Stop Ebbing and Start Flowing
All businesses have ebbs and flows, it is simply the nature of the beast. Sometimes you’re slaying it in terms of sales and foot traffic, living on top of the world and doing great…and then there are the times in between. Have you noticed that business has slowed down a little? There’s no need to panic. Sometimes you flow, and right now you’re ebbing. If that’s the case, then you need to do two things:
- Figure out why that is and
- Change up your marketing strategy
There’s no need to panic if you’re feeling like things are a little slow right now. To improve, it’s all about getting back in the headspace of your clients and understanding how to improve.
Research What’s Going On
Market research is an incredibly valuable part of owning a business of any kind. It helps you to see what’s happening and any sort of trends that you see among your customers. Although you can hire a marketing specialist to run tests and do their special magic, it’s also a valuable idea to try and see what you can find out on your own. One great place to start that you might not have even thought of is your most popular social media account.
See What Followers Are Up To
It sounds a little creepy, but really it isn’t. It’s not like you’re trying to see what this morning’s client had for breakfast, or what kinds of pyjamas they wear on the weekend. You’re looking at your followers‘ social media pages for a very specific reason: To see how their patterns line up with your business’s. For example, check out things like:
- Do your customers follow another company like yours and if so, what is that company doing differently from you?
- What hashtags are trending? Have you seen anything specific that seems to be popping up all over the place? This can be anything, from the name of an influencer to a certain movement that has taken off. Pay attention to the things that your customers are finding worthy of reposting.
- Do you feel like you’re being personable enough, like replying to comments and liking posts? Remember, clients don’t want to feel like you see them only as numbers — they want to feel like you care about them as people. Make an effort to use the SOCIAL part of social media. It’s more important than you might realize.
Scope Out Your Competition
You’ve already done that somewhat as you check out your followers’ pages, but you want to see all facets. Lurk on the pages of the companies that you compete with and check out what they’re doing. Is there a new tactic that they’re trying that has had an impact on people?
- Have they amped up their advertising campaign by bringing in a big name and doing some influencer marketing? Who are they getting to endorse their product and how can you follow in their footsteps, especially if it seems to be impacting the way that your customers view your rival businesses? Influencer marketing can be a hugely poignant method to drive in new business. For example, remember how successful the George Foreman Grill was when it took off in the mid-90s? It makes you wonder if it would have enjoyed the same success if the company had not used a celebrity to help sell it. This is something to seriously consider when you think about ways to advertise new products.
- Who seems to be frequenting the other businesses — that is, what demographic? Is your target audience the same as others, or have you noticed more diversity in their followers? Does it seem like one specific gender, age group or profession follows them?
- Look closely at the wording, photography and overall content that is posted on your competitors’ social media accounts. What are they doing that you’re not? Remember that just because it’s different, that doesn’t always mean better. It could be that, even though they’re getting a lot of attention for a marketing stunt they’re trying out, it might not necessarily be a good or thoughtful one. What can you learn from their failures?
Modify Your Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve got a good, solid understanding of what your customers are doing online, it might be time to tweak the way that you advertise there. Take what you’ve learned and use it to help you garner more foot traffic so that your ebb can transform back into a flow.
Reach Out to Influencers
Take a leaf from your competition’s book and see what you can do to find an influencer of your own. Who can you contact to help get your product and your business some good press?
- Relevance is key; think of people who will make sense using your product or service. If you produce lotions and cosmetics, for example, you might think about contacting a makeup artist on YouTube or Instagram to help you. Don’t be confused like when Hulk Hogan sold pasta in the 90s.
- No need to be shy about reaching out — the worst that they can say is no. Besides, when you offer perks like free or discounted products, they might be more inclined to say yes to you. Remember that this is also free advertising for them when you hashtag or link to their page or website on your social media pages.
- Understand that simply because someone is famous or well-known that the public might not have a necessarily high opinion of them. Would you want to have someone like Jake or Paul Logan endorsing your product, or Chris Brown talking you up? Be mindful. Whoever you choose to represent your business will be associated with it from here on out, so make sure it’s someone whose opinion you value and the public also looks up to.
Try Out a New Logo
It’s a risk to try rebranding a product because it can confuse the public, but when it’s done properly it can reignite interest in your company. Before deciding to do a full-scale logo relaunch, let everyone know ahead of time. This means post everywhere that you’re doing something new and exciting: On your website, on your social media pages and through your email campaign. Make it a big deal: Tease the new logo ahead of time to generate buzz, and give a hard date when you plan to make it official. This will alleviate confusion for most folks and get them excited about your new program.
Marketing is not a perfect science and there are plenty of aspects to take into consideration. But if you want your business to keep growing and to pull it from its slump, it’s essential to collect data and use it to your advantage.