1. You can get ahead of competitors
Anything you can do now, even though it’s from your home office, or from your couch, that your competitors are not doing is without a doubt putting you and your business ahead of the game. Think of it like a race, even if you’re running slowly and making steady progress, you are still lapping everyone sat on the couch not working.
There are a number of things you can do in order to get ahead of your competition, but one of the most successful ways is by investing in SEO. This can help your business increase organic traffic to your website at this crucial time and move past your competition in terms of search engine positions.
As every business wants to be top of the first page on Google, no matter what is going on the world, most of the internal marketing teams will have been progressing with this long-term task pre-quarantine. Due to what is happening at the moment, some companies may panic and cut back on their digital marketing to save a few pennies and quite frankly, undervalue its importance right now to their business.
But the truth is if you don’t continue to optimise your website and content daily you will lose all of your earlier progress and work – so why would you stop now? It is important to think of the future and how equipped your business will be after all of this is over.
It is important to stay ahead of the curve and do whatever is possible to keep your website updated and optimised. The level of competition within business will probably increase in the near future, as after this crisis, everybody will be pushing to get noticed and get their name out there again – so we recommend pushing for that head start now.Don’t be fooled by the panic and budget cutters, this is a great time to strengthen your marketing efforts in order to jump ahead of your competitors faster than normal.
2. You can learn more about your target audience
It is crucial to learn about your target audience and what their pain points are, their buying behaviours and what motivates them to purchase. The more you understand how they engage, learn and purchase, the more strategic you can be in the ways you market to them.
Within this unique moment, most of the UK population are in the same situation and their requirements and needs are the same. So why not take this time to learn more about your customer database? Think about what you can offer them now, what they will need in a week’s time, what they might need when their business reopens and what they will need to be successful when all of this is a distant memory.
Be honest and ask your audience questions such as “What is the main thing you are worried about right now?”, “What is the main product you will need when you return to business as usual?”, then assess how you can help.
Take this time to analyse your database, current customer list and their purchasing habits in order to form behavioural patterns and generate relevant content for them right now.
Check out the competition too, what are they providing their audience right now? Nothing? Then it’s your time to shine.
Make use of surveys, Google Analytics and social media insights; all the data and marketing information you need is easy to access from the couch and is all productive information to gain for the future.
Monitor the success of the content you have sent to your target audience in the past.
- Did they open your Mailchimp email?
- Did they click that link you wanted them too?
- How did they react to that blog you published?
All of this information can give you the answers to learn more about your audience and what they want to see from you in the future
3. You can build relationships with potential customers
Why let time go to waste? Use this time wisely to build real relationships with your potential customers and convert them into paying customers.
More than the usual amount of people is online right now, one of them could be looking for something your business can offer them.
So why not start warming up those potential leads, starting conversations and seeing what value you can add to their current situation?
Start by offering them something of value, maybe sending them a useful article you have come across or even holding a free Q&A webinar. By increasing awareness and offering something of value during these uncertain times you can help build relationships with those interested in your service.
You could even spend some time sharing, liking and engaging with your customers’ content and showing your support to them as these are the things they will remember and appreciate during a difficult time for small businesses.
Personalise conversations and utilise your LinkedIn platform. Even though you may not be able to meet your customers face to face right now, within this highly digital world we live in there are plenty of other ways to communicate instantly. Look over your LinkedIn connections, have you got all your customers on there? Take a look at their connections, are there any potential customers you could connect with?
4. You can capitalise on customers ready to purchase now
If you are one of the few businesses still allowed to be open then let people know! Continuing to market your business throughout the coronavirus can be just as simple as letting people know your opening hours and what you can sell to them that they need.
Set up a regular social content calendar which allows your business to generate awareness and increase reach when your competitors may have stopped.
You may find yourselves enjoying a niche right now that you have never had before, for example you now be the only company offering direct mail services. Showcase this USP and let people know as this can increase a sense of credibility for your company. Think if your company can offer anything of value right now that you couldn’t before due to the market being too saturated? However, take into consideration the ethics behind this and make sure what you are offering isn’t going to offend anyone or have the opposite effect you desire on your business image.
5.You can set yourself up for success post COVID-19
We will get through this and the coronavirus will pass, so when the time comes do you want to be starting from scratch with your marketing?
Your customers may have forgotten about you if you haven’t reached out to them in over two months. So, build on the efforts you have already put into your marketing, adapt and strategise further when needed to suit the behavioural shift of consumers. But whatever you do, don’t stop marketing; just change the way you market.
We would recommend auditing all of the campaigns that you have in the pipeline for the rest of the year. There are two particular factors to focus on; which campaigns are no longer relevant and those which contain copy that could be a reputation risk. It is also a good idea to list any essential topics to update users on and create content on this daily, weekly or whatever frequency is needed, pushing out through the normal channels. Additionally, you should keep an eye on your website analytics as they can inform you on ways to adapt your digital strategy based on customers’ current behaviour.
6.You can work smart to retain your existing customer base.
Out of sight means out of mind. You need to keep in touch with your customers or you risk losing them. It’s always cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one.
Content production is an essential ingredient for your tactical marketing campaigns and for keeping in touch with your existing customers. Share the innovations that you are currently making that differentiate your offering from your competitors and promote your good news stories in terms of awards and clients wins.
At times like this, communication is crucial and the more you keep customers in the loop in regards to changing opening hours, store polices and product offering, the better.
If your business offers online shopping and delivery then it is crucial that you broadcast this information to as many of your customers as possible.
Be sure to keep it positive when you do communicate with your customers, there is no shortage of negative information that is currently clogging up people’s newsfeeds right now. So, some light-hearted, positive content goes a long way at a time like this.
People are still celebrating birthdays and other milestones during this time, and vouchers are a very logical gift. Not only does it encourage all customers to continue supporting you as a business without putting their health at risk, it also gives them something to look forward to when everything is back to normal.
7. You can get more social and build awareness.
Finally, getting more social means engaging in conversation with existing and potentially new customers. Social media platforms are great places for customers to leave reviews, discuss their purchasing decisions and share your content.
You can use these tools to listen to your customers, hear what they’re talking about, what they are requesting and learn more about what you can offer which could be of value.
While stuck at home, more people are using social media and scanning for updates in order to connect. In this period of sudden isolation, use your business to contribute to area food banks or help the vulnerable, promoting your good deeds on social media to help build your brand.