The last 4 months have been highly unusual and not something that most businesses would have expected, let alone planned for. Although the situation is improving, it will likely last for a while longer and have far-reaching consequences. We all need to keep our businesses running and our staff paid to the best of our abilities, and thanks in part to the government grants and recommendations to help us all survive there are steps we can take to keep marketing and promoting our businesses during this period:
Keep on marketing
Marketing is an essential activity for businesses, whatever their sector. The products and services that most companies provide are still required. For some businesses carrying on as normal won’t be possible, but it is more important than ever to think about the future as well as the present.
If you don’t put in the effort now, when people are making tentative steps to get back out into the world and try to resume their pre-covid activities, you run the risk of missing out to businesses who have embraced marketing. Getting your name out there and letting customers know you’re open for business is imperative for customer retention and growth.
If money is an issue, which it is for many of us, there are plenty of ways to market yourself without splashing out.
With people working from home or still furloughed, online activity has risen dramatically. Social media is the ideal way to reach your target market, just choose wisely and don’t waste time posting on platforms that aren’t suited to your business. It’s not just about selling, although that’s the ultimate goal, it’s about building relationships and helping each other out.
Facebook is the obvious choice for selling direct to the public, as that’s where they hang out. Post regularly, everything from sharing new products, reviews, fun stuff to increase engagement, and hints and tips. If you sell clothes include style tips, celeb pics and fashion stories. If you sell food post recipe ideas. You get the idea…
Twitter is good for reaching the public as well as businesses, so is perfect if you sell B2C and B2B. It’s easy to follow and message businesses or people, and reach out to potential customers, but you are limited with the length of your posts.
LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B platform and allows you to reach out to like-minded business people in a professional setting. Although it’s advisable to set up a business page, you should use your personal page to connect and talk to people. As the saying goes, people buy from people. The jury is out on whether you should send a personal message with a connection request, some say it’s a waste of time while others swear by it. Try both and see what works for you.
Pinterest and Instagram
Both of these platforms are very visual and are perfect for businesses who rely on images to sell. Don’t just post any old photo though, they need to be well thought-out and well crafted to have any impact.
Your website is a major part of your marketing arsenal, and should always be looking its best. It’s often a customer’s first impression of your business so make sure it makes a good one.
Keep it uncluttered, ad free and easy to use. Make sure your message is clear straight away, so there’s no confusion about what you do. It takes a few seconds to lose a customer so the initial impact needs to be good.
Basics like mobile-friendliness and fast loading are things that can get overlooked but need to be in place to ensure you’re Google-friendly.
If you’ve been lucky enough to have grown your business during the lockdown you may be worried about how you keep all these new customers now the shops have opened. Many will stay with you because they love the products you sell and want to continue supporting local businesses, but some will return to their old habits. Reach out to your customers old and new with emails, offers and reassurances that you will still be offering the same great service even though the shops are open again. Encourage loyalty by offering incentives and making them feel valued. Personalised messages in deliveries and via email are examples of how you can show the love!
If you need any help or guidance with any marketing activities we offer a free marketing audit to look at where you are now, where you want to be and how to get there.
Just drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01964 542916.