The impact of COVID 19 means some businesses may be finding themselves with more time on their hands than usual. Why not use this time constructively to turn the spotlight on your marketing and communications efforts? A simple 'tune up' is all it takes to freshen up the ‘face’ of your business and sharpen your key audience touchpoints. Use our checklist of five top tips to power up your business’s story.
1. Review your business proposition– does it still accurately reflect your service offering? Has your business evolved? Craft a succinct statement that clearly articulates what your business delivers to its clients or customers and the problem you solve. In other words, your reason for existing. Be purposeful and active in your statement. Place this front and centre of all your collateral.
Example: "Jones & Jones helps Australians live healthier, more energy-fuelled lives with Australia’s only range of organic vitamin supplements."
2. Revisit your audience insights– How up to date are your customer or target audience personas? More than ever, it’s the detailed understanding of your audience groups, (of which there are undoubtedly more than one) and their needs, that drives successful marketing and communications strategies and build engagement. Take your audience with you on your journey by surveying them on their needs (think Survey Monkey or other free online tools), reviewing posts and comments on social media and ‘playing back’ your analysis – this demonstrates that you are always actively listening and tailoring your services to their needs. Don’t forget to document the detail. Audience personas evolve and should be updated at least once a year based on any new data or insights.
3. Marketing collateral facelift– does your collateral or ‘shop front’ still put your business’s best foot forward? Marketing trends come and go, but a solid, well-thought out approach that adopts best-practice tools, and portrays consistent branding and messaging, still lies at the heart of a winning collateral suite. Building on your business proposition (see point 1), revisit your key messages – the what, why, how of your ‘story’. Then roll it out across the key marketing collateral touchpoints in your business development arsenal, which may include:
Website (see tip #5)
Always keep your audience at the centre of your messaging and use language that gives them a compelling reason to take the next step of engagement and clearly explains the problem(s) you are trying to solve for them. Colours and design – if a facelift is required – should reflect a consistent ‘tone’. There are plenty of quality, free online tools such as Canva to experiment with a new look and feel, or even logo.
4. Develop strategies to increase your return on investment– marketing budgets are often the first to be slashed when businesses feel the pinch. Irrespective of your budget, we all want our communications investment to work as hard as possible. One way to achieve excellent return on investment is to optimise the value of any contentyou produce. To leverage good research and information gathering, don’t be afraid to create a base item of content and appropriate it - with savvy differentiators - to suit different publication channels. For example, a financial services company might use a message/tagline to promote their focus on small and medium sized clients such as “Be Small. Stand tall”. With this one simple concept at the centre of your campaign, start with a blog article that articulates the benefits of financial health to smaller enterprises, and why they deserve the same level of quality advice and support as their bigger competitors. You can then repurpose the article’s messages across different channels such as:
a short white paper
All the while you are engaging with a consistent message and positioning your business as a thought leader. Win win.
5. Sharpen up that website content– your website does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to presenting the all-important first impression of your business or organisation. And with the impact of COVID 19, there is a stronger focus than ever on the customer’s digital experience. Websites are living entities and should be updated regularly. Don’t be afraid to take the ‘red pen’ to your website content, looking for ways to target your messaging, utilise a consistent tone of voice (friendly, professional, corporate etc), and optimise for improved SEO results with well-placed keywords. Impactful images and video bring a website to life. Unless you are a website design company, there’s no need to demonstrate the latest website gadgetry. Just clean, simple, usable design and flawless content will do the job.
A recent US survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute reveals the importance of marketing has grown during the pandemic, so any investment towards improving your business’s content and communications can only help position it for current and future success. Go forth and communicate!