We’ve been living with the reality of COVID-19 for a year, and it’s radically affected the way we do business. Here are five marketing strategies that will help you stay prepared, recover and improve your bottom line for 2021.
Type the word “agile” into a Google search and you’ll get hundreds of millions of results. So, from a marketing perspective, what does it mean? Well, if 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that businesses that could very quickly change the way they distributed goods or offered services during the pandemic were the most successful. It was all about the “panic pivot.” But what if you could put contingencies in place that made your business more agile, more able to go with the flow? Although it means different things to different business owners, agility is the key to adapting to small and radical changes. Here are some ideas to start:
- Find creative ways to offer as many aspects of your business as possible online: ordering, instant help (live chat), customer support (troubleshooting), etc.
- Lay your goals on the table, articulate them clearly to all staff and brainstorm ways to achieve them: e.g., “Create a social media plan and reach 50 new potential clients each week
- Don’t be shy about experimenting/trying to things: rearrange merchandise, refresh the look of your website, start a loyalty program
Businesses that rely on people gathering have suffered mightily in the COVID-19 clampdown. Networking events, seminars, physical appointments, fitness classes, etc. — necessary events that businesses rely on to showcase or offer their products and services — may never be as popular/accessible as they once were. But this type of interaction is still a necessity for many businesses. So what does this look like in 2021? With audiences quickly tiring of pre-recorded events that bear no resemblance to the interactive demonstrations and gyms, spin classes and yoga studios empty, it’s time to get creative and innovative. “Live” elements are key, and that requires knowing when your audience is most available and how much they’re willing to spend. Try these tips:
- Use social media data to find out when your audience engages
- Learn the basics of Zoom and take advantage of current freebies
- Use Survey Monkey or Instagram Stories to poll your customers about what they need from your business
It’s no longer good enough to use models of colour or stock images featuring BIPOC faux customers. Businesses need to be authentically diverse from the inside out. The wants and needs of our multi-cultural population can only be met when businesses understand those wants and needs.
- Hire employees who can personally relate to diverse clients and can, therefore, suggest solutions authentically. Thankfully, there are agencies and organizations that specialize in providing academics and talent from many different backgrounds and life experiences can help
- Ask friends who know: often, budgets don’t allow for new hires or consultancies, but there’s a tremendous amount of good will out there for business owners who genuinely want to engage with a wider audience
- Request testimonials: make sure praise for your product or service is offered from a wide range of consumers from different communities
Sell on Social
It used to be that, for buyers, social media was the place to be inspired, influenced and enlightened about products and services. From social platforms, buyers had to leap to a brand’s monetized website, or that of a retailer, to begin and complete a purchase. Now, consumers can make a purchase right on social platforms, meaning campaigns can be more streamlined, involved fewer actions and, ultimately, push consumers through the funnel faster. Try these, and ask us how your social campaigns can work harder:
- Be seen as an expert to foster respect and trust among your customers: share relevant content with insights/trends about your product or service, post news alerts
- Listen: engaging on social requires a business to also sit back and listen to/watch what their potential customers are sharing; you can discover valuable pain points, wants, needs and existing purchasing patterns
- Finally, measure your success to see what’s working
Test, Test, Test
You can make small changes in your copy and images to test which customer-outreach plans work best for your business. These learnings can have a huge impact on your success. Try these, and ask us how to navigate testing and learning:
- A/B testing of emails: try testing single aspects of your emails to see what produces the best engagement (e.g. changing subject lines to optimize open rates, or moving the position of your CTA to see what gets higher clicks)
- See what happens if you use more fun/creative calls to action (CTAs) online: instead of “buy now” try “I want this!” or “take my money” if you feel your audience’s sense of humour will respond to a cheekier approach
- Make sure you understand how to measure the difference in customer response
Need help jumpstarting these strategies for your business? Complete the form below and a Marketing Consultant will be in touch to help you get started.
We’re ready to help you put these learnings into practice. Complete the form below and a Marketing Consultant will be in touch.