Ethical marketing during a pandemic - secret to survival
For the majority of small businesses, lockdown feels like a disaster and let's face it - it is! The doors are shut, staff are furloughed and, if you're lucky, you have skeleton teams that are working harder than ever and doing whatever it takes to ensure business survives. We are in an unknown yet a new equilibrium is around the corner and we must all keep our businesses looking forward, thinking forward and adapting to the systems of a modern business.
But what can you be doing to market your small business?
Simple. Remind people you exist and show them that you are an exciting business that is alive, thinking & responding. After all, who wants to be part of a business that is standing still? Why have vanilla when you can have salted caramel? Plus, as a progressive business you will find that social content will write itself as you'll have lots to shout about!
So if you are one of those who has resisted social media now is the time to jump on board as marketing takes time to build and create impact that may not see an instant ROI but it will over time with strategy, perseverance and authenticity.
If your business just doesn't translate to a world in lockdown you still have plenty to shout about so let people know what you are doing... New plans, new products, new menus, what's gone well and what has been an utter disaster. What have you tried or considered... and then have promptly rejected?! We don't get it right all the times and that is only human right... Surely we can all connect with that!
This is not the time to make demands and go for the hard sell but it's a great time to make friends so get out there (digitally of course!)
The idea is to create the personality behind your brand as people like people. Simple. Keep it light - this is social media after all. Make it purposeful - any purpose (but don't just post for the sake of it as a desperate attempt to fill a void with anything is painfully apparent to anyone and feels like an invasion on our precious time - yes, even when we are scrolling aimlessly!). And remember the important rule - engage with your audience rather than shouting down to them. Healthy and effective communication is two-way so don't just shout into a void as all you'll hear back is your echo.
Consider what you and your business can offer right now. How have you adapted to support your clients? Can you be more flexible? What can you do to help? Can you provide useful insights? Don't go for the hard sell...now isn't about capitalising and feeding on a disaster but making connections and offering support because we all need friends to survive this.
There's lots of talk of people changing the way they intend to spend their hard earned crust and a strong voice for commitment to supporting local businesses so make sure people know about you & build on their good intentions (as we all know how easy it is for these to slip!). Reach out to your existing customers and ask them to be your brand ambassador - ask them to leave reviews, ask them what about your business they love/miss and what and ask them what they'd like to see in the future. Build good relationships with your customers and they will happily share your brand for you. Let them be part of your journey and they will be loyal to you on the other side.
Build your story now. Position yourself ahead of the curve. Don't wait... as you will be left behind.
Do prepare for the boom. We've seen a sudden drop in spend across many industries with some coming to a complete stand still BUT the good news is, many economists are predicting that after lockdown we will see just a dramatic upturn. Consider the graph as a big smiley face!
It makes sense. Yes, some people are understandably nervous about the security of their jobs and long term measures yet to be decided but since lockdown I have barely spent a penny... the sun came out so the heating went off, I haven't had to fill the car up with petrol, I haven't 'just' bought a new top on the way to a meeting (although there was one bored shopping experiment which resulted in an interesting outfit that has been reserved for Zoom nights out ONLY!) and I certainly haven't had a delicious meal served in tiny portions with large glasses of expensive wine (obviously, there has been the odd glass of wine). As a result I have money in my pocket to spend and the anticipation of meeting up with friends and family outside of these four walls is beyond tantalising. I, for one, will happily prop up East Kent's restaurants single handedly as soon as I'm allowed!
If you aren't sure where to start give me a shout and I will happily give you some actionable ideas to get you started.
or call Christa on 07539 180327 for a chat :)