If ever there was an important time for putting people at the centre of your marketing through good digital practices, that time is now.
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2021
As we begin to come out of lockdown or as we come out of the other side of the pandemic, (whichever phrase suits your circumstances the best), restrictions on our lives are going to begin to ease, but it should be remembered, that businesses are actually facing the challenge of fighting their way out of a recession.
From a recession point of view, we are all facing greater challenges than the economic rebuild that occurred after the second world war. The big difference for businesses is that people's behaviours have changed out of all recognition and the world has moved to digital in a big, big way.
So which people should businesses put at the centre of their marketing? - Their current customers and clients, of course, the ones that have been supporting them over the past year, if they are lucky enough to have been able to trade.
Marketing campaigns should therefore be targeted at this group taking into account any new circumstances. Either the way you can now provide your goods and services, or their preferences in how they want to connect or communicate with you.
The last 12 months have seen the most dramatic move to adopting an online lifestyle in both our personal and business lives – a significant change that is likely to endure and continue. Consequently, it is those businesses that incorporate digital tools to streamline their processes, internal and external communications that will be able to drive customer loyalty and take advantage of all of the opportunities that come their way as the economy recovers, and we begin to beat the recession.
Whilst it is too early to predict future customer behaviours, one thing is certain that it is the businesses that have embraced the digital way of doing business that will be best placed to take advantage of these behaviours in the current climate.
Which is why businesses should be making the most of social media!
It may not have been high on your marketing agenda 24 months or even 12 months ago, but now it should be an integral part of your marketing. It is not only a very efficient way of letting people know you are open and ready to do business with them, but it is where your customers are likely to be found for a significant part of their day.
Social media usage has skyrocketed during the last 12 months as had the return on investment on pay per click ads (PPC). Your accountants will love the fact that social media marketing is totally measurable.
We are now an omnichannel marketing society, you might even say an Omni-platform social media society, but that does not mean you have to be on every single platform. Look at what platform or platforms are best suited to your products and services.
To give you an idea:
If your business is service-based (no physical product) = video related content, then look at:
If your business is product-based = highly visual, then consider:
You will have noticed that Facebook is common to both types of businesses, which is great as it also suits all sizes of businesses as well, and is reasonably priced, so even local businesses should have a presence on the platform.
It is an ideal platform to showcase any changes you have made to your business in terms of making it COVID safe, offering special deals for returning customers and clients.
It is also a good way to attract new customers as Facebook is quite granular in the way that you can target customers. For instance, you can identify potential targets through gender, hobbies and interests, marital statist, location, age, job title, behaviours and connections.
This is the right time to develop an effective Facebook ads strategy, an effective strategy is one where the advertising messages are consistent and repeated. This brings us to Facebook retargeting, which is where you target your ads at people who have previously had some form of contact with your business (these could be previous customers)
Develop a communication strategy:
One that is fit for purpose. It has to respond to, and take advantage of, people’s and businesses’ priorities and schedules throughout 2021. Your strategy of 12 months ago is very unlikely to be the one that will take you forward in 2021.
Therefore, think about the content you are creating. For example, if you sent Newsletters out before, should continue, but they should be digital and relevant to now, and reflect the approach you now have towards your customers.
Make sure your content calendar is focused on your customers’ needs and how you can help them and has articles regularly posted. Time invested in doing this at the beginning of the month will soon begin to pay dividends.
One way that can be used to get to know customers better is to send out a survey including questions about their current objectives, priorities and the constraints they may have in rebuilding their own businesses.
Remember to keep the questions simple, make them easy to answer eg multiple-choice or choosing a point on a scale. It is also good to include a few open-ended questions, in that way you might discover a few choice bits of information about your customers.
You can then use the results of the survey to communicate with, and work with, your customers in a better way.
Other potential elements of a communication strategy are email, videos, ads, podcasts and videos.
Focus on a few paid channels and do them well.
We have only mentioned PPC ads so far, as they are likely to be one of the platforms you should be using right now.
However, depending upon your business Google Ads, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, and Instagram ads could be relevant as well, but definitely not all at once.
You need to understand where your target audience is and then spend most of your budget there.
Wherever they are to be found, focus on your customers’ priorities rather than your own e.g. empathize, recognize, and serve their needs.
So, remember our best practices are: