It’s no secret that the world changed drastically in 2020 and whilst some of those changes were temporary, the way we do business has shifted forever. As a result, the way that small businesses market themselves must shift, too. This situation certainly presents its fair share of challenges and yet the move towards contactless fulfilment and a cashless society has created many opportunities, too. Here are five easy marketing ideas to cash in on in 2021.
1. Add 24-Hour Live Chat Support to Your Website
The huge increase in remote working means that businesses are no longer limited to working with customers in their local area. Now that the whole world is working remotely and many employees are enjoying more flexible hours, it makes sense for your business to offer round-the-clock support for customers on all schedules, in all timezones.
A study by Inc found that 92% of customers feel satisfied by using human-powered live chat, and it’s a perfect solution for those with busy lives to get their questions answered quickly. Live chat also functions as a sales tool and can engage prospects in conversation, increasing the likelihood that they will convert into paying customers.
2. Use Video
According to a report by Wyzowl, a whopping 87% of business owners who use video marketing claim that it has increased traffic to their website, whilst 80% believe that it has directly increased their sales. We like those odds!
Video marketing allows you to create a personal connection with your prospects and keep them engaged. Research by Insivia showed that viewers retain 95% of video content, compared to around 10% of the text.
You don’t have to be a Hollywood great to make an effective marketing video. Users respond well to live streams, vlogs and simple how-to videos. Value and authenticity easily trump cinematic editing. Furthermore, most smartphones have high-quality cameras built-in, so you don’t need to break the bank by buying fancy equipment.
It’s now possible to automate a huge chunk of your marketing efforts. For example, you can schedule your social media posts and nurture your leads until they are ready to become paying customers. Automation does the heavy lifting for you, saving you a lot of time and money so that you can focus your efforts on the areas that really move the needle, such as your key pieces of content.
4. Focus on Customer Retention
Research by Invesp found that it costs an average of five times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one, and these loyal customers spend 31% more than their more recent counterparts. This means that prioritising your customer retention rate is an excellent way of boosting your bottom line, so don’t ignore your existing database when putting together your marketing strategy.
5. Listings Management
Google isn’t the only place prospective customers can find your business. Social media, online maps and review sites can also help you drum up a lot of new business. However, you need to make sure that your business information is complete, accurate and up-to-date. This may sound daunting, but you can automate this process using a listings management tool that can update your progress across multiple sites at once. Outbound Engine, BrightLocal and WhiteSpark are good choices.
Adjusting your marketing efforts to reflect the new normal and boost your bottom line doesn’t have to be difficult. Methods such as live chat support, automation and video marketing allow you to reach and nurture your prospects whilst remaining conservative with your spending. You can take advantage of the wave of support for local businesses that the pandemic has generated by using online tools to ensure that your business is easily discoverable in local listings. Meanwhile, putting more effort into customer retention will help you to earn more and spend less. Needless to say, the above strategies also require consistency and patience. If you remain disciplined in your efforts, you will see your small business grow throughout 2021 and beyond.