Depending on your industry, you’ve likely noticed your sales and revenue plummet recently due to Coronavirus. This has made marketing more critical than ever for many businesses, and much of this marketing needs to be online.

Even if your business is doing well, there’s still good reason to push your marketing focus online as people are spending more time at home and are going onto the Internet more frequently.

The recent announcements from Government regarding the easing of lockdown means there are big decisions to make for your business and you need to start increasing your sales in this ‘recovery phase’.

Our Inbound Marketing Manager, Ayse, has put together some ideas on what you should be thinking about in terms of your online marketing strategy during this phase:

 

1. Refocus your marketing objectives 

Decide what your focus for marketing is. The most important objectives for your business right now are:

  • Engagement
  • Awareness
  • Loyalty

Your marketing strategy needs to revolve around these objectives at the forefront.

Even if people are not ready to buy your products and services right now, you want them to remember you when they are ready.

If you focus on growing your audience first, you can then re-target them with a sales-led message when the time is right for your customers and your business. As the lockdown starts to ease, that time may come sooner than you think.

2. Refocus your target audience 

Your audience may not have changed, but the way they communicate with you or buy from you may have. You will need to adapt your messages to them.

For example, if you have decided to start selling online via your website or other marketplace, (see our article selling online), this won’t be normal behaviour for your audience. You need to change the way you communicate with your audience and offer a little more guidance on how they may order online with you.

3. Update and optimise your website 

Decide the purpose of your website. Is it a brochure to support your business activities, is it a route to market via Google or both?

Deciding this will then help you decide what you need to do with your website. If it’s a route to market, think about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It sounds complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. SEO is the art of arranging keywords (words or phrases you want to be found for, e.g. if you’re a lawyer in Kent ‘lawyer in Kent’ may be a keyword) so that your pages appear at the top of search results.

This is a great time to start focusing on your website’s SEO, with many of your competitors likely focusing on their business surviving this crisis, rather than their marketing. This means there’s less competition for the top spot on Google!

If your website is simply a brochure, you may not need to worry too much about keywords, but you still need to think about what is on your website and question whether it is showcasing everything that you do.

4. Produce compelling content  

Whether your website is simply a brochure or is a route to market, it’s a good idea to incorporate compelling content into it. Not only is content great for SEO, but customers today want interaction from a website. Content such as blogs and videos, give a real indication that your business really cares about is customers.

Focus this time on really showing your customers you care and educating them on what you do, how your product or service will change their life and answer any questions they could possibly have. Not only will this help you now, but in the future to market to your prospective clients and upsell and add value to your current client base.

Think about creating blog posts, videos, podcasts and downloadable factsheets answering the questions your clients and prospects may be asking. The book ‘they ask, you answer’ is a great place to start thinking how you can do this. It will help you understand what content marketing is and how to do it well.

Not only do your words need to add value to your audience, but also encourage them to come to you and buy your product or service, so you must make sure you have a strong call to action throughout your content. For example, “Are you doing your SEO wrong? Enter your URL to find out” is a great example. No one wants to be wrong. That’s why a call-to-action button like QuickSprout’s on their blog is so click worthy. It makes you question yourself and increases your desire to find out more.

5. Engage with your customers and potentials often

Keeping your clients engaged with your business is important at any time, but it is crucial right now.

You can send regular emails gently encouraging them to buy your product or service, let them know about any changes in your business, announce a new product or service and most importantly connect with them and add value and trust. As Malcolm wrote in his article ‘seek first to understand, then be understood’, it is more important than ever now that we listen to our customers and think about what they want from us right now.

Utilise apps such as Zoom to stay in contact and connected with your clients and ‘virtually meet’ potential clients. Communication and human connection are key during this time.

If you haven’t used Zoom before and would like some help setting it all up and having your first meeting, email discovery@a4g-llp.co.uk to request a copy of our systems with instructions on everything you need to know about Zoom.

6. Connect with your customers and potentials on social media (or get on social media!)

Following on from the above point, use social media to connect with your audience too.

Social traffic has skyrocketed since lockdown. People are online more, looking for distractions and turning to social media and this is your opportunity to grow your presence online.

Promoting your business using social media is a great, free way to reach a larger audience. Even if your business is not currently trading, your customers and potentials will still be interested in you. They will notice useful, engaging content you share and are likely to remember your name when your business does start trading again.

Our LinkedIn expert will be going into more detail about how to utilise social media during lockdown soon, so keep an eye out for that!

7. Monitor your marketing metrics closely 

As you are likely going to be busy trying to get your business through this crisis and potentially start getting back to business after a period of hibernation, it’s important to closely monitor your marketing metrics and take notice of what works and do more of that.

It’s relatively simple to determine the return on investment of digital marketing activities if you identify a specific goal for each campaign or activity you are doing. For example, after reading this you may decide to write a load of blogs, film a load of videos and create some lead magnets like downloadable factsheets, but find that the videos didn’t get much engagement and took a lot longer to do from start to finish than the blogs. Just stick the writing blogs for the moment until you have more time to give to other types of content.

Need help building and adapting your marketing strategy?

I hope the above ideas have given you some food for thought. Refocusing and shifting your marketing strategy is vital during tough or troubled times, especially when things in the world are changing too for your customers and clients. You need to shift your strategy to reach them and their needs.

Things that were working before, may not be working now and vice versa. If you get your strategy right, whilst working hard on other areas of your business, we can get through this crisis.

If you need any support adapting or building your marketing strategy, email our Inbound Marketing Manager Ayse Kayabasi at ayse@a4g-llp.co.uk.

Contact me today!

Ayse Kayabasi

Inbound Marketing Manager

01474 853856

Send me a message

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