Time to Be Brave

By Blake Holmes

For many, marketing during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak may seem questionable.

With budget limitations, business uncertainty and for some, temporary inactivity, you may be scratching your head and looking at the prospect of promotional activity as a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ affair. This is completely understandable. We’re in an unprecedented situation at the whim of alert levels and latest updates. Our natural instinct is to initiate damage control, reduce costs, hunker down and weather the storm.

In our last blog, we discussed taking advantage of opportunities where they can be found. Finding ways to adapt, crossing off activities that have been on the back burner and seeking help from experts. We also spoke about digital marketing strategy and how the digital and social media marketing space is the most affordable, and ideal channel for connecting with your audiences at this time, maintaining relationships, keeping your business top of mind and most importantly, afloat. 

By now you may be asking, ‘well where do I start?’ With so much on your plate, it can be overwhelming. We get it. So we’re here to help. 

Here are our tips for getting your marketing plan in order so you can brave the period ahead. 

Retention

As any small business owner knows, it’s cheaper to keep an existing customer than to earn a new one. If you’re in a niche or industry feeling the brunt of the downturn, your first priority should be to nurture your existing relationships with a simple content marketing strategy. 

Engagement and advocacy are a key part of the customer lifecycle and refer to the marketing efforts and measures you take to reward, interact with and endear existing customers to your brand. Leading brands don’t just have customers, but fans, followers and thriving online communities on social media platforms. If you’ve been neglecting customer engagement to date, now is a great time to knuckle down and make up for lost time. Have a social page? Start posting. A customer database? Start a weekly eDM campaign. 

Now is the time to get real with your audience. 

Relate, share behind the scenes content. Get social. Start conversations. Enquire. Be honest and truthful. 

A low investment, few-post a week social strategy or entertaining eDM campaign can be the secret to maintaining and ingraining the relationships integral to your business. While your competitors may have a ‘back soon’ sign on the door, this is your way of staying open for business.

Recency 

This leads on to the next priority - staying top of mind. Whether sales have dropped slightly, or you’re desperately trying to keep your head above water, making sure you keep up appearances is crucial for your brand’s popularity, consideration by your target audience and the endurance of your business. 

People are online right now. They have questions and answers based around trending topics - as you may have when you landed on this blog. Inserting your brand ethically and authentically into current topics and conversations, leveraging from others content, sharing with other brands and being responsive are great steps you can take to ensure you remain visible and your products or services preferred when behaviour shifts and business improves. 

Again, this can be done in a low-cost, effective way, by being smart with your content strategy, Facebook ads, understanding where your audience are and how you can communicate with them authentically.

Reputation

Reputation is crucial and while all businesses are suffering, small wins, happy customers triumphs and even tribulations are opportunities to endear people to your brand, demonstrate competence and credibility. 

If your business is suffering how are you handling it? Have you shared updates with your customers, and informed them of measures you are taking? 

This week, we’ve seen businesses adapt quickly. From personal trainers offering Skype classes to popular eateries donating the last of their stock to vulnerable citizens. We’ve seen acquaintance’s gyms close indefinitely with well-wishes to clients and a notice they had proactively halted all automatic payments on their own accord. Where others from chain gyms may be on-hold in a phone queue to get their payments stopped, many of the former will be activating or prolonging their payments out of support for a business that clearly has their best interests at heart. 

The message is simple - show people you care. 

These three considerations should define your marketing strategy in the time ahead. Fortunately the execution is more simple than it sounds. If you’re digitally savvy, shape your content and strategy around these and start posting. Like always, test refine and measure. The most important thing is to get started. 

If digital isn’t a strong point, or you just need some direction, get in touch. We understand it’s a scary time and for existing clients and new, we’re here to help you get through it. 

It’s time to be brave.

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