instance, blogs are more popular. Over time, the engagement in social media is changing and according to data from Sprout Social, social posts across networks and industries received 7.3 times more engagements per post per day in April 2020 when compared to March 2020.
2. Your business must walk-the-walk
Yes, customer reviews are important and consumers are more inclined to listen to what a customer’s say of us that what we claim we do. Reviews and testimonials are important from a credibility perspective when you want to stress how great your customer service is. An even better alternative will be to capture those reviews or testimonials in a short video recording and use that on your website and social media.
Businesses that have reached out personally to customers and clients for feedback are getting it. Communicate consistently and be transparent, honest, and comforting. Consumers today want to feel safe and they want to fulfil their basic social needs, like meeting with family and friends. Ask yourself; what problems do consumers have? What do you have that can alleviate this problem and how do consumers go about obtaining your solution?
Businesses that care about their employees and the world at large, not just their customers, are seen to be deeply credible.
3. Your website is your shop window
So, what should you do with your website? It is vital that is it up-to-date, and your message is clear.. Look at your landing pages and website content, is it still relevant? If not, review and adjust accordingly. Remember, simplicity is key! Ask yourself how you can increase your digital footprint? Continued focus on SEO strategies will pay off but it isn’t a quick fix.
Consider new developments and make your offering easy to buy. For instance, does your website have live chat (if appropriate) a clear call-to-action and phone number, and a contact form? How accessible is your business? Is it designed for e-commerce and how do you ensure delivery? Is it click-and-collect, are you using your transport or outsourcing to third parties, and is that process explained on the website?
You must conserve cash for marketing. It might not be easy, but you just might want to reduce unnecessary expenses, for now, to seize marketing opportunities in the future. Remember that your current marketing and advertising choices will determine how well your business bounces back. It is of critical importance to question what the right messages are in a post-COVID-19 economy. What is sensitive and what do people want to hear right now to address their needs and wants? Remember that your target audience might resist being overly marketed to. Simply put, the only thing people are curious about now is survival, so what is it about your brand that will enable them to do so and how do you enlighten them?
Now more than ever, the keystone of your marketing campaigns should be based on empathy and authenticity.
Points to ponder:
Is your business seen as a caring ally to your prospects and customers? Remember that commitment from customers only occurs when the foundation of familiarity and trust is built. As a Business Owner, you have to ensure that your marketing spend gets a return. If your marketing investment doesn’t deliver a profitable return it’s up to you to make the changes.
Marketing is an art and is continuously evolving according to trends and to the competition. How well you market determines your lead generation, sales, overall market share, etc. One must be prepared to learn and adapt to change – or face being left behind. A notable case in point is Skype. Skype has been around for 17 years, yet the company did not adapt their messaging or evolve with their consumers, so what is the most used platform for virtual connection today – Zoom!
Don’t let your business become redundant or left behind – get your marketing messaging right, engage with your consumers, stay innovative and ahead of the competition, create that workable sales funnel, and start reaping the benefits today.
Always remember, a Business Coach is your best ally and can guide you in ensuring your business messaging, marketing strategies and objectives complement your business to ensure it will survive and thrive.
Bert Weenink, ActionCOACH Business Coach