Navigating the changes we have all had to cope with over the previous twelve months has been a huge challenge for many businesses and their customers - for some, it has been necessary to completely change the way they operate. Although we are hoping to see the restrictions being lifted and a return to some kind of normality fairly soon – for many of us, it is now also a question of making up the ground which has been lost over the previous 12 months of disruption.
Stay active on social media
Social media interactions have increased by a reported 61% since the start of the pandemic with many of us spending more time than ever online whilst we have been forced to stay indoors. Make the most of this trend by engaging with your customers on social media platforms. Staying active on social media platforms is a great way to interact with your customers where they are, in a way which can be more informal. Consider sharing behind the scenes information about your business, how you are preparing to reopen and what changes people can expect when they are allowed to visit again. Giving your social followers some insight behind the scenes of your business makes them feel appreciated. Short video posts are great for engagement. If you are struggling for inspiration on what to post, have a look at our blog post ‘What should my business we sharing on social media’ . For information on setting up a Facebook marketing campaign, including paid promotion - download our free guide to Facebook Marketing ‘Facebook Marketing for small businesses’
Create a new email campaign
Research from 96,000 companies by Hubspot has shown that businesses have been sending more emails over the course of the pandemic with send rates increasing by around 30%. The data also shows that the interaction rate for those emails has also increased between 10% and 20% with open rates and click through rates both in excess of the pre-pandemic levels. Email remains one of the best mediums for reaching your customers, despite having an image as being slightly old hat – it still has one of the best ROI of any marketing medium. Barriers to entry are low and there is no specific technical knowledge required to be able to set up and run a marketing campaign in most email platforms. In terms of what to send - keeping your email subscribers up to date with your plans for reopening is one idea, alternatively, you could consider launching a reopening offer campaign or similar. Further reading on email marketing and business growth can be found on our blog – Email marketing for business growth
Update and refresh your website
The internet has become the first port-of-call for many of us whenever we are looking for information about products, services and companies. If your company website is not up to scratch, it is not going to be showing existing or new customers your business in the most favourable light.
Try to take a look at your site from the perspective of a new customer and assess whether or not it reflects where your business it currently at – both in terms of the content and the aesthetic/branding. Check for broken links, out of date information or anything which is no longer accurate or current. If you have a blog on your website make sure it is up to date (if you don’t have a blog on your website – have a look at our blog ‘Business Blogging – an essential component…’ to see why you should). A website which is regularly updated is also very positive from an SEO perspective. For more on this, or to arrange a free website health check – visit our website.
Create welcome back offers and promotions
Everyone loves a bargain and discount offers are always popular with customers - offers and discounts can be a great way of getting people off the fence and purchasing. Social media, email, your website and even direct mail are all ways you could look at promoting an offer of some kind. Whether you opt for a competition giveaway, discount code or some other incentive, discount marketing is a tried and tested method of increasing sales.
Keep in touch
One way of making your customers feel like they are a valued and important part of your business is to stay in conversation with them and learn from them - From asking for their opinions and undertaking customer satisfaction surveys to taking the time to respond to customer engagements on social media or on review sites, there are lots of ways you can create and maintain a meaningful dialogue with your customers.
For more information on implementing any of the above ideas or if you are not sure where to start when it comes to a marketing campaign, head over to our website to download our free marketing guide 'Ten top tips for effective digital marketing' which contains lots of practical advice and tips to get you going, even if you are a complete beginner...