It’s no question that these are challenging times for all streams of businesses. Even in the digital sphere, social media advertising engagement rates have dropped globally resulting in brands cutting their marketing budgets. It’s normal for businesses to ebb and flow, so during the slow periods, it’s important to start planning ahead so when your business does start to pick up, you have action plans prepared for every possible route. Let’s think of this as an opportunity to focus on the aspects of our business that we put in the “to do later” bin and brainstorm creative ways to keep cash flow coming in.
Conduct a brand audit
A brand is shaped by the public’s perception so it’s important to be able to control its characteristics so you’re addressing the desired audience. Complete a brand audit and polish off any of your collateral to create consistency! Review your website and make any updates you’ve been putting off. Be sure to double check that your contact information is correct and that your service offerings are updated. By reviewing every facet of your brand, it helps you understand the brands position in the market in comparison to its competitors. While this may take up time, it may help you recognize areas that you can leverage to increase future profits. Refer to our DIY brand audit checklist for more details.
Polish your social media
Now is a great time to analyze your online presence and find areas you want to fine tune. Ask yourself the following questions: Have your posts been consistent with your brand image? What worked well for you in the past and what didn’t? What are your social media goals one year from now? Once you figure out the direction you want to go in, this helps put future marketing decisions into perspective. You can start by updating your highlights, creating templates for future posts, and researching what hashtags help you reach your intended target audience. It’s also important to start looking into your social media metrics. Take a look at your performance for the past four months and discover which posts had the highest engagement, drew the most link clicks and conversion rates. You want to strategize ways you can create similar content that is timely and applicable to your audience. If you find that you reach the most people on your Instagram platform, focus on your followers habits and behaviours to find ways you can provide content that aligns well with their interests. You’re bound to come out of this down time with a polished social media presence that will help you attract your desired clientele.
Diversify your offerings
Start to examine your business model and identify smaller niches within your services that could potentially appeal to a new audience. During slow seasons, a lot of companies start releasing new services or products to generate buzz and draw attention back to their brand. This is a great time to release passion projects that you have put on the back burner! So whether it’s expanding a product line or marketing to a different demographic, it’s always important to back it up with market research to ensure you’ll attain desired results. Be sure to also monitor your competitors to see what they are offering their consumers to help them during this pandemic. To learn about the different online revenue streams for business owners refer to our last blog post.
Reconnect with old clients
Is there a client that you’ve been meaning to connect with? Now is the perfect time to send them an email and catch up. Let them know that you’re looking for new clients and any passed on referrals would be greatly appreciated. It’s important to support each other during these times! Most clients are happy to keep you in mind for future work so there’s no harm in reaching out every once in a while. Make sure you have a Google Business page created so past clients can leave you reviews to support your business. If you have a larger database, try an automated system like Upperly. You can always ask for feedback to examine what areas of your business can be improved upon to ensure an enhanced experience for the next client you work with. You can also show your support by sharing their content on social media. Be sure to keep up with any new product launches or business expansions so you can congratulate them on milestones and share their success with your followers. This helps build a rapport and fosters a good working relationship!
Learn something new!
It’s time to branch out and diversify your skillset! Consider adding videos to your marketing plan or upping your graphic design game to make your social media feeds and assets more consistent. Now might even be a time to start a podcast or host a webinar to show your expertise. You can start to create a newsletter with an overall structure and plan for what you want to share and how often you want to be connecting with your audience. Blog posts have also recently started to gain a lot of traction and is the perfect way to educate your viewers on your expertise. Be sure to create a list of themes, a schedule and commit to posting at least once a week. This is also something you can add on to your newsletters and social media feeds. The more content you have prepared ahead of time, the better!
This shift can be overwhelming for a lot of businesses but it’s important to make the most out of the situations we’re put in! Think of it as a blessing in disguise to allow us to recoup and improve each step of our business model. It allows us to work on our points of differentiation and how we can communicate these unique offerings to our future clients. It has been interesting to see the different ways companies are providing value to consumers and we hope you find you’re able to find an on-brand solution that works in your favour.