Businesses are now operating in very unstable times. Even if you had the ability to forecast this kind of risk, it remains to be a scenario where a majority of businesses are still trying to navigate their way through. Whether you just started your venture or have been in the industry for quite some time now, you must be wondering how to run or continue to succeed during such challenging times.
How can you reach potential clients? What can you do to generate more leads? If you are asking these questions, then this article will help you out.
Just note that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to success. Success strategies all depend on how well you know your product, your industry, your target market, your target location and of course your brand.
The solutions and tips below are applicable to all businesses. However, you have to modify according to the size of your company and your industry.
Let’s get started.
1. Redefine Your Target Audience and Buyer’s Persona
Your buyer’s persona changes following the change in the environment. This includes market trends, shift in the demand curve and more. Re-examining them is the first step in getting ahead of the competition.
Buyer personas are a representation of your target customers. They are the closest embodiment of your clients. Having a clear buyer persona allows you to segment your content in a way that it speaks to the different personas your brand targets.
- Put yourself in their shoes. In updating your buyer persona you have to walk in their shoes and think why a buyer would look for your brand and website. How are they going to access it? Is it through desktop or via their mobile devices? Are they tech savvy? .
- Look deeper into the psychographics. This is looking beyond your audience's age, gender, ethnicity, employment status which is covered by the demographic type. Psychographic information looks into your target customer’s buying habits, hobbies, concerns and preferences. Now is the time to look at the psychological angle and see how your audience behaves.
Ask these questions to get more psychographic information about your target persona:
- What are their pain points?
- What are their priorities at the moment
- What do they enjoy doing and what makes them happy?
- If they are already your client, why did they convert in the first place?
In the process of updating the buyer’s persona, you have most likely gone through the buyer’s journey. This is the process that your target audience goes through to reach the point of decision which is to purchase.
In determining the buyer personas that you have decided to target, you have gained information on how they become ‘aware’ of the need for your product or service. Which leads them to ‘considering’ different methods and solutions available for them to solve the current problem. The last part of the journey is the ‘decision’ where the client or buyer have already chosen the solution that suits them.
Mapping out all stages of the buyer's journey is crucial in determining how your customers or potential clients get from point A to point B. Just like a journey that people take in real life, uncertain situations can arise that can lead people to take different routes or just not push through with the journey at all. You have to be on top of these factors in order to adjust and develop a strategy that will close a sale.
2. Revamp Your Business Model
A business continuity plan should always be in place after you’ve hit an unpredictable event, although not all businesses have the ideal Plan B or C to fall back to. In any case, it’s still advisable to change up your business model. The basic protocol is to keep the main functions of the business alive during a pandemic or any disaster and then after the hit, to recover in a short amount of time.
Begin by pinpointing the changes that happened and what caused them. Hold a meeting and study the numbers. Ask everyone, what went right and what went wrong? This is the right time to reset your goals and re-evaluate what parts of your current plan needs to change to meet those goals.
A great example of a well-adjusted business model would be the telemarketing business. Back when landline was the main method of communication, it was a main channel for marketers to promote products and sell. However as new technology like the internet and mobile phones entered the picture as well as new regulations began to be implemented, telemarketers had to modify their strategy and adapt to the change that’s taken over the world. Now, these call centers housing these telemarketers before, are now killing it in the customer service or customer support industry. In terms of marketing, new breed of channels began to evolve like inbound marketing, SEO marketing and social media marketing. This is just an example of how to effectively modify your business model and have it adapt to unpredictable circumstances.
3. Optimise Your Website - Make Your Brand Stand Out More
There’s no question that a website helps a business by saving costs on marketing and customer acquisition. If done right, it will do wonders for your ROI as well. Although most people think that once a website is up the work stops there, people will start clicking and traffic will come pouring in. That’s not the case.
There are about 4 billion searches a day from Google alone. Your industry makes a percentage of that search and your goal is for people to land on your website when they look for your services. In a way, that’s how it should be. But with competition getting fiercer and the fight for online traffic getting heavier, you have to find a way to remain on top of search results.
How to maintain your website’s online presence?
Your website has to rank high on the search results pages in order to reap the most benefit. Research showed that 75 percent of users never click past the first page of search results. This is great if your website is ranked on the first page, otherwise, you have to try harder. This is where search engine optimization or SEO comes in.
What SEO does is amplify the visibility of your website’s ranking by tweaking and improving factors such as page speed, meta-data, title tags, keywords, content for on-page and off-page, and more. If you’re not too savvy with search engine optimization, there are professionals offering SEO services you can turn to for advice or help. It’s important to seize this opportunity as it’s indeed helpful now, but will most likely be more rewarding when the economy bounces back.
4. Create Promotions and Customer Loyalty Programs
This is a win-win strategy for both you and your clients. It’s pretty evident that with internet users growing day by day, many businesses are turning to the online space with the goal of maximizing their bottomline.
Now that you have optimised your website and made it mobile-friendly, it’s time to fill it with more exciting content that people can share.
- Come up with contest ideas
- Add relevant hashtags to your contests and promos
- Optimise your CTAs so that your audience will be motivated to share them in social media.
- Use email marketing to notify subscribers about your offers.
5. Boost Your Online Marketing
E-commerce is the field to play in right now. Attracting traffic and converting them into leads and eventually sales is your ultimate course of action. Hubspot coined the term inbound marketing which essentially leverages valuable content to attract leads and push them down the funnel until they turn into paying customers. This is the opposite of outbound marketing which is pushing content to the audience, whether they’re looking for it or not. Inbound marketing is more tailored to connect with prospects who are already experiencing the problems your services or products are looking to fix.
The key to a successful inbound marketing campaign is a tight content marketing strategy. Inbound marketing highlights the importance of content for sales and aims to align content with the buyer’s journey in order to effectively generate and convert leads.
Examples of inbound marketing:
- Case Studies
6.Take Advantage Of Social Media
Now, more than ever, the internet has become our primary source of information and social media has taken a huge piece of that pie. Businesses and companies of all sizes have taken advantage of social media for commercial purposes. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are just some of the few platforms that can be used to sell and market your business. Ecommerce websites are seeing this opportunity too that’s why they team up with big names like Facebook which then resulted in the integration of Shopify with Facebook.
7. Reduce Cost
Financial management is one of the major challenges of business owners. A majority of entrepreneurs start a business out of passion, ironically, many have yet to master the art of positive cashflow. However, in times of economic decline, it’s necessary to reduce cost. May it be closing some of your shops for a while, cutting labor cost by outsourcing manpower, or instead of renewing contacts of high-cost employees, hire them on a contractual basis for a while.
There You Have It!
These tactics will ensure that your business will stay afloat amidst challenging economic times. Note that there are many strategies out there that can be applied to your business but that doesn’t mean everything will fit you. Plan, strategise and adjust until you find what works best for you. If you need professional advice or want to save time and resources in finding the digital strategy that works for your business, there are digital marketing agencies that you can turn to for guidance and other outsourcing services. The important thing is to arrive at that point where you finally navigate your way around the new normal and have leads lining up for your business.