Resilience is one of the key themes that many businesses have focused on during the pandemic. Considering how thousands of companies have disappeared quickly amidst the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown, resiliency and adaptation has been key to survival. One of the best ways to remain in business during the current COVID-19 crisis, is to ensure your brand’s visibility in the market, specifically your online presence.
More than likely, your business has been forced to make drastic adjustments to its marketing strategies in the past year. However, the internet has helped many small businesses survive by providing opportunities for online transactions and communication through various digital channels. The more easily you can migrate your business to the cloud or to your own virtual private network (VPN), the better prepared you will be for the future.
Online shopping is quickly becoming the preferred way to purchase items, partly because people can get deals sent to them on their smartphones once they connect with merchants. It’s also a more convenient and safe way to operate during the pandemic, as it serves as a solution for social distancing.
Cutting down on traditional marketing costs and emphasizing digital marketing will help sharpen your brand’s focus toward its target audience. Even moreso, working with content marketing experts can help you gain an edge with SEO.
How to Build a Strategic Marketing Plan for 2021
Your marketing plan should be tailored to your unique budget, but it is recommended to manage funds specific to ensuring results. While reducing your market visibility can save you money in the short run, it will eventually affect your market share. Markets are fickle in times of uncertainty, so you need to stay consistent with what works in attracting new leads.
Part of your strategic planning should include paying attention to expenses and reducing costs that don’t bring ROI (return on investment) to the enterprise. Marketing resources should be devoted to the top-performing channels while cutting down on those that are underperforming. You may also consider partnering with another company of your size for organizing cross-promotional events, especially online.
Create Value for Your Customers
Many start-ups were struggling while trying to attract new customers during the pandemic. Brands were tested to still meet the needs of a public in economic uncertainty. So to build loyalty with new prospects and customers, businesses need to emphasize how their products and services create value.
The process of creating value begins with collecting feedback from your existing target customers. While discounts and promotions can be a reliable way of creating value, you can also do so by explaining how your offerings make people’s lives more enjoyable, convenient or interesting. This is how Canva (a designing platform) found success by offering users free online design tools, thus building a loyal following.
Use Automated Marketing Techniques
One of the best ways to make your small business more efficient is through the use of digital marketing tools. Automated marketing platforms can identify what works and what doesn’t in your marketing campaigns. A recent Salesforce study found that 67 % of companies currently use some type of marketing automation. An automated marketing system can help you save money on staffing, delivery and paper. These systems send automated, personalized messages to individuals on the firm’s marketing list.
Keep Producing Fresh Content
Creating a constant stream of compelling, fresh content for your online audience is crucial because it lets followers know you are paying attention to them. Delivering new content about your niche that can’t be found elsewhere, can be valuable to people who are looking for solutions. Blogging is one of the most popular ways for a small business to stay in touch with its market.
There are multiple ways to showcase your content online, so don’t feel restricted to a blog series. Producing videos, even if they are very basic, is one of the most effective ways to present and explain what your new product is and what it does. Posting on social media networks is another seamless way to reach out to your audience on a regular basis. If you don’t feed your audience fresh content, they may turn to your competitors to find what they’re looking for.
Personalize Your Messages with Authenticity
You can no longer get away with the mass marketing of generic messages, which are now treated as spam. You need to divide your market into segments and then create different messages for different segments. Such a strategy is a step toward greater personalization in your marketing.
In difficult times people value authenticity as a means of determining who they can trust. During the pandemic, many firms have learned to tone down the hype and are striving to be more authentic. If you are a sole proprietor, you can promote yourself as a business leader who has meaningful views about their industry. As long as your claims are genuine and you can live up to them, there will be plenty of people who want to know your story.
Combining personalization with authenticity is a trend that may be prevalent for years to come, since both qualities make an individual feel that they’ve made a special choice. Don’t let your marketing seem like a PR stunt, as people can always make out the difference. Instead, focus on uniqueness and building an emotional bond with your audience.