It’s no surprise that many businesses are facing hard times during the Coronavirus pandemic which the world is currently going through, and this is made worse by not being able to physically see people face to face and to promote a business in the normal way. However, we want you to know that there is a light to all of this when it comes to keeping your business alive, and ensuring that your brand is still in the forefront of people’s mind when they are looking for your services or products.
The key to this light is communication. Each business that is facing hardship at this time needs to dig deeper into their communication channels and to find a way to still be there for their audience and to provide as much value as they can.
Everyone is looking for solutions, everyone is searching for answers and needs to feel that they can find what they are looking for somewhere out there, probably online. And that’s where your business can thrive. That’s where you can be the best of what you are capable of and showcase a range of solutions to reach your audience. All you need to do is understand your audience, stand in their shoes and get to grips with what they are feeling, their pain points and what they are seeking – and provide solutions for them.
It’s not a chance to ‘get rich quick’ or to make other’s out of pocket, it is a chance to provide value and stability in a time of uncertainty.
How can you communicate efficiently and effectively in times of panic?
Utilise your social media channels
As more and more people are communicating through their social media channels, connecting with friends and family, searching for online solutions and generally spending more time online, here is your opportunity to reach them right where they are.
Where is your audience hanging out? Is it Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn? People settle into a place that’s comfortable and calming for them. Personal social media is down to the individual to find a platform that works for them and therefore it may not be where you are used to being, but if you want to speak directly to your audience, it’s where you need to be.
We say this so many times, but the more value you give, the better a) you will feel, and b) the more your audience will trust, respect and like you. It’s about building relationships and getting to know your audience. People buy from trusted sources; from people they can see and understand. People engage with people they like to hear from, where they can relate and resonate with.
Emotion plays a big part in social media, being able to reach someone’s emotions will go a long way in gaining engagement and interaction on the content that you share. Thinking about how your audience will react to your content, can you make them laugh, smile, feel inspired or motivated? Social media is about getting social and communicating at a level your audience appreciates and reacts to – every audience is different but how can you best touch their emotions and what types of content can you create that will fit the box?
Create a Facebook or LinkedIn Group
Do you have a specific group of people that you could provide even more value to in a more personal or interactive way – that’s not necessarily given to your wider audience? This is where a private group can come in. Facebook and LinkedIn groups are the perfect safe place for people to ask more direct questions, to gain clarity and insight and to have a deeper relationship with a brand or business. This is where your personality and skills can shine through. Many people are part of social networking groups, so why not set up one for your business where you can provide the same level of substance as others?
Setting up a Facebook group is easy, and once you’re set up and ready to go, it’s time to invite some people to join! You can use your social channels to ask your audience to come and check out what’s new, you can personally invite friends (if it is relevant) to join and from there it’s about creating content that will speak directly into their lives, whether that be personal or business related, depending on what your business is about. Ensure that what you produce is relevant to your brand and what they signed up for, there’s no point in creating content for the sake of it, put thought and effort into everything, and show that you care about what they are going through and who they are.
Here at KJP Creative, we have a Facebook group aimed at helping women business owners build their brand online. It’s a group for encouragement, inspiration and motivation along with advice and tips on how to use online marketing to grow a business. For us, it’s on topic and in line with our brand and core values, it’s helping a specific group of people and providing value where they need it the most. Try to think about how you too can offer something that’s of worth for your audience, what would they want to see or hear and how can you reach them in a much deeper and direct way?
You’ve probably heard it said “the money is in the list!”, well, we’re not focusing on the money aspect in this post, but there is much to be said for keeping the communication going through email, especially with many people using email rather than face to face meetings during the pandemic.
Email marketing, when performed correctly, can be an extra arm to your business, giving you yet another stream to be able to provide content and value to your audience. Not everyone will read your emails, but it’s a good place to start if you want to provide more than just the standard social media posts. An email can give you opportunity to utilise a number of different avenues, including asking people what they want to hear from you, what would help them and providing a private place for special offers, tips and advice.
Email marketing is a way to keep your customers informed – what a great place to add a personal video or image about what’s going on or happening behind the scenes!
It’s also a place where you can push your online sales and guide people through your sales funnel. With face to face interaction not happening and shops and services on hold, this is your chance to showcase your services to the people that are already interested in your brand. A ready-made audience.
If you’ve not yet set up a mailing list, it’s not a hard thing to accomplish (we can help if you need it!). But jump over to Mailchimp or one of the other free email marketing platforms and set start an account today. Just as a Facebook group, you can promote your email list to your current audience, you can create posts to let people know how and where they can join and then once you have people signed up, ensure that you send out regular content to them. It doesn’t how regular you send your emails, as long as you stick to the schedule you set yourself. If you say you’re emailing weekly, do it! If weekly is too much, go for a monthly newsletter – and stick to it. Once people get used to seeing your content, they will look forward to receiving your emails and knowing what’s going on.
At the end of the day, your online marketing is the face of your company at this time. In a world where people are turning to online communication and solutions, your business needs to be where the people are. Use your social media and online marketing channels to reach your audience in the best and most effective way possible. Be there for them when they need you, even if they don’t know they need you and be a shining light in a confused and momentous time.
If you’d like a guiding hand in your social media or marketing strategy, feel free to give us a bell and let’s talk.
In the meantime, to ensure you’re not missing the basics with your social media marketing, why not check out our ‘Social Media Checklist – Don’t Forget the Basics’ – it’s FREE to download and our gift to you…