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If your business has traditionally relied on brick-and-mortar marketing strategies, you’re probably already aware of the challenges facing you in this “new normal” as the economy starts reopening. With social distancing in place, face-to-face marketing, product demonstrations, etc. may be ineffective at best, or nearly impossible. Companies who successfully convert to online marketing tend to fare much better—but the idea of making that switch might seem overwhelming at first. Where do you even start?
First, to set you at ease, converting to online marketing isn’t as daunting as it appears. You’ve already got two big advantages:
- Most of your target market is probably already online; and
- More people prefer to shop online during this time.
This means your primary challenge is not to convince people to buy from you online. If you can reach them, they will buy. Your challenge is simply to connect with customers in a new way. So let’s discuss some steps to take to establish that connection in a different way.
Shore Up Your Web Presence
Your website and social media accounts may replace your brick-and-mortar sales locations, at least for the time being. When you reach prospects online, you’ll typically send them to your website to make purchases. Make sure your website is set up for e-commerce, and that the path to making a purchase is clearly laid out for users.
Shore Up Your Contact List
Chance meetings in stores and trade shows are on hold for now. Instead, focus on your list of contacts. Focus on email addresses, phone numbers, and social media. Organize and segment contacts in a way that makes sense to your marketing plan. Make a point of gathering contact information every time you make a connection, including from visitors to your website. Your contact list is now your marketing lifeline.
Explore New Online Touchpoints
Hopefully, you already have a working email list to whom you regularly send marketing emails. If you don’t, set one up; if you do and haven’t been consistent with it, renew your focus here. Of course, email is just one of many online touchpoints you can explore. You can also utilize the following:
- Social media engagement—Post and comment regularly on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social outlets.
- Text messaging—Invite your leads to sign up for automated texts from you to receive information about sales and events, just like email.
- Instant messaging—Similar to text messaging, but via direct messaging through Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Research and learn more about digital marketing for business development by downloading the Wicked Marketing podcast here.
Create New Online Content
Even though you may not be able to educate people about your product in person, you can educate them with consistent online content. Now more than ever, this strategy can be even more effective than in-person demonstrations. Some examples:
- Creating product demonstration or instructional videos and posting them online or texting short clips to your customers
- Setting up live streaming demonstrations via Facebook or Instagram Live
- Organizing instructional webinars via videoconferencing platforms like Zoom
Every business is different, so the specific online tools you choose will depend on what works best for you. The key, in any case, is to treat the online world as the “new” brick-and-mortar, so to speak. Engage with people online with the same enthusiasm and passion as you once did in retail outlets and trade shows, and you’ll be surprised at the results. People are as hungry for connection as you are. Wicked Bionic can help you devise the best possible online marketing strategy for your business. Reach out to us here to learn more.