It’s a fact that a pandemic has taken over lives and incomes and as a result, we are in constant distress thinking about our future and our businesses. Businesses are not in the best of shapes right now, but everyone is hopeful about finding normalcy at the earliest. Though the crisis is here to stay for at least the next couple of years, we as business owners might preferably choose to go ahead “minding our business” as usual lest our existence in the market should be at stake. Though things have gone for a toss in almost all verticals, there are still some strategies and tweaks that might really work in favour of your business. Remember: anticipating the changing trends and understanding the nature of challenges thrown and staying ahead of them are the keys to success.
Alright, so here’s what I assume you might be thinking these days. How can you, as a business owner, or as an agency providing services to your clients, beat the competition and still produce noble results? What is the present scenario of your market? What strategies work and which all have become obsolete with the advent of Covid19? Though there are a handful of suggestions you may find around the web today, I intend to limit the suggestions to those which are easily doable yet would be critical for your success in future. Being a digital marketing afficionado, I’ll be talking all things “digital”.
Well, by now you might have heard or read numerous times as to why laying emphasis on internet marketing will benefit you big time now than ever. With articles on SEO, Social Media blueprints, google ads templates and topics stemming from them floating all around the internet, I assume you would have already done your share. If not, I really suggest you read articles on Search Engine Optimisation (If you are a digital marketing agency) and this guide from Social Media Examiner to start with. Apart from these, there are various other aspects which are often overlooked but those which you should really take into consideration in order to help recover your business from the crisis; Lets discuss:
Understanding Changing Customer Behaviour Patterns and Adapting Accordingly
It’s evident that people are either staying at homes or risking their lives and working for emergencies. This in fact is a drastic change in lifestyle and the pandemic situation is not very favourable either. Neither does it seem to restore the trends back to normal anytime soon. What does this mean for your business? Probably what you can do is get accustomed to people’s behaviour and channel your strategies accordingly. For instance, if you are into a product based business and does not have an ecommerce store yet, this is the right time to work on setting one up. With SaaS companies offering more discounts than ever and given the ease to setup stores with minimal coding and design knowledge, we are already witnessing a digital transformation in product based businesses, including some big names we know. Shopify must be a good starting point if you are not yet financially equipped to build an estore of your own. If you already have one, hoard your products so that you never run out of stock. Make sure you have enough stock of all essential products.
For services sectors, acquire video recording equipments that help you record videos and necessary softwares to edit them, or just keep yourself available for video or audio calls with the customer all the time. Put in other words, acquire everything that would help you work from home and serve your customers effectively. Be in regular touch with your customers and assure them you are on track and never hesitate getting in touch with them occasionally to ask how their business is faring each week. Make a graph, mindmap your weekly plans and make use of chatbots and multi-task integrations with help of third party apps like zapier and manychat.
For Training and Education sectors, video seems to be the only feasible mode of communication and knowledge sharing right now and that comes with a pack of benefits. For one thing, classroom congestion and distractions can be avoided to a good extent. Since video sessions can be recorded, that serves for replays and hence can be saved for future references. Graphics can be incorporated to convey the subject more clearly and lot more other benefits are met.
Make a Plan on Spending
You might have set aside enough money for advertisements, promotions, and other experimental activities in order to increase your customer base. Unfortunately, this is not the right time to implement them. So realign your strategies and make a basic spending plan and work on a budget. Cut down expenses for now, and focus on lesser expensive marketing strategies. Adapt to the organic ways of building traffic and engagement on social platforms and on your website. Instead of relying more on paid advertisements to reach your customers, invest your time and plans on creating amazing pieces of content that would arouse interest and engagement from your customers.
You could also make yourself seem appealing to your customers by providing realistic discounts and offers that attract them, which at the same time do not affect your business. Let me tell you this: one grave mistake business owners make is they think this is the time to charge more for your products or services since there is a huge demand for it. But they often forget that credit crunch comes tied to the crisis. This is a time when customers expect you to give your products and services at discounts so that they can actually afford them. Think again!
Incorporate Tools That Make Your Work Easier
In order to save time and effort, the best way to go about is utilising tools that would create a huge impact in your business. Working hard is important, but working smart is so much easier! Use software and products that either improve the work process or even make it fully automated. The chances of finding the apt softwares for your business from a plethora of tools might seem hard but definitely not impossible. You can zero in on the best set of tools by considering various factors including the superior alternative to the present tool that you use, the cost involved in acquiring it and analysing whether investing in expensive software is beneficial in the long run or not, and so on.
If you have reached this point of the article, you would have already come across some really useful tools. For each task, hundreds of tools are available online and to choose the right tools for your needs, I suggest you seek the advice of some experts via social media groups or forums. You may comment your needs and ask me your questions and I shall suggest the best ones for your business based on your budget and requirements. You may also seek the help of various forums and groups on social media. Either way, do ample research before betting your money on tools unknown.
Find an International Market
The pandemic has affected almost all the countries; however some of them have more optimistic markets. If the business in the region or country that you have focused on seems dull, you can always extent your services to countries where spending is never a problem. But, how do you figure markets that have high demands for your products or services? Well, checking the trends using SEO analysis tools and freely available reasearch tools like “Google Trends” and short listing the countries that show higher numbers serve the purpose to a good extent. Once this is done, find a potential partner in the target countries through professional platforms like linkedin and make a deal with them. A strong sales pitch is the key to convincing them here.
Do market research in your targeted countries, chart out your business and revenue models, identify your target markets and decide how you are going to make a difference before pitching them. Having an impressive portfolio should make the work easier. Create company profiles and earn as much testimonials as you can, from your existing and previous clients during this time before making your next move.
Make Your Website More Efficient
Now that we are focusing on internet marketing, it is crucial to have a website that loads fast and does not get affected by increase in traffic. You can specifically improve the WebUX by finding and fixing technical errors – even a minor error translates to something major and useless, so fixing them frequently is very important. Secondly, your website should be mobile friendly. People are comfortable browsing through mobile phones and tablets than PCs these days, so a competent and responsive website that can easily be operated using any given device should be in place.
Improving the Website to Something that New Users Love
Attracting new users does not just rely on the way the website looks or works. The most important aspect is the quality of the customer service. A potential customer requires : an easy to access design, detailed descriptions of products or services, provision of live or automated chat or FAQ, an array of products to choose from, your contact details, genuine testimonials and most importantly, simple check out process.
Apart from improving these aspects of the website, you also need to consider ways in which conversion happens. This can be achieved by including call back widgets, chats that open automatically, sending promotional emails and texts and constantly reminding them about your presence. This isn’t a tiring process and once setup, you can sit back and watch the traffic grow gracefully.
Following the points discussed above and adhering to them strictly would help ensure your business would be among the very few ones unaffected by the crises. More than anything, your presence of mind and your willingness to battle out negativity stays on top of my list forever. It’s not just you but everyone is going through challenges they’ve never experienced before, but it’s not everyone who are determined to row against the tides to meet success.
In the following weeks, I would share niche specific articles and tools suitable for each niche so as to lessen the confusion and to guide you better so make sure you check back this page every week. Always remember, crises like these would come and go, but your business is here to stay!