You have the opportunity to take control of your recovery and position your business for future success. It’s more important now than ever to reach out to your current and potential customers. Now is the right time to plan for the future and build the business you want.

1. The Power of the Pivot

survival of the fittest = adaptability

The pandemic impacted all businesses in one way or another. Many businesses needed to change the way they were doing things, many suffered, but many survived due to their ability to adapt, pivot, and evolve.

Reassess your situation and seek opportunities to unleash the power of the pivot. Consider new approaches, create new plans. Change the way you service your customers, sell your products online, add a new product or service, reach out to new people. If you don’t evolve, you risk extinction. Home delivery, curb side pick-up, online groceries, are here to stay.

Now is the time to think outside the box. Businesses are pivoting and rethinking the products and services they offer to meet the needs of the changing marketplace. There is power in a pivot.

2. Plan for Future Success

Now is the time to create your recovery plan.

Now is the time to start planning for your future success. Start thinking about what you want your recovery to look like. Start planning your way to get there. Start executing your plan.

  1. Determine where you are and where you want to go. Set goals.
  2. Create your recovery plan.
  3. Take steps. One a time. One step leads to another to get you to your goal.

Before you know it, you have created the buzz you were hoping for.

3. Re-Energize Relationships

How are you reaching out to your customers?

As we make our way to the end of the pandemic, it’s important to reach out to your current and potential customers to re-energize relationships. Now more than ever, building relationships will be key to welcoming your customers back.

Maybe it’s been a while since you reached out to your customers. That’s ok. It’s been a rough year. The role of marketing is to build relationships with your target customers – your current and potential customers, and to grow these target relationships. Business is really just people coming together.

Targeting is key to any marketing strategy, to get your marketing working for you. Reaching the right people, at the right time, in the right way.

Whether you participate in an online trade show, increase your social presence to attract new customers, or stay connected to your target audience with a monthly email program, re-energizing relationships now is crucial to building your future success.

We can help you stay connected with your current and potential customers.

4. Go Digital or Risk Extinction

Online marketing isn’t going away.

With the need to reduce contact, people flocked online during the pandemic and turned to new ways to engage, sell, and interact with their current and potential customers. In fact, ecommerce increased by 30% because of the pandemic, and there were 7.5 million new online buyers this past year.

Moving forward, online marketing and the ability to sell online are going to play an even bigger role in the marketplace and will be critical to the success of many small businesses.

If you have the ability to sell your products online, set up a shopping cart and e-commerce on your web site. If you aren’t already using the online space to reach out to your current and potential customers, get on it. Online trade shows, email marketing, social marketing, SEO, digital advertising, there are so many ways to connect with your current and potential customers online to drive results.

5. Solid Execution

Who’s got time for marketing?

Small business owners wear many hats. Sometimes the best ideas are difficult to move forward on given the daily demands of running a business. Executing marketing activities can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and are often cast aside. Who’s got time for marketing?

Working with a marketing professional to execute your marketing plans will ensure things happen. Schedules, creative development, list growth, on-time planned execution.

Consistent, planned activity in the marketplace, and solid execution, will put you in a position to reach your marketing goals.

6. Try Something New

New ways to attract new customers.

So you want to attract new customers. That hasn’t changed. But the world as we know it has changed. So why not try new ways to attract new customers?

From one business owner to another that is grinding it out during this pandemic, online marketing is all we have right now. It’s time to realize that hoping and wishing isn’t bringing new business your way. It’s time to try something new.

There are several ways you can engage your target audience online. Participate in an online trade show, stay connected to your target audience with a monthly email program, increase your social profile to attract new customers, try a paid advertising campaign. Anything, to create the demand you are looking for.

If you change nothing, nothing will change. It’s time to actively participate in your future success and try new ways of reaching out to your current and potential customers.

7. Get Social

Turn followers into customers.

Maybe you don’t feel like being social right now. Or maybe this is the best time and opportunity for you to grow your target audience. If you have been putting off developing a social program, you really are missing out on an opportunity.

People don’t become customers overnight. A good social program moves potential customers through a relationship process, building awareness, adding value, answering questions, and demonstrating you are the best solution to address their needs, when that need arises.

The pandemic taught us that the only opportunity to grow our business these days is the online space. Creating the opportunity to communicate with potential customers through social channels should be part of any marketing mix. Be sure to include social in your marketing activities, or partner with a marketing professional to execute your social program.

8. Video is the New Face to Face

Tell your business story with video.

Video is the new face to face. Promotional videos are the new sales call. Instructional videos are the new way to train employees. The pandemic forced people online overnight, and video has only gained in popularity ever since.

If you aren’t already using video is your marketing mix, you should be. 85% of all content consumed online these days is video. Viewers engage more intensely with video that any other content format.

Video is a great way to remind people of your value. Use video to tell your business story, train employees, and attract new customers.

9. Create Compelling Content

Be empathetic and add value.

We’ve all been through a lot this past year. Your marketing efforts should reflect that reality with sensitivity and a desire to help. Speak to your target audience needs. Offer solutions to their problems. Create compelling content that will add value. Include images that show people to connect with your target audience. Speak to nationalism, speak to supporting local business.

Content that is performing well during the pandemic includes: familiar scenarios, looking back, memories that provide comfort, human connections, togetherness, local and national solidarity.

Content that is not performing well during the pandemic includes: the hard sell, products over people, competition, bragging, no human connection, the ‘it’s all about me’ approach.

Creating compelling content that adds value and truly speaks to the needs of your customers will deepen your target relationships and build trust.

10. Support Local

It can make a difference.

When I was a child, my mom used to say charity begins at home. I was never sure what that meant, other than she wanted me to be kind to my brothers and sister. The pandemic brought out the reality of our struggling neighbours and suddenly our local community, and the people that live and work near our homes, were brought into the light.

As we all watched businesses suffer around us, we began to understand the importance of supporting our local community. We heard phrases like ‘We’re in this together’ and somehow the experience of getting takeout felt a bit different as we thought about the small business owner we were supporting for the first time.

Continue to support local small businesses. Write a review for a business in your community, tell your family and friends about a great local take-out option, follow local businesses on their social channels. It really can make all the difference to a small business owner who lives and works in your local community.

The Take control of your recovery campaign series has been designed to support small businesses in their marketing efforts. Since 2006, Bare Bones Marketing has launched new businesses and products into the marketplace, helped existing businesses grow, and been part of the evolution of small business in Canada.

Follow us on Instagram or Facebook for more marketing tips and advice from our Take control of your recovery campaign series.

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