Right now, business owners all over are asking themselves the same question: “How do I keep my company on customers’ minds despite the pandemic?” It’s a challenging issue, made all the more difficult for people who run service industries such as gyms or restaurants. More and more business owners are watching their numbers grow bleaker as the pandemic continues.
Fortunately, a good marketing plan can do wonders for keeping you relevant — and solvent — throughout the coming months. Moreover, you don’t even have to spend a ton to pull this off. In fact, some of the more effective marketing moves can be shockingly affordable. Here’s a look at some of the most budget-friendly methods of marketing, and how you can use them to keep your company afloat.
First: Prep Work
Before you craft your marketing plan, you should take some time to look critically at your business to see if there are any unfinished to-dos hanging over your head. This could be anything from performing staff training (connect with First Generation Entrepreneur. Life for corporate training services) to honing your COVID-19 protocols. Additionally, make sure you have a good working business smartphone that can handle anything you throw at it, from managing client communications to running apps. If you’re in need of an upgrade, look for phone deals online to score savings; while the holidays are the best time for deals, you can still find offers throughout the year. Knock all of these tasks out before you move forward with crafting a marketing plan.
Although things like this can feel unrelated to your marketing campaign, they can actually make a big impact. When you have those little unfinished projects hanging around, it’s that much harder to conceptualize consistent messaging and branding. Finishing these tasks gives you a stronger, more consistent foundation from which to craft your campaign.
Create Your Message
Right now, it’s really important to fully consider how you want to talk to your clients and customers, and what you want the ultimate message of your marketing campaign to be. If you’re in the restaurant or service industries, for example, it makes sense for your messaging to be all about how you’ve made your business as safe as possible for people. You can hone in on in-store precautions, measures employees take before and during their shifts, and policies such as mask usage and social distancing. This lets customers know you take their safety seriously, and that your business is moving forward responsibly.
Other industries can take a different approach. Maybe you’re a business that can go fully virtual; in that case, your messaging can focus on the ways customers can interface with you from the comfort and safety of your own home. If you’re in the travel industry, you could focus your marketing on helping people plan their perfect post-pandemic vacation. Craft an approach that makes sense for your industry, the times, and your clients’ needs.
Focus on Client Connections
Although there’s nothing wrong with investing in traditional advertising — and if you have the budget to do so, it’s usually worth it — right now is the perfect moment to really invest time in fostering connections with your clients. Content marketing, social media, and email communications are a wonderful way to do this. People are yearning for connection, and for the most part, digital means are the only way to get it.
Social media marketing is very cost-effective since you can really create an approach that suits any budget. If you have the time to do it yourself, you can keep costs extremely low; if not, you can hire a social media marketing pro to do it on your behalf, choosing a frequency and rate that works for your budget and needs. All the while, you’ll be connecting with customers in their own homes, in a way that makes you part of a shared community.
If you can craft a marketing campaign that helps people feel a little less alone right now, you’ll have achieved something spectacular. Beyond the marketing benefits themselves, you’ll also have the joy of knowing you’ve helped someone feel less isolated during a challenging time. Create a community around your business, and the rewards will be incalculable.
Article contributed by featured guest expert: Naomi Johnson
Naomi Johnson created lifebasedbusiness.net for small business owners, creatives, solopreneurs, boss babes and bros, and side hustlers who are committed to designing their careers to accommodate how they want to live, instead of the other way around. Through her site, Naomi offers practical advice and inspiration to help others adopt the life-based business mentality and change their lives in immensely positive, fulfilling ways.
Photo Credit: Pexels