5 Post-COVID Ways to Attract New Customers for Your Business
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the rules of business. With the average consumer tightening their budget, it is essential to refine your company’s marketing strategies as soon as possible. Here are five ways to help you attract customers and adapt to the new commercial environment.
Establish Your Business as an Essential Service
Most households around the world have become financially cautious since the start of COVID-19 regulations. Even after easing restrictions, many consumers are careful about their spending. This is why it is important to position your business as essential.
An essential product or service can be described as one that people cannot do without. “Essential” does not necessarily mean that people are physically dependent on your goods. Your product or service could provide emotional or mental support, provide important information, or simply make everyday tasks easier.
If, for instance, your company sells furniture, you can tailor offerings to employees who now work from home and need more organization. You could offer a product that supports mental health or even market a toy to help keep kids distracted.
You can also market your product or service as an essential part of your customer’s daily routine. Some websites receive more traffic just by being the first to post winning lottery numbers or the week’s weather forecast. If you can pair your goods with an app that helps with activities like cooking or exercising, you can generate daily traffic to your site.
The bottom line: Revisit your product or service and find a new, valuable and relevant use for it. Adapting to change is crucial for any business’s survival and if you haven’t yet found ways to make your goods relevant to post-COVID reality, now is the time to do so.
Create a Cheaper Option
During an economic crisis, it’s common to see businesses creating smaller, more affordable versions of their products. Some companies offer limited versions of their full service. Creating a cheaper option for customers should attract new clients as well as retain existing ones.
Do you sell food items? Sell them in sachets. If your products are usually sold in sets, consider selling them individually. If you are a professional service, break down your packages, price each service, and let the client choose and pay for the one they need most.
Bottom line: Focus on doing everything you can to help your customer afford your goods.
Improve Your Relevance on Social Media
Regardless of how glossy and well-spaced graphics are on your social media ad, if it’s not relevant, people are likely to ignore it. Posting a dispassionate ad for your products and services on a trending topic page is not going to cut it either.
This new environment requires social media accounts to be actively handled. In other words, you need a dedicated employee who will scour digital spaces, find out what people are saying about your business and interact with potential customers in a way that matters.
Responding to Customers
The job of your social media manager is to not only respond to customers but to also interact with unhappy clients, “trolls,” and your business’ competition. This means interacting with people on all popular platforms — from Twitter to Reddit.
Your social media manager, therefore, has to have a deep understanding of online tracking tools. He/she/they also have to be discerning, responding to people and posts with large audiences and interacting in a way that is not offensive to people or damaging to the company.
Forming Content Around Trending Topics
This strategy requires you to be both patient and quick. Patient because you might have to wait for the right topic to trend. And as soon as it does, you should have a way to create relevant content quickly.
There are several ways to use a topic as a marketing opportunity. It could be a chance to provide people with clarity on a complex subject. You could create a thread, reply with factual information to correct a misinformed opinion, or create lighter content like a Tik Tok video or short infographic.
If you do, avoid providing external links. Users generally prefer to stay within the social media platform they are logged into, unless the information is extremely important.
You can get noticed and cash in if a competing business is in trouble. Weigh in on the controversy with a joke or feisty ad. Your business can also take a stance on a controversial matter but this needs to be done carefully and tastefully as it has a high potential to backfire.
Support Ordinary Heroes
Yes, using influencers to push your products can be effective but backing ordinary people who do extraordinary things can be lucrative, too. When appropriate, you can piggyback on stories about local heroes and events to contribute financially or in some other meaningful way.
For example, Airbnb often donates accommodations for people in distress, such as Ukrainian refugees. Likewise, you can follow a popular hashtag (preferably an ongoing one) and make a public donation. And it can be even more effective if you have the pictures to prove it.
Bottom line: When it comes to navigating digital spaces like social media platforms, it’s best to see your company as a person. Engaging users with relevant content can get your business noticed. However, be careful of the content you create because, as they say, “The internet never forgets.”
Restructure Referral Programs
If you don’t yet have a referral program, you might want to consider it. Referral programs are not new, but their value is often overlooked. No matter the product or service your business provides, big or small, launch a referral program.
A referral program gives you an army of salespeople who are willing to push your business for a reward. But how much should you give for referrals? And are people willing to promote your company for something else other than cold, hard cash?
Giving generous rewards or payment for referrals is a bit of a paradox. If you pay people more for bringing in business, you will make less money… unless you increase the price of your offering… which might be less attractive to budget-conscious customers.
A possible solution is to limit your referral programs to your employees or create one specifically for your staff. Sourcing referrals from employees can give you more range of control over the rewards they receive. Some might be willing to forfeit cash payments for days off, a short vacation, or a free supply of your business’s products.
Bottom line: Consider creating special referral programs specifically for your staff members. That way, you will have more control over the rewards, and your employees will be motivated to bring in new customers. Ask around to find out what they would be willing to receive as payment other than cash.
Keep (Some) Old Habits
While it’s true that the world has evolved, some classic rules of marketing should still be adhered to. Make sure all points of communication with your business — such as websites, business social media pages, and blogs — are up to standard. Keep creating keyword-rich content and uphold other SEO strategies that are tried and true.
Brand your merchandise, keep advertising offline, and provide top-notch customer service for good reviews. If you still have a brick-and-mortar business, make sure it is professional and easy to locate.
Bottom line: The world might have changed significantly but maintaining standard business practices is still necessary for credibility.
For your business to survive, you have to rediscover why it’s essential and offer cheaper options better suited to your customers’ budgets. Take advantage of digital spaces, as well as referral programs, because making small changes in the way you do business can help you keep up with significant changes caused by the pandemic.