Marketing Your Business Today (2020)
How to Generate New Income, Reduce Overhead, and Thrive During an Economic Downturn
From start-ups to corporations, every businesses should have a concrete plan to thrive in their industry.
Chances are at the start of 2020, or leading up to it if you were really on the ball, you had a bunch of ideas about how this year was going to be better than your last. Well, fast forward 4 months into it and those plans probably went flying out the window.
As we know, the world is currently facing a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in all kinds of industries are affected and at this point, the plans you have made at the start of the year don’t matter anymore.
However, as time goes by, businesses like yours and consumers will learn to adapt.
Now, it’s up to you to adapt and adapt quickly. With this post we hope to help you achieve that adaptation by showing you ways to reduce your costs and generate new income using marketing that is both effective and affordable.
1. Reach Out to Your Existing Customers
Do not, I repeat, do NOT go around looking for new business with out first looking at the leads and customers that you already have available to you. They are your lowest hanging fruit and by far the most effective and affordable way to drum up new business. But, if you haven’t reached out to them for a while, it might feel daunting. You may be wondering how to start the conversation up again without coming off as needy or salesey, or just plain ol’ weird.
The good news is there are a lot of ways you can do this easily without sounding awkward and uncomfortable.
- Just be a good person. Reaching out from the goodness of your heart with an email or phone call can go a LONG way. Express a genuine interest and concern for your client. Ask them things like how they are doing during these times, do they need help with anything, is there anything you can do for them, etc. After-all these people have given you their vote of confidence with their hard earned dollar, the least you can do is express an interest and offer your support like they have supported you.
Ask for their feedback. Another way to begin the conversation is to request their feedback regarding your products or services. Doing this makes them feel valued and important. Plus there is a chance that they will check on your brand again. Reviews are a crucial part to any business so this is a win win.
Ask for referrals – I wouldn’t suggest just hitting your customers up for the first time ever or for the first time in a while and say “Hey, know anyone that needs my stuff?” That’s probably not going to work out too well for you in the long run, or the short run. BUT, after you’ve started the conversation there is no shame in mentioning that you could use some more business and asking if they know anyone that could benefit from what you have to offer. You might even be able to offer them a commission or referral fee if it makes sense.
An exclusive treat for your best clients or customers – how can we forget them? Thank them for their continuous support with loyalty programs. This way you do not only increase your sales, you are also building more loyalty among them and improving your retention rate. Offering a special rate on your products or services is one example you can start with.
2. Be socially responsible
How is your social responsibility doing? What does social responsibility even mean? According to this survey, consumers are drawn to socially responsible companies, those that show commitment to fulfilling their civc duty by aiding in betterment of society. It’s no shocker that social responsibility plays a big part in consumers purchasing decisions but companies have been slow to the race. This can be a major differentiator and a way to build and retain your customer base
In our current situation, how will you rise to the challenge? Here are a few ideas that you might want to consider.
- Start with the people inside your organization – your employees. In this stressful time, advocating for mental wellness and employee safety is already a big step. Being as flexible and understanding as possible can go a long way in empowering your team to dig in their heels and perform to the best of their ability.
- If your business provides essential goods or services, it would be nice to reassure your customers and clients on how you will be functioning with the safety in mind of both parties involved – your employee and your customer.
- Lastly, no matter how big or small a donation is, it is still helpful for those in need. It doesn’t always have to be monetary, you can also donate necessities like food or materials to organizations that are working for the greater good. Keep in mind that there is never a lack of need out in the world and filling those gaps as a company could have a lasting impact not only on the lives of those you serve, but also on the health of your business.
3. Get the most out of your budget with social media ads
All social media networks provide advertising options, but that doesn’t mean you have to be everywhere. Focus on where you think your audience is more frequent and active.
The downright beauty of social media ads is that they are basically the most affordable form of advertising that we have access to in the modern world. But don’t let their affordablity distract you. It is important to have all of your ducks in a row before you start advertising. Remember, it is the ads job to get people to take the first step, then it’s your websites job to get them to convert.
Here are a few things to have together before you advertise
- Make sure your tracking is setup and working properly (form submissions, phone calls, chats, etc.)
- Have a clear understanding of who your target customers are, what their pain points are, how you solve them, and how they can benefit from what you’re selling
- Make sure you can find those customers on the platform that you are advertising on
- Have ads with specific messaging for each customer profile and for each stage of the funnel (cold – never heard about your, warm – engaged with you in some way, hot – almost ready to purchase or existing customer)
Once the groundwork is set, here comes the fun part – the creation of your actual ad. Will it be a photo, a video, or a story ad? To make your decisions easier, keep in mind which part of the marketing funnel your audience is in. If you want to target a new audience, they are in the awareness stage so your messaging must focus on that.
When it comes to retargeting your customers or clients that haven’t engaged with you for a long time, Facebook allows you to create a custom audience based on your existing email list, website traffic, and engagements on Facebook and Instagram, and then create an ad specifically for them. In your copy, you can include messaging like “We’re thinking of you!” or “We miss you!”. Next, use an eye-catching visual and to entice them more, you can offer them a discount for coming back.
It may be worth it to hire a marketing professional to ensure your marketing campaigns are setup, running, and optimized to their fullest potential.
A brand reflects how your clients or customers see or experience your products and services. Good branding creates trust and credibility. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to stick to it forever. Even successful brands sometimes change due to varying reasons – most commonly during a crisis. After all, in business, it’s the adaptable that survive.
Now may be the time to take a hard look at your brand and identify any areas of opportunity. Using downtime to update any assets that are not communicating the proper message will allow you to get a jump start when things begin to pick back up. This article will guide you through the elements of a brand. Taking time to step out of your business and view it from your customers perspective will give you a fresh take on what the first impression of your business is like.
5. Optimize your processes
Have you ever taken a hard look at your sales funnel? Do you even know what a sales funnel is? How long has it been since you’ve navigated your business from your customers perspective?
These are important questions that can provide invaluable answers to your business.
Pretend you are a potential customer interacting with your business for the first time on all of the outlets that that interaction can take place. Your website, your business listings (yelp, google maps, etc.) social channels, phone calls, emails, for example. Is there anything that you can make better in that interaction? Are any of your web pages slow? Are your social channels updated with the latest information about your business or are they more of just an afterthought? Do you have any un-responded to reviews? Is your phone etiquette up to par?
As you pin those items down, more opportunities will open for you to engage with your clients and customers on a personal level, grow your brand, and ultimately make a profit.
The affordable and effective creative marketing help you need
With all the other brands and news updates that you need to compete with today, you need to get people to pay attention to what you have to say. But how can you get the attention of your target audience? We hope that this article sparked some ideas on how you can reduce your overhead and generate new income during this economic downturn.
If you are interested in applying some of the above ideas and design work plays a part in them, we hope that you’d consider us for the job. Everyday we create designs assets, both graphic and video, for thousands of brands across the globe and we do so at a flat monthly rate. Our pricing model and process makes it simple and affordable for business owners like yourself to get exactly what you need to thrive.