Which small business strategies still work in 2020?
As we enter the second half of the weird and wacky year that is 2020, as a small business owner you are probably wondering how to get the best bang for your buck!
Many local businesses have taken a right pasting this year through the enforced lockdown and now with the oncoming recession.
You know that now is not the time to stop your online digital marketing, but you are not sure where to spend your budget. Things have indeed changed over the last 6 months and things that were working are not doing so well at the moment. However, some marketing strategies have made huge strides forward and businesses are killing it by using them.
But which ones are the ones that are working?
First off, you need to take a step back and look at your business online and ask yourself these questions:
- Is your website up to date?
- Do you have a good social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube)? TIP! Social media has grown exponentially through all of this as people spend more time at home and on their phones.
- How many people are visiting your website?
- How many people are interacting with your social media profiles?
- What numbers of sales are you doing? Do you follow up with your past customers?
This then gives you an overview of where to put in some work. All marketing costs you! Whether that is time or money, it will cost you.
So, let’s say that your website and social media profiles are not getting many viewers/visitors. Frankly, this is the easiest problem to solve.
How to get more visitors to my website?
By far the easiest way is to start writing content for your website. Properly optimised blog posts can bring you growing numbers of visitors, although this strategy can take a while to start gaining traction. Your business is your passion (or it should be!) so write from your experience. Look at problems that your products or services solve and write about them in such a way that gives the reader an inkling of how to put it right but not the whole story so that they are left looking to make contact with you to do it for them.
How to get more visitors to read my social media posts?
Too many businesses think that posting once a week, or month in some cases is going to cut the mustard! Wrong!
Facebook wants to see you posting several times a week at least and even then, only about 2% of your fans will see the post. However, if you start posting more regularly and use hashtags in your post this will drive people to read your posts that maybe are not yet fans.
The recent worldwide situation has driven the use of social media sky high. Make sure that you are maximising the possibilities of people finding you.
What if I want faster results online?
I get it, I really do. What we have laid out so far comes under the banner of organic marketing. This, however, can take weeks and months to get results. Let’s face it, most businesses need faster results as they need to catch up to make 2020 less of a disaster for them financially!
So let’s take a look at paid online advertising. This will get you much faster results, but for many companies, it strikes the fear of God into them as they have had their fingers burned before and lost a fair bit of money with paid advertising.
How to master paid advertising
First off, for most businesses, there are 2 options when it comes to paid advertising (Pay per Click): Google and Facebook.
As a result of the pandemic, the number of firms continuing with their paid advertising has dropped considerably. The knock-on effect of this is that the prices for those left have also reduced. Put these 2 elements together and you have a perfect storm for advertising online right now – if you do it right!
A bit of background…
On Facebook, your ads are shown to types of people you are targeting that are not expecting to see an ad about your product or service at that precise time. This means that they are not in the right mindset to be buying your product or service at that moment, 9 times out of 10. Therefore most Facebook ads are used as a way to get you noticed and top of mind in your potential customer’s heads. Then when they are looking to purchase what you have to offer, they will remember your business. This is called Interruption Marketing.
On Google, however, people go there to specifically look for information or a product/service. This means that they are looking for your offering at that precise moment. If you can get your ad in front of them at that moment, they are more inclined to buy from you if you meet their expectations. This is called Permission Marketing.
As you can see, this makes Google advertising a much better bet than Facebook ads. You need to bear in mind, though that because of this, Google ads are normally more expensive than Facebook ads, but when done well, can give you a much higher ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
Now, not everybody knows that you can also run ads on Instagram direct from your Facebook account and also Youtube ads direct from your Google ads account. Heck, with Googles Display network, you can also place your ads on other websites around the world, related to your product or service.
We actually provide a service that gives you the opportunity to get us to run 2 ads on Facebook and Google for 10 days on a Free Trial. The only cost to you is the ad spend up to a maximum of £100. That way you get experts getting you results to show you just how effective online ads can be. Find out more HERE
Other marketing strategies working well in 2020
Google My Business
When people are searching on Google for a local business e.g plumber Torquay they will come across these listings at the top of the first page of results.
These are the prime real estate when it comes to local searches. If you can get your business to show up as one of these 3 businesses, you WILL get a lot more phonecalls and website visitors.
We have an eye-opening article on this subject HERE
These listings also give you the ability to accept appointment bookings directly and also showcase your business through the image and video library. You can also publish posts inside the listing which can highlight special offers.
CSR not CSI!
Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming a bit of a buzzword these days. This involves being involved with or sponsoring a local event. For many events, this will get media attention in the local newspaper. Now, I know that due to social distancing, local events are few and far between at the moment, but all the more reason to get noticed.
Local Business Cards
Due to the pandemic, more and more people, especially here in the UK, are favouring using local businesses. If you have a business that provides a service to people in their homes, have a postcard made up. This should have some wording on it and an image with your logo and contact details. The wording should state that you have just done [enter the service you provide] for your neighbour at No. ? and if they would like the same get in touch. Then post these cards in all the houses up to 5 houses either side of the property that you have just done the job at. Also, do the 10 properties on the opposite side of the road to the ones you have carded.
You will be amazed at how this old school strategy can work.
Ask for Referrals
As with the cards, many people are looking to help out local businesses. They have seen that they have been struggling recently. Ask your customers for referrals as there is no better customer than one that comes from a recommendation. Way too many businesses do NOT ask for referrals.
Get on camera
Now this one is not for everyone! Not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera. However, with more and more videos being watched at a hugely growing rate there has never been a better time to start a Youtube channel and to make simple videos from your smartphone which will pique the interest of your potential customers.
So, hopefully that has given you some things to think about. For several of the strategies above we are able to help you if you wish. You can check out our full range of Services HERE
We wish you all the very best for the rest of 2020. If you need any help or advice please do not hesitate to get in touch.