1. Reinvent Your Marketing Plan
Now is not the time to simply jump from one tactic to another, hoping something will bring in leads.
Put a plan together that takes advantage of the new opportunities that exist and eliminates those tactics that are no longer available such as face to face events, networking or sales presentations.
Obviously this will involve more digital programs but it could also mean amending your targeting and your messaging so that you are more relevant to the people who have a current need for your product or service and the ability to purchase now.
If you previously had a marketing plan, review it step by step and remove anything that will no longer either be possible or effective. Rethink what this new world is now offering as it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom for all businesses in these disrupted times.
If you don’t actually have a marketing plan in place, now is the time to develop one! Spend this quieter time getting your marketing plan in order so that you come out at the other end of isolation stronger than ever to dominate your market!
2. Go Social
The social environment is exploding at the moment as people crave connections with other people online.
It is the perfect time to get your brand noticed with messaging that is relevant to your target audience’s current needs.
Have a plan for your social media content, deliver valuable and relevant information and make sure you have a high level of frequency so that you stand out amongst all the other brands that are bombarding social media platforms at the moment.
If your workload has reduced, now is the perfect time to build connections and content on platforms that you were too busy to use previously.
Write articles for LinkedIn, promote valuable content on Facebook, create videos for Instagram, use display ads and build the story behind your brand.
There are many options available but make sure you have an effective social media strategy and create stand out, valuable and relevant content.
3. Take Your Business Online
There are many businesses that have to date avoided doing business online, other than via listings on generic website directories. If you take advantage of online marketing during COVID-19, you could position yourself for significant and long term growth once operating restrictions are lifted.
For example, if you previously ran a retail store or were in the hospitality industry, start selling online. Online sales are going through the roof now that shoppers can’t visit their local stores. In fact, the boredom factor of having to stay at home is increasing the desire for shopping overall.
Building a web store is easy and affordable and could potentially provide you with an additional revenue stream for the long term.
If you are in hospitality, you may be in a position to provide home deliveries but don’t just rely on regular customers to phone in their orders. Build an online ordering and payment system that will showcase your menu, collect payments online and protect your drivers with contactless deliveries. You could even set up a Click and Collect service.
If you are in entertainment or training, create an events calendar on your website and deliver your events via live-streaming, webinars or podcasts.
If you are in a service industry, why not sell additional related products online via a cart to supplement your income.
There are many opportunities that exist to build your revenue through digital marketing. If you’re not sure how to make the move online, book a free video or phone consultation to determine the best path forward for you and your business.
4. Remarketing and Retargeting
If you have a good website that attracts a reasonable level of traffic, take advantage of every visitor with remarketing and retargeting programs.
Keep your brand and promotional offers in front of your prospects by delivering social media ads to them on Facebook or Instagram once they’ve left your website.
Send targeted eDMs (email marketing) to website visitors to build your brand awareness and reinforce your offering.
You can tailor the content of your social media ads and eDMs to reflect the pages and products on your website that your prospects have shown an interest in.
It can take several connections with a brand for a prospect to commit to a purchase, or even an enquiry, so getting in front of a prospect multiple times has been shown to dramatically increase conversion rates.
Don’t waste a qualified lead! Optimise your conversions through a highly cost-effective and easy to implement remarketing or retargeting program.
5. Rethink Your Target Audience
Some businesses are going to do better than others during this COVID-19 period so now is the time to rethink your targeting to take advantage of new opportunities that now exist.
Look at what consumers and businesses are now looking for as we are living in heavily disrupted times.
For example, accountants, HR consultants, solicitors and financial planners will all be in high demand.
So will healthcare professionals and those who focus on providing self-improvement, mental health and professional training services.
Home maintenance products, home gyms and trades will all do well as people are confined to their homes.
Entertainment and escapism will be in demand as boredom sets in.
Food, transport, online shopping, delivery services, natural foods and the basics that we all need on a daily basis – these will all do well too.
And of course, marriage counselling services may inadvertently also do well due to the emotional stresses that come with a lockdown!
If you don’t work in these sectors, look at how you can modify your offering to provide relevant services and products to these businesses that will do well in the current market.
6. Use Innovative Technology
Many of our old ways of communicating and managing our business operations are now redundant so we have to look for technologies that can help us through this period and beyond.
Look for apps and tools that will help you to communicate and run your business effectively online.
Zoom has taken off in a big way as businesses replace face to face meetings with video conferences and team meetings. Microsoft Teams and Skype provide similar benefits and functionality.
We use Slack for our team meetings and file sharing. Our twice daily catch ups have been amazing for our team morale and productivity!
Our phone diversions are currently being managed by Spoke which allows calls to be transferred to our team members’ mobile phones without any privacy issues. Telcos such as Central Telecoms offers a wide range of other communication options to keep calls flowing with minimal inconvenience to clients.
Online auction software is changing the real estate industry and live streaming is changing the events industry. These industries will never be the same again.
There are so many apps and tools to manage internal and client communications, productivity, project management, marketing, calendar bookings, payments, training, file management and more.
Do some research and find innovative tools that will get you through coronavirus and hopefully help you to be more efficient in the future.
7. Build Your Brand
During busy times, businesses can often fall into the habit of focusing mainly on sales and service delivery, neglecting their brands in the process.
They can start to deliver generic messaging that doesn’t take advantage of their strengths and points of difference.
Or they can deliver mixed messages, promoting their brand as innovative and high end for example, while their visual branding and collateral is dated and unappealing to their audience.
Now is the ideal time to revisit your brand, re-evaluate your positioning and your unique selling proposition to refine and refresh your brand story.
Why does your brand exist? What are your brand values and do you have a purpose beyond simply making profit?
Do you have a core essence to your brand that provides the framework for all your communications? Disney is about Magic, AirBNB is about Belonging and BMW is about Performance. What is the DNA of your brand?
Do you have genuine value propositions that resonate with your target audience and are you effectively and persuasively communicating your point of difference through all your marketing communications?
Use this quieter period to review and refine your brand so that you can emerge from isolation with all your marketing collateral effectively communicating your brand story in terms of messaging, visuals, tools and tactics.
8. Get Your Website Working For You
Online competition is only going to grow through the coronavirus period and beyond, so you need your website to be seen and to be relevant to the search criteria of your ideal prospect.
Check that the platform you are using for your website is SEO friendly without code bloat, errors and omissions.
Make sure your website is easy for the user to navigate with a search-focused main navigation and lots of relevant hot buttons that encourage them on their journey through multiple pages of your site.
Get the content and visuals in line with the information your prospect is looking for and remove all the corporate, self-promotional fluff that the user doesn’t want to read.
And importantly, make sure your website is optimised for the most popular search terms and keywords so that you rank higher in the search engines.
Doing this now will not only help you to become more competitive in a quieter market; it will also position you to rebuild and thrive when the market becomes stronger as SEO programs can take several months to deliver optimum results. The time to start is now!
9. Look After Your Customers
Keep in touch with your existing clients and prospects, even if they have reduced or stopped their spend.
Send them relevant information via EDMs and e-newsletters.
Let them know how you are changing your business to better suit their current needs.
Offer them valuable information that may help them to get through these challenging times without asking for anything in return.
Keep your brand awareness high so that when they are ready to spend again, they will remember that you were there for them during the tough times.
And of course, stay in touch by phone and video calls – make sure you keep your personal connection with your clients and prospects strong and memorable.
10. Be Innovative
Now is the time to think differently about your business.
Can you deliver your products or services in a different way?
Can you market your expertise via videos, blogs, podcasts or LinkedIn articles?
Can you supplement your normal income by creating products that can be sold online?
Can you become a reseller for other products, apps or services relevant to your own product or service range?
Can you repurpose your manufacturing, partner with other companies, create new technologies or service additional sectors to find new opportunities for either the short or the long term?
Now is not the time to just sit and wait. Don’t go into hibernation, waiting for the market to revert to how it was before coronavirus. It may never be the same again.
So be brave, be innovative and make sure that your business is one that takes advantage of the new opportunities that do exist in this strange, new world.
Good luck! Please call us if we can help or if you’d just like a no-cost obligation-free chat.