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Many businesses struggle with not only making a profit, but also communicating with their customers/clients during times of crisis. This year, we’re finding that more and more people are turning to social media and Google for accurate sources of information. The customers that were traditionally visiting our business premises are now embracing the ease at which they can sit at home, on their phone, laptop or tablet, and search online for shopping, or online booking systems for consults. Businesses that have relied on local foot-traffic or walk-in customers until now are finding that they need to assess their business and marketing strategies.
Now is a great time to focus on your content marketing. This means you are providing your clients with helpful information, rather than just trying to promote your business. Videos, blogs and social media posts are all fantastic ways to educate your customers.
Make life easy for your customers
Have your products readily available, make online bookings an easy process and provide speedy payment options to provide your customers with an enjoyable user experience. You may need to invest in more efficient technology in order to make this work. For example, automated booking systems, or inventory management to provide real-time product information for your customers.
Many businesses, particularly those operating in client based or B2B style businesses, have avoided jumping on the socials bandwagon until now. However, with more and more clients embracing social media to message businesses with their queries, requests for information and online bookings, you may be missing out on a big section of your market by avoiding the unknown. Your socials, (for example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn), can also open you up to a much larger audience than your traditional, local clients.
Before you move your business to an online platform, it’s important to take the time to consider your online marketing plan. Think about the following:
What is your “point of difference”, i.e., how will you stand out from your competitors?
Who are your customers/clients? Can you personalise your marketing to match the needs of your typical or desired customers?
What are the roles of your staff members? Can you bring some of your staff, who were previously working on the ‘brick and mortar’ side of your business, to an online role where they are reaching out to your clients via socials?
How up to date is your technology? Are you embracing cloud services instead of server-based or paper systems to streamline the process both for yourself, and for your clients?
Where might there be opportunities to embrace digital systems, either via your website or workflow and business collaboration apps that will assist your staff to work together efficiently, and maximise open channels of communication between all staff members?
How will moving online impact your business’s physical presence? As your business moves online, do you need to continue putting as many resources into your shop/businesses floor space? Can you either reduce your floor space, or repurpose it?
Your marketing and online presence form a vital role in your overall business plan. If you’re considering moving your business online in the coming months, you may want to discuss your business strategy with your Client Manager. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions in regard to your business, or if you want to look at your business’s key objectives in the coming months.