Since Covid-19 struck us all like a sledgehammer, it has wiped out our normal way of living and doing business for the foreseeable future. However, in the next few weeks, things will slowly start to return to a “new normal” as it’s being called, which will be weird, to say the least.
I find myself in an odd space. In my lifetime I’ve never had to endure being told what I can and can’t do in terms of going out and enjoying life to the full, being able to see my family and friends whenever I want to, being able to jump on a plane and fly wherever I want, being able to go to any shop I choose to buy clothes, or essentials like wine, loo roll, eggs, milk – and now I can’t get cat food?
As a marketeer, I’m in another odd space. I’ve no experience of what will happen if we use a new strategy. I’ve no results to confirm that if my client spends £X, they will get £Y in return.
Many brands will need to reconsider their audiences’ personas to get to know them again, because they will have changed. Covid-19 will have made them more cautious and anxious.
That’s why the biggest mistake a company could make is to stop all marketing when times are tough. If you ignore your customers now for 2-3 months, you’ll have a lag and it will take the same amount of time to catch up. By then, your competitors who have kept in touch will have stolen your clients.
So, having heard and read so much advice about what we should be doing, I’ve brought together my top 8 marketing strategies which businesses can do that WILL get results.
1. Online Video
This is a really important part of marketing and it’s essential for social media. Short videos are incredibly popular right now and this is a good time to create some. Talk to customers about what your product or service is. Talk to them about stuff you know that they may not. Make it interesting. Be seen as the authority in your field of business. Or you can make your videos personal – it doesn’t have to be about what you sell. Get your kids to interview you – make it funny, cute, memorable. Focus on the things you can control, and not what you can’t. Make sure your customers see them.
2. Email Marketing
You have the time, so get on and write these! Talk to your customers about what’s going on with your company. Don’t ignore the current situation, but keep that bit brief. Keep checking in with your customers to see how they are. It doesn’t need to be a “selling” email. The importance of this is to help build and maintain your relationship.
3. Zoom Events
Organise to have chats with your clients on Zoom. If you don’t have a paid-for account, it’s free for as long as you want if you have a one-to-one meeting. For meetings with 2+ attendees, you get 40 minutes free.
The best way to get more business is through referrals. You have a great opportunity to tap into your network of loyal customers. At the moment, during these Covid times, people are being nicer and kinder to each other; they are more willing to help. Everyone is sharing the same pain so the extent of their goodwill towards you will be very powerful. Ask them whether they know anyone who would find your services useful and would they be happy to put a good word in for you. Offer the same in return.
5. Telephone Marketing
Get on the phone, call your customers and check in with them. You never know, some conversations might just turn into a sale! You could also ask your furloughed staff to pick up the phone to your client list and simply make a call to check they are OK. That’s all it takes. Your customers will remember this.
6. Social Media
Unique daily users on Facebook are up 70%. Don’t ignore this. Post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and upload videos of you talking to your audience if you can. This will go down really well. Just tell them what’s happening, what you’re up to – it doesn’t have to be long. Instead of writing it, tell it. Works wonders! Do weekly social media posts for each platform you have, and keep it going (if you need any help with this, let me know – I can help you).
You have an interested customer who wants to buy something off your website? Let them know that they might be interested in this other product too. Offer a good upsell at a very good value if they buy both. This would also work for Membership subscriptions. You may be selling a course / webinar, but if they spend a little bit extra, they can have Membership with more benefits.
It’s a great time to do this. Find out what your target audience reads and be seen in that publication. You’ve got to be where your audience is. Trade and consumer magazines will have Forward Features lists – it’s worthwhile getting hold of these and seeing if there’s any features you can contribute to. However, without a good relationship with the editor, they may ask for payment. PR consultants are brilliant at getting free editorial in the press for clients – they spend many hours building great relationships with editors, and this is key if you want to get in for free!
These strategies are more important than ever at the moment. Be prepared for the “new normal” by considering your marketing plans now.