Speak to customers
It’s easy to talk to your customers when you have services to offer and ideas to share, but possibly, even more important is your communication when you don’t. Customer loyalty can be outstanding, but when you go quiet for too long, naturally they will start to wander. Even if you can’t offer your normal services because of lockdown, keep talking. Tell them about your future plans or hopes, tell them more about your brand and the story behind it, tell them about your day, tell them what you had for lunch….You see, my point here is that it doesn’t really matter if you are not offering up content on your normal services. What you are doing is far more important; you are maintaining that relationship you have with your customers.
Adapt your marketing strategy
So how do you plan for something you can’t plan? Firstly try to understand how you can place yourself in this new market. What do you want your brand to achieve? Can you bring your services online if they aren’t already? And if they are, can you offer more? Unfortunately there is no easy solution to a situation that is unpredictable, but in the short term, having all your ducks in a row and understanding your scope for growth as well as what you are genuinely limited to, will help when things change. Having a road map of strategies that you can use will put you ahead of the game, if and when a new lockdown comes along for example.
What if you find there that there is no market for your services? Then plan for what you will offer when it picks back up and how you will deliver this. But don’t stop there. Put the time into strategic thinking and brainstorming ideas on how to keep your services relevant. If you are an artist, for example, can you turn your marketing to educating and helping others develop skills in this area rather than just the sales of your products?
Overhaul your Website
Now might be a good time to overhaul your website. Be sure to keep it updated with changes to your business and if anything is outdated, then remove it. A good website, where customers can access all of your services and products will help you withstand the test of lockdown. You might even want to consider an e-commerce website, so that you can sell your goods online. The addition of live social media feeds and blogs are an asset that may gain you more audience engagement from customers who are yet to discover your online social media presence. A regular blog keeps you in touch and shows your commitment, as well as being a tool to educate and inform your customers and fellow business owners, giving value to your content.
Go Digital. Now
If you are not already doing so, it’s time to start developing your digital catalogue. You can get as creative as you want with digital marketing from pictures to podcasts, that can then be shared far and fast across your social media channels. Instagram has all but exploded with small business accounts that are gaining attention and supporting one another. And there is room for you too. Great digital content, offering value to your customers will gain attention. From digital brochures to an insta reel showing how to use one of your products. It will help you stay more relevant and communicate more effectively.
You do not need to turn your living room in to a broadcasting studio to do this, but there are some simple ways to make your content sharp and more receptive to the digital market. Think about the quality of your sound, the effect of the light you are working with and how this transfers to videos and images. There are lots of budget friendly microphones, webcams and lighting tools that will help improve the quality of your content. Remember, don’t just make it about sales, educate with details about your products and tell your story.
Videography, whether done professionally or by your own fair hands is a great way to do this. It is multipurpose content tool that can can surmise lots of information into a work of entertainment that screams your brand.