Is your business in need of some Marketing SOS? During the Covid-19 crisis there is a significant impact on many businesses. Some are thriving, some have pivoted direction completely and some have been forced to shut. Whatever the status, please do not stop marketing your business!
Marketing on a Budget
Let’s be honest. The economy globally is not looking too healthy at the moment and it will take a long time to recover when we do return to “normal”. With that in mind, it is worth looking at how you can market your business with a reduced budget or in some cases, no budget at all. Before you look at investing in marketing, be sure to take a look at your marketing strategy. Do you need to know target different customers? Or indeed, do you need to target customers differently? Start with your SWOT analysis and look at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Then work out who you are targeting and how you are going to target them. Then look at your pricing. Do you need to lower or higher your prices or offer promotion price incentives? For example, will customers pay a subscription for your service, but because you are delivering online, you can now offer that service at a reduced rate. Some fitness businesses are offering their classes online at a reduced rate. But they are realising that because they are delivering online, it now broadens up their geographic reach of customers. Win win!
Create and distribute video content for your business on your social media channels and your website. We’ve written previously about video content and while professionally produced video content is obviously the dream, it might not be possible in reality. You’ll see on my social media platforms that I distribute my video content regularly. It isn’t the most polished, but there is always authenticity and a message to help fellow businesses with their marketing. Guess what?! It’s also FREE!!
Distributing content on your social media platforms is free, so use them! Don’t stop posting on your social media if your business has been forced to close. Keep in touch with your followers. What content can you provide that you haven’t previously? Is there a story or background to your business that you haven’t already shared? Are there tips that you could share? Have you got exciting plans for when your business reopens that you want to share?
The algorithms on social media are not favourable to business accounts unless you invest in paid advertising. However, it is worth remembering that posting regular content is better than posting no content at all.
If you’re lacking the time to invest in posting on social media because you’re caring for your family, then try to allocate a short period of time each week or fortnight and schedule some content in advance.
Please try not to neglect your email marketing efforts. It is important to keep in touch with your subscribers if you have an email list already in place. Lots of email marketing providers offer free emails up to a certain number. Your business might just well fall into this category, so check out the various providers to see what is best value for you.
Some emails can be lacking in authenticity or genuine content recently. I’m sure you’ve received emails from businesses that you haven’t heard from in 3-4 years and now suddenly they “care” about you. Take a look at emails you’ve received and think about why you may or may not have engaged with them. What did you like and what didn’t you like? Make sure that you’re not repeating the negatives that you disliked in your email marketing efforts.
Ask for Referrals, Reviews and Testimonials from past customers
This is also free! Just ask! If you haven’t asked customers to give you reviews, referrals or testimonials, then ask! The only caveat here is to remember that it might not be priority for your customers. However, they may be lucky to have a little bit more time than normal on their hands. As a result, they might happily take the time to provide the reviews you may have previously been lacking.
When you get the referrals, follow up on them. When you get reviews and testimonials you are proud of then share them, once you have permission to do so, of course. Post them on your website and social media and anywhere else appropriate.
Apply for Awards
You may have previously shyed away from applying for awards, mostly due to lack of time. Should you find yourself with more time on your hands, then start downloading application forms for relevant awards and complete them. Some of the awards you might be interested in are not open to applications yet. However, see if you can get access to previous application forms. If so, start completing a draft to have ready to submit (review it first) for the award.
There’s lots of ways to market your business for free or at a low cost. Guerilla marketing might work well now or certainly ideas for when your business can revert to “normal”. Are you making the most of your email signature? Are you making the most of your employees email signature? Is it time to redesign your business cards? Is it time to get an online functionality on your website (this is an investment), but then you can reap the rewards by selling your product or service online?
These are just a few thoughts and I hope they help you. During times of stress it can be difficult to think clearly. If you’d like some marketing advice, we offer marketing strategy sessions online to business owners. Sometimes having somebody to chat through your thoughts or ideas might spark a really great new idea or concept that could change the direction of your business in the future for the better.