Running a business has never been an easy road. However, in recent months the road ahead has become a bit rockier.
Ancient philosopher Marcus Aurelius once wrote: “What stands in the way, becomes the way.”
In other words, the obstacles we face in a post-pandemic business environment can become the stepping stones to a new way of thinking and doing business.
Here are four key business elements to focus on as you shift toward a new and innovative marketing strategy:
1. ADAPTING TO CHANGE
The pandemic in early 2020 has most likely already initiated a shift in some areas of your business. For example, you may have personnel working from home, supply chain disruptions, or operational impacts due to governmental orders.
You’re playing defense in these areas—rolling with the punches, adjusting your workflows, and modifying your timelines.
It’s time to play offense.
Stay informed: Pay close attention to news sources for your industry, your area, and the rest of the world.
On a zoomed-out level, try to understand the big picture and how it may impact your business. What is occurring on a large scale that could trickle down to your market?
On a micro level, scrutinize businesses that are still growing through uncertain times. What are they focusing on? Which unique capabilities are they leveraging? Where have they made cuts?
Change perspective: Are you still looking at your own business through a pre-pandemic lens? You may need to find a new vantage point.
What we thought were our core strengths might now be irrelevant. Capabilities that we considered minor before the pandemic could become our most powerful tools.
Take inventory of your resources—equipment, skills, personnel, technology, etc. Understanding your true potential will help you meet new needs and find new target audiences moving forward.
Band together: Use online forums, webinars, digital roundtables, and LinkedIn communities to connect and engage with other business owners.
Sharing new ideas and approaches benefits your industry as a whole, and gives you the opportunity to hone your thought-leadership skills.
2. REFINING YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY
Targeted online lead-generation efforts have never been more critical. As businesses and consumers tighten their belts, it’s becoming less and less viable to cast a wide net in hopes of capturing the perfect lead.
Your digital strategy should be laser-focused, grabbing specific and qualified prospects. Scale back promotion-based marketing and turn your efforts toward your marketing funnel:
Use valuable, free content offers at the top of your funnel to attract qualified leads and tell them who you are.
Implement powerful CTAs to capture contact information so that you can continue to nurture relationships with your prospects throughout the middle of the funnel.
Tailor content toward the bottom of your funnel to include information that influences a purchase, such as product comparisons and testimonials.
3. USING DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Digital storytelling is a major component of any successful digital strategy. Engaging, creative content that speaks from your brand personality builds trust with your audience.
Here are some examples of digital storytelling methods:
Video: The power of imagery and audio combine to make video emotionally compelling and highly effective. Try brand videos, explainers, product demonstrations, testimonials, and more to position your brand as a trusted resource and a solution to your market’s challenges.
Podcasts: Presented as audio-only podcasts or as video podcasts, this type of media is a cost and time-effective way to tell stories. This format is especially valuable for establishing authority and thought leadership.
Blog posts: Don’t underestimate the power of the written word. Many consumers still use blog posts to learn about a brand, product, or related industry topic. Blogs can also be effective tools for driving video views, using text to draw search engine traffic to embedded videos on your website.
Infographics: Easy to consume and easy to share, infographics can tell the story of just about anything! Create helpful infographics on your products or services, the history of your company, relevant issues, and how you solve challenges for your customers.
Checklists and how-tos: These content formats remain popular for online lead generation, drawing prospects to your website to learn more about what you have to offer.
Discussions and Q&As: Digital storytelling doesn’t have to be one-sided. Let your leads guide the conversation as they ask questions or provide feedback. Each contact point is an opportunity to show leads who you are and why they should care.
4. IMPLEMENTING POWERFUL TECHNOLOGY
It’s time to break out the big guns when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM) technology and behavioral segmentation tools.
Ideally, you should be able to deliver targeted messages to leads based on the interactions they’ve had with your content.
Implementing integrated CRM technology is no small feat. It takes legwork to create the digital content you need, create and define segmentation strategies, and automate messaging. Being able to effectively target your most viable leads (and nurture the less viable prospects without a huge investment) makes it all worthwhile.
Running your business during uncertain times doesn’t have to feel like treading water. With an innovative, optimistic marketing team in your corner, you can set yourself up for success in any condition. Reach out to the experts at Tobe for a consultation on any level of service needs.