If you have been paying attention to the news, you know we live in uncertain times. Between a pandemic, wildfires in the West, an overly active hurricane season and civil unrest, this moment in history is truly unprecedented, and it is affecting every aspect of our lives. This change and uncertainty is affecting us at home, and it’s also creating an impact on how we do business and conduct marketing.
Many businesses have already gone under because they were unable to keep up with how quickly and drastically everything has changed. Some observers have described this as a “K” shaped market “recovery” – some businesses seeing double digit growth and others seeing expedient decline. If you want your business to avoid being another casualty of 2020, then you have to learn how to market your business to survive during this chaos. Here are some tips to help you keep your business afloat – and even thrive – when everything else seems to be falling apart around you.
Develop a Strong Online Presence
Now, more than ever, the internet has become our lifeline. Online sales numbers have soared this year as social distancing and other fears have forced people to stay at home and do their shopping via the internet. Businesses that have been unable to adapt have shut down, and others have taken their place. If you haven’t already done so, it is vital to reconfigure your business so that your online presence is rich with content, empathy and even vision for the road ahead.
Design, Redesign or Modernize Your Website
Your customers are going to find you online, and for many people, that discovery is going to come through your website. For the online shopper, there is nothing worse than going to a website that is stale, slow loading, and looks like it hasn’t been maintained in years.
If your website needs an upgrade, now is the time for a refresh in both style and content. If you are not actively selling on your site already it is imperative that you add an e-commerce platform to your site immediately. If you already have one, make sure it is runs smoothly without any down time.
People need to be able to find your website, so monitoring and maintaining SEO is crucial. Curating your content for SEO can bring more eyes and more clicks to your website. Once they get there, they need reasons to stay and to remain engaged.
Enhance Your Social Media and Tell Your Story
In addition to your digital store, your social media also needs a boost. There are numerous platforms out there, and each one of them offers your and your brand a unique avenue to connect with your customers. Whether it’s highlighting products on Instagram, telling quick stories on Tik-Tok or sending out a shout-out on Twitter, each platform is a great way to raise awareness of your brand.
They are also a great way to make stronger connections with your community and customers. One of the under-appreciated features of social media is how your audience can respond. Successful brands know the power of connecting with their audience online, and the results speak for themselves. Check out some of the great campaigns run on social media during lockdown for ideas on how to best engage online storytelling https://www.prweek.com/article/1683851/top-20-lockdown-campaigns-around-world
Use these platforms not only to tell your story but to highlight the stories of those around you who have been impacted by everything that is happening in the world today.
Blogs are another often unused but powerful tool to tell your story. Blogs give you the chance to say more than a quick video or Tweet ever could. See what some writers have done with their blog during lockdown: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-52384762
Do not be afraid to lay it all out there in a blog so others can see the faces behind the brand.
Examine Your Product Mix and Product Sourcing
Of course, all the marketing in the world is not going to help you if you do not have the products to sell, and product scarcity has been prevalent in 2020. We will likely all remember scrambling to find toilet paper for years to come. You need to do everything you can to prevent a similar thing from happening to your goods.
For this reason, it is time to look at your supply chain and where your products coming from. Are there alternative products you can offer when the normal ones are unavailable? Are there other ways you can get the product to your warehouses?
Furthermore, tracking your inventory is also key. Many online businesses have gaps in their inventory management that create lags from when they run out of a product to when they get new ones in. This lag can make certain items unavailable, causing your customers to look elsewhere for what they need. Examining your inventory pipeline has never been more important than now. Several inventory planning tools have added content about inventory management, such as https://www.newgenapps.com/blog/improving-inventory-planning-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/. In fact, concerns about inventory during disasters was written about by the Wall Street Journal in 2006 following the Katrina hurricane https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB113703203939544469
Staying afloat in 2020 takes a deft combination or marketing, skill and proactive planning, which can be hard to do even when times are easy. It is great to have a professional in your corner. At Green Vine Marketing our experts have the tools and resources you need to help you tell your story and remain top of mind by your customers. Let’s start a conversation about how we can create an actionable campaign for your business.