A big challenge for small businesses is how to get people to listen to what you’ve got to say. But a lean marketing budget needn’t stop you from raising awareness amongst your target audiences. As all businesses look to a future with the pandemic behind them, here are our top tips to marketing your business post-Covid19.
Thought leadership on social media
Social media is a great leveller. It is free to access and free to use. Place any prejudice to one side for a moment. A way to achieve worthwhile results on social media is to have something valuable to share. For example, take the lead on a cause that you are passionate about. This will create engagement amongst people who share your passion and your personal brand grows as a consequence. If you are in the B2B space, LinkedIn posts and articles are a good way to get your message across. A tip is to proffer creative solutions to the issues you are flagging up. It’s easy to find fault with most things; but people who can find solutions are more valuable.
Review your networking strategy
Just because in-person networking is back, don’t think that is end of online networking. The ONLE networking group is steadfastly staying online for its member meetings. ONLE know their members appreciate the time saving elements of online. But they also know members will get together so they do two things:
- Organise occasional in-person social events prestigious locations across the south.
- Encourage 1-2-1 meetings that originate from the online sessions to be held in person.
Don’t be a slave to a networking format that doesn’t suit or work for you. Now is the time to think differently about how you network. Can you combine your network with an interest, hobby or pastime? Charities, sports clubs and community organisations will often try and connect businesses together as a way of adding value. The problem is that many don’t know how to do it well. If you can help them, then your value and reputation increases significantly.
Try before you buy
One of the challenges for small businesses is that their trust reservoir is not as swollen as larger, more established companies. You need therefore to make your product or service initially accessible and low risk. Free trials is one example and you see this used frequently with internet subscription services. The trial period allows the trust reservoir to fill up and at the end of the period, the new customer will be expected to switch to a paid for subscription. This does mean though that you have to have 100% belief that your product / service does what the marketing blurb says it does!
Beware the leaky bucket
A leaky bucket is a phenomenon that affects businesses that have shifted too much focus towards client acquisition, that every new client is filling a space left by one that has recently left. 99.9% of business owners know that it is cheaper to service an existing client than recruit a new one. There are different ways to address the problem of a leaky bucket.
- It might be a resource issue, put right by appointing an account manager.
- Reward loyalty with exclusive add-on services available only to certain customers. In doing this you need to analyse that in adding cost to the business it is less than the cost of recruiting a new customer to replace the old one.
Beware of the next new bright and shiny idea
There is lots of innovation in marketing. New ways to reach customers, new platforms and new opportunities to spend money on advertising. We’ve seen seasoned business owners get their head turned by something that is new, but plainly inappropriate for their business and marketplace. Our recommendation is to not sign up to anything straight away and to refer to a trusted sounding board for a second opinion. That might be a fellow director or an agency, like us. We are always happy to share the benefits of our many years of experience.