Lockdown: your marketing opportunity
So, there we have it. Britain’s latest lockdown measures to try and stop the spread of Covid-19 could be in place until March 2021. But while these months may cost you, they could also buy you time; time to put in place new business strategies and marketing plans that could make this lockdown a big return on investment.
Lack of time is arguably one of the greatest challenges when it comes to marketing. We know how long it can take – we devote our entire careers to it and, thankfully, can prove how worthwhile marketing is!
Here are a few things to consider to make the most of a quiet business period in lockdown.
Everyone is online
During the height of the previous lockdown, Ofcom’s annual Online Nation report revealed that UK adults spent a daily average of four hours and two minutes online – that’s more than a quarter of their waking day. This is your chance to engage with your customers through social media, content marketing, blogging and e-news. Raise the profile of your company for when you can finally return to business as usual. Remember, your website is always open!
Your customers have more time
This means more time to read your blogs, articles and newsletters, and more time to pay attention to your products and services. If you’re a B2B company, your current and prospective clients are likely to be spending the extra time reviewing their business models, including suppliers, so now is the time to get your offering in front of them.
Mindless scrolling is a daily activity
Hands up who’s guilty? 🙋🏻♀️
Maybe it’s boredom, or maybe it’s habit, either way there is a high chance your target customers are scrollers. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are the most popular social media apps we have to thank for this. The content you share should be relevant to each platform and most effective when treated as an engagement tool, not a sales pitch. Post links to engaging reads, share entertaining and light-hearted posts and be transparent about what your business is going through – relatable content is a powerful way to drive engagement.
In the same way my husband can’t leave a shop without buying an item strategically placed by the till, I can’t scroll through social media without being tempted by an advert in my newsfeed (ok, mostly more than tempted, but I’m just playing my part in supporting the economy)! At TWI, we are big fans of social media adverts, as are our clients. When targeted correctly, they yield excellent results for very little spend.
Your customers have habits. Get to know them.
Use this time to really get to know your customers’ browsing and buying habits. What social media platforms do they use? What time of day do they tend to engage? What marketing activities are they responding to/not responding to? What kind of person are they – what are their other interests? Have you ever noticed that when a rural coffee shop posts a photo of a cute puppy on their Instagram account, engagements go through the roof?
Be sure to pay attention to website analytics for customer insights. This should help shape your future marketing.
It’s time to change the mantra “we’ve always done it this way.”
It can be a greater risk to do what you’ve always done, than to try something new. On a dramatic scale, 2020 has forced the world to do things differently, but even small changes can make a difference. When lockdown struck I used some of the extra time to declutter my emails and unsubscribe from newsletters I receive but never read. Perhaps if I had received something a bit different, I would have paid more attention.
Plan for the short-term, review for the long-term
It’s hard to know which direction is forward at the moment. Just as things seemed to be getting back on track, the reins have been tightened with the added threat of it being ‘the wrong time of year’. When it comes to your marketing strategy, focus on the short-term, promoting the products/services that are driving your business in the ‘now’. It’s a good habit to get into as it encourages regular review that will ultimately influence your long-term strategy.
Since the pandemic, the world has been forced to adapt to digital technology, not least video communications. There’s nothing stopping you from continuing to network with staff, suppliers, partners and clients via applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. They are actually proving to be highly effective and efficient means of communication. What’s more is they are not new. In fact, the first version of Zoom was released in 2012. With this in mind, it is less surprising to learn that according to the 2019 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report, the UK’s overall level of tech adoption is only 16th in Europe and 31st globally. It makes you wonder what other opportunities we’re missing out on.
Whilst the fate of the country’s economy may seem to rest on the decisions made by those in Parliament over the next few months, it also comes down to how we respond as a business community. There has never been a better time to strategise, communicate and act with compassion.