Ten marketing tips to help your small business through tough times
My last blog was in January…. Wow, how things have changed since then.
I wanted to post something about the current situation and just provide a few simple marketing tips that small business owners might find useful and encouraging in these trying times.
It’s tough out there. As a sole trader myself over the past few weeks I’ve had to experience losing clients, working to a completely different schedule (as I’m now a Year 4 teacher too!) and witnessing some of the entrepreneurs I love working for being hugely impacted on a business and personal level because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There’s also the emotional aspect to consider, which I can really relate too. Even though every day is like groundhog day, emotionally every day is very different so having to deal with that too can be a real challenge!
BUT it’s important to try and stay positive and hold on to the fact this situation will not last forever.
I’m getting asked a lot at the moment “‘how do I need to adapt my marketing in the current situation?” Based on what I’ve been doing for my clients, and my own freelance marketing business, I just wanted to share 10 practical ideas that will hopefully help.
1. Keep the focus on your identified target market and always keep your ideal client in mind when communicating with them. Although the market situation has changed your focus shouldn’t.
2. Keeping your existing customers happy is now more than important than ever. Make sure you are regularly getting in touch with them, not only to update them on any changes you may be implementing with your business but also to find out how they are and how the current situation is affecting them.
3. Make sure your website and all social media profiles have been updated to reflect any operational changes you’ve had to make.
4. Make sure you are consistently reviewing your existing marketing plans and activities. Where are you getting the best return? If you’re working with reduced budgets you will need to adjust your spending, so at this time it might be better to stick to the one area that has the most impact for your business.
5. If your budget has been slashed or is virtually non-existent consider activities that are very low cost such as email campaigns, social media advertising, phone calls and webinars. The important thing to always remember is the key aim of each communication and to put yourself in the shoes of your potential clients. How is what you are selling going to help them right now?
6. Produce content that will help you get to know your audience more so you can give them content that is genuinely valuable to them. Don't stop producing content or promoting your business because you're worried about offending people, just don't go in with the goal of 'selling' make it about building relationships.
7. If you find yourself in the situation of having more time (I know this does not apply to everyone right now!) here are some key things you may wish to review if you can:
Check through your website to look for errors, broken links and out of date information.
Look at your website from a customer point of view and think about the customer journey you take them on. Are you clearly communicating how your products or services can solve the problem they are trying to solve?
Is there anything you’d like to find out from your existing customers about their experiences? Could you run a quick survey to gather feedback, or maybe you already ask for feedback, but haven’t had the chance to analyse it. Perhaps now is the time.
Do all your social platform profiles match up? Are you giving your audiences a consistent message about the products/services you provide and the pain points they alleviate?
Think about the existing content you produce. Is there anything missing? What has been on your to-do list for months that you just haven’t had time to implement? Maybe now is the time to think about doing some quick video tips, or writing a few articles that will appeal to your target audience.
8. Keep a record of what you’ve learnt and continue to learn through the coming months. Maybe it’s already highlighted the fact you need to keep more of a track on your marketing plans and what’s working for you. Maybe you now realise you need to regularly invest time to update your website.
9. Use all the above information to plan for the future too. Things will get back to some kind of ‘normality’ at some point so if you can be a strong position when that happens you’ll reap the benefits.
10. And finally, try not to put too much pressure on yourself (easier said than done I know). Be realistic in what you are trying to achieve and learn to prioritise the key tasks that need to get done NOW. During these times your business should be focusing on the essentials.
I hope you’ve found this blog post useful. Please comment and let me know your feedback. Have you tried some of the approaches already? What you have learnt in the process?
If you need some guidance or maybe some reassurance about what you’re doing marketing-wise and you’d like to talk it through I’d love to hear from you. Contact me on the chat, email or by phone.