By Ross Crawford, managing director of Mr Digital
As the world continues to deal with Covid-19, businesses everywhere have been forced to rethink their digital marketing strategy. Times are changing, and so are the digital ways in which businesses have adapted to the pandemic.
Budgets are understandably going to tighten in the wake of the pandemic. In our recent small business survey, 15 per cent of business owners said they would need to reduce their marketing spend over the next six months as they continue to try and survive the pandemic. A third of respondents said digital marketing was vital to the survival of their business but would be relying on networking, with 43 per cent saying it was their most important marketing channel, followed by social media (28 per cent).
So, what can businesses do to ensure they use their budgets wisely and still get results that benefit the business?
Train up furloughed staff
Digital marketing is changing all the time, so it can be tough to keep up with the latest trends and best practices. If you have staff furloughed, then this is a great time to get them trained up on the latest trends.
It could be something as simple as brushing up the marketing fundamentals, rediscovering some powerful tools or keeping up to speed with digital development. Some of the courses we would recommend are the Facebook Blueprint Certification, Google Ads certification and or LinkedIn lead generation training. Keeping your staff ahead of the digital curve is essential to growing your business during these uncertain times.
Constantly review your marketing channels
Research shows that 32 per cent of businesses regard Facebook as the ideal channel for marketing their products or services.
Review your channels to ensure you understand which ones are generating a real return-on-investment. Constantly monitor your channels to find the ones generating real revenue, not just impressions, clicks and followers.
It’s all about conducting a thorough review to assess all the right metrics so you can make sense of the growth and discover new marketing opportunities. This will give you a clear picture of what needs to be done to improve your social presence. At times like these, reviewing your content on a regular basis can go a long way.
Social media posting
Social media is still the best place where you can publish posts to build brand awareness and drive sales for your business. Don’t be afraid to repost the same posts more than once. The big idea is to create evergreen posts and schedule them for weeks or months to ensure your presence is active.
This will allow you to focus your limited time on building relationships on social media by engaging with other people’s posts, participating in groups and reconnecting with people you know. Investing your time in conversations and nurturing relationships while the content distribution is on autopilot is a great way to get maximum return on your time invested.
Speak with existing clients
This is arguably the most overlooked means of marketing in today’s day and age. Conducting effective communication with clients will help you build long-lasting relationships. More importantly, the fastest way to generate new business is usually through your existing client base so reach out to them to see how they’re doing and ask if they can refer you to anyone.
In addition to strengthening your rapport with existing clients, it will also open a new portal to endless possibilities. Communication in everything, especially in uncertain times like these.
Conduct LinkedIn outreach
More businesses are tapping into LinkedIn to grow their business. Sales outreach is one option people use during this pandemic to grow your network and generate high-quality leads. We recommend using Sales Navigator. This is a powerful tool businesses can deploy to prospect and build new relationships. It’s a small investment of money with high-value returns. With a growing number of people spending time online, the time is ripe for using LinkedIn outreach to build strong relationships.
Focus on a single advertising channel
In our survey, 32 per cent of businesses said they would be focusing on LinkedIn as a social media channel of choice over the next six months. It’s better to put all your budget in one basket rather than spread it thinly across multiple channels, especially when it comes to advertising as the budget determines the amount of data you get from each channel. It’s better to get one working really well, rather than multiple channels all performing just “alright”.
Brand awareness Facebook ads
As far as running ads is concerned, Facebook Ads are dirt cheap compared to most other options. For as little as £5 per day you could reach thousands of people and keep your business in front of your target audience. Create and run brand awareness campaigns to reach people at low cost. Decide who should see your ad by setting up a highly-targeted audience.
Having a proper strategy in place during this uncertain period can help you grow business while keeping you ahead of your competitors in the long run. Your biggest goal should be to focus on your customers’ practical needs and continue investing in your business in the right way. Be sure you have a clear plan and make sure you measure everything.