Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
And these are certainly extraordinary times! As individuals and businesses make drastic changes to their day-to-day, we have all been called to adapt, make swift decisions, and in some cases, completely pivot from our typical norms.
And for some businesses, these pivots have been essential to keep operations running. Today, we’re going to talk about some observations we’ve seen over the past few weeks and three ways businesses can use these observations to their advantage to promote awareness and cash flow during these uncertain times.
Here is what we’re seeing:
- What was once foot traffic is now web traffic. As communities across the nation are hunkering down at home, individuals are flocking to the internet for shopping, entertainment, community, and everything they once did – but now online.
- Brick-and-mortar businesses are called to get creative. Physical businesses are seeing massive shifts in their day-to-day operations, and many are pivoting to online methods of driving sales and awareness to keep cash flowing.
- Businesses that rely on event marketing and tradeshows must find alternative ways to drive sales and awareness. With events and tradeshows canceling world-wide, businesses who once relied on those methods to get in front of buyers and clients are now forced to find alternative ways to get in front of their market.
- There is a growing demand for trackable marketing practices. As businesses must make tough decisions about their budgets, more companies are flocking to marketing practices that are flexible and offer ROI tracking.
- Online ad inventory is more plentiful, reducing advertising costs in some cases. With more individuals tuning in online, and businesses pulling marketing spend, ad inventory has increased, which is driving down bid prices in some markets.
- Even in industries where demand is high, supply may be an issue. Businesses that you might assume are doing well because of increased demand, may be struggling to fulfill orders while manufacturing has slowed across the globe.
So, what can we take from these observations, and how can businesses of all types keep revenue and awareness top of mind during this unprecedented time?
- If you’re not already online, get online.
The entire nation, heck, the entire world is sequestered at home, on their devices. If you aren’t in front of them already, you need to be. This isn’t to say e-commerce and internet-based companies don’t have their own set of challenges during this time, but they are in the right space to stay in front of their audience.
For brick-and-mortar businesses, this means getting creative to find ways that you can bring your business online. We have seen some great examples of this already, in the form of:
- Virtual classes
- Live events
- Gift cards
- Stay in front of your audience – but be mindful of messaging.
With plunging stocks and challenging times, individuals and businesses may not be willing to hear your message right now. Or perhaps, you’re a toilet paper retailer, and in that case, they definitely want to hear your message right now! Either way, it is key to stay in front of your audience – both for brick-and-mortar and online businesses.
A few ways you can do this are:
- Online advertising – Search and social advertising is a great way to stay top of mind while your customers are online. With flexible budget options, comprehensive targeting, and trackable ROI, online advertising is a great option for businesses who want to reach their audiences. And as mentioned in the observations, bid prices are very low in some industries, giving companies more of a bang for their buck.
- Serve targeted ads to email list – For an even more targeted approach, you can serve ads to your email list to get in front of past and current customers.
- Email marketing – Stay in constant communication with your clients and customers with an email marketing campaign.
- Engage in SEO – The last two tips require an email list, but what if you don’t have one? Engaging in an SEO strategy can help build traffic to your website, increase awareness, and help you build an inbound lead list. More importantly, SEO helps get your company in front of searchers when they’re actively searching for products or services like yours!
- Social media updates – Keep your customers and followers up-to-date with social media messaging. More communication keeps your brand top of mind, so they’ll be ready to pull the trigger on purchases or contracts once things blow over.
- Push notifications – Send push notifications to alert your customer-base of important updates, promotions, or messaging to also keep your brand fresh in their mind.
- Use specials and promotions to influence purchase behavior.
People are at home looking to capitalize on discounts and promotional offers. For businesses, using promotions or specials can:
- Promote cash flow – For businesses who are hit particularly hard right now, offering promotions and specials can help boost cash during lower-volume times. If your services or products are only available physically, try ‘buy now, book later’ promotions or gift cards.
- Sell specific products – For some e-commerce brands, fulfilling orders is challenging right now. Using promotions and specials to steer purchase behavior towards products that are plentiful and away from backorder items can help give businesses some breathing room.
- Leverage the increased impressions – There are more individuals online than ever before, and if you’re in the position to do so, taking advantage of this audience can boost cash reserves and profit.
At a time when everyone has turned their eyes to the internet, both brick-and-mortar and online businesses have more access than ever to their audience. While some companies are called to be more creative than others, all types of companies and industries can use internet marketing methods to their advantage. And when the economy does rebound, you’ll have better positioned your business to be on the receiving end of sales activity.