Marketing a small business during the coronavirus pandemic is challenging. However, UPS wants to help SMEs manage the current situation through a new series of webinars, the first of which took place on Thursday. <! – ->
Digital Marketing During a Pandemic
The webinar included presentations from Kathleen Marran, UPS Vice President Marketing, Diverse Customer Segments, and Neil Perkin, Econsultancy Expert Facilitator and Guru for Digital Transformation. They shared their thoughts on the changing landscape for SMEs and gave tips for marketing in challenging times. Check out some of the key findings below.
Understand the challenges your customers face
Before you can market for a period of time, you must be able to solve a problem for your customers. During a pandemic, the problem you are solving can change. So you have to be able to communicate that. Part of it is only to understand the current climate. It can be said with certainty that many small business customers are affected financially. Some may also be in a hurry to receive certain types of items. If you understand your market and keep up to date with what's new in your industry, you should understand the fundamental challenges that may affect your strategy or topics of conversation. However, Perkin also recommends interviewing customers as much as possible so that you can quantify how many of them have problems in certain areas. Once you know your customers' problems, you can work backwards to create your marketing communication strategy.
Learn how to communicate with new customers
<! – -> You may need to tweak your business strategy in whole or in part to stay afloat during the pandemic. For example, Marran pointed to a UPS customer who had previously sold animal costumes but recently turned to face mask and PPE manufacturing. This is likely to be a temporary change. But they still have to focus their marketing and communication strategy on hospitals and B2B customers, instead of focusing on the consumers they normally serve.
To market your customers effectively, you need to create personas that describe who they are and what they may need from your business. Many companies have multiple customer personalities with whom they interact regularly. So divide them into groups and dig into each. Don't just think of demographic information, but also identify certain issues your customers may be facing. For example, some of your customers may be more price sensitive than others at the moment because of job losses. Or you are dealing with companies in markets that have difficulty staying relevant in the current economy.
Communicate clearly about changes
Due to the current pandemic, many companies have to change how they deliver products or services to customers. Regardless of whether you are offering new products, offering alternative delivery options, or changing your opening hours or availability, you must clarify this message across all of your digital channels. This makes it easier for customers to do business with you and adjusts their expectations so that they are less upset if you cannot deliver the experience they have had in the past.
Create content that is valuable to your customers.
During the webinar, Perkin pointed out that "both consumers and businesses are more considered when shopping". And that won't likely stop when the pandemic is over.
This can make it difficult for some companies to convert sales. But it also offers more opportunities for companies that consciously tell stories and build relationships. To do this, you need to create content around your offerings that tell a story and really convince customers why your company has the choice with its precious dollars. <! – ->
Answering specific questions
If you want to convert faster sales of your content, focus on keywords that concern questions that may be currently being asked. This can lead to more targeted traffic to your website and help you create a very short customer journey.
Optimize for multiple channels
With users currently spending more time online and on different digital platforms, you need to be able to deliver a consistent message no matter how they interact with your business. Create a brand strategy and voice that translate to multiple touchpoints, including your website, mobile app, social media, and content.
Create a seamless customer experience
<! – -> Regardless of how you bring people to your website or other digital channels, you need to create a simple experience so they are more likely to convert. This can be confused by the current pandemic, as many companies are switching to a direct-to-consumer market. This means that you need to create a website and online customer experience that are easy to use for the average consumer. This often looks different than the typical experience for B2B interactions. However, if you have a clear idea of who you are marketing to, you should focus on creating an experience that will guide you through the buying process with no mistakes or confusion. This usually includes simple navigation and clear prompts for popular products or services.
Collecting data from visitors
No matter how impressive your website is, there will be some visitors who just can't or won't buy from you right away. Give these customers the opportunity to stay in touch or share their information, e.g. B. by signing up for your free email list. You can even offer a giveaway to get them to share their information. Then you can track them and hopefully turn them into loyal customers once they have the funds to buy.
Collect data to determine what works
It is difficult for small businesses to know exactly what will work in such an unsafe environment. However, you can create a hypothesis and then test that hypothesis to determine what works best for your business. By collecting data and using analysis of website visits, sales, or the most important metrics for your business, you can scale with ideas that work and delete those that don't. This way you can try new things on a small prototype level. Once you've received confirmation of an idea, you can quickly dive in with more resources.