Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, we all had one common concern as we went into lockdown, and that was to maintain brand awareness until better times. As we strived to keep communicating with customers using active, online channels, our primary focus was to ensure our brand remained out there and alive. Demonstrating empathy and understanding towards valued customers and keeping them informed of developments was our key priority. But how has this focus shifted as we start entering a ‘new normal’?
Where should marketers be directing their efforts?
Now that we’ve started to come out the other side and enter the next phase, it’s time to think a little differently and change our strategies and messaging. Our primary focus is no longer about maintaining brand awareness and showing empathy to the situation. It’s about re-engaging existing customers and attracting new ones through positivity and a forward thinking attitude. Having spoken with our clients and assessing what other marketers are doing, here are 3 approaches we feel can help you through the next stage.
Word of mouth marketing
One of the most cost-effective and productive forms of marketing for generating new leads. This traditional approach uses an organic process that builds brand recognition, trust and loyalty. And it’s great for influencing purchasing decisions.
We all naturally want to share good experiences with other people, particularly at the moment, so developing a strategy, both on and offline, to encourage people to interact and shout about your brand, is a given. The more we share face-to-face or online, the more exposure we get. And with 88% of people trusting online reviews, just as much as personal recommendations from colleagues, friends and family, this is an opportunity not to miss.
So how do you do this?
Encourage your staff and customers to engage with your brand across all channels. Get them to share experiences and leave reviews and recommendations. There are various platforms you can use to facilitate this process including social media, blogs and your company website. You could even introduce a referral scheme, offering rewards, gifts or discounts to give your campaign an extra push.
Build social media communities
Social media is a big player for marketers right now. You’ve probably been using it a lot over the past few months to keep your brand at the forefront of your followers’ minds. But now is the time to update your strategy to make it relevant for today.
With extra time on their hands, customers are continuing to actively seek out brands of interest. They’re looking to outside influencers for reassurance, as well as research opportunities to inform buying decisions. Ramp things up a little! Move away from the empathetic tones we have become used to recently and use them to build up a community feeling that people want to be involved in and feel part of.
Maybe run a competition to engage a wider audience and attract more followers. Share customer feedback and insight, and the latest industry news and trends – but remember to keep it positive! Start to see your social channels as community platforms to build long term relationships with common interests.
Take it a step further…
By embracing paid advertising on your social channels. It’s a great way to spread your message far and wide to an audience you wouldn’t normally reach. As you maintain your brand awareness with existing clients through organic social activity, paid advertising offers the perfect opportunity to attract and engage a new audience.
Using demographics, geographics and industry preferences to define your target audience, you can create relevant motivators to gain awareness and encourage interaction. This could be in the form of a webinar, training course or step by step guide into a topic of interest. Show them something of value and they’ll want to be a part of your community too.
Turn on the video
At the very core of lockdown, everyone changed the way they communicated. Turning to video for business meetings and catch ups with friends and family, technology barriers were broken down. As a result, people have become more confident using video and are aware of the benefits it brings.
So what does that mean for video content?
Acceptance! The way we consume video media in general has changed. With more time being spent at home, there is more freedom to watch content as and when we choose. And we have more available time to watch videos of interest! In short, there’s never been a better time for businesses to invest in video media to promote and inform their customers about their brand, products and services.
There are many ways to refocus your marketing efforts for the new phase we’re entering. This blog only highlights a few suggestions, barely scratching the surface of possibilities. If you would like to explore ways forward for your business to help you develop new strategies, do get in touch. We’re here to help!