Businesses are often designed with an intense strategy behind their models. Hours of research, development and planning go into it – most times before the business even goes to market!
But as we all know, a business model is never bulletproof – no matter how much time is invested. And, there are always those instances where a business is operating at peak performance, but then the market shifts and things fall off a cliff.
As a business, it’s important to realize that during these market shifts, you need to employ new marketing tactics. This means, as an owner, you should meet with your primary stakeholders to discuss new marketing strategies that will yield the best results.
If you are a business owner contemplating a shift in business strategy, take a look at what you should be doing to prepare and plan ahead.
Reevaluating Your Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Ahead
When a trend in your industry changes, that could prove fatal for your business. Look at how Amazon and the rise of e-commerce slowly ate away at the business of more traditional competitors like Kmart.
You can never be 100% sure of where the future of your industry will go. There needs to be a strategy in place when these shifts occur so that you can have an assessment plan in place for when it does.
So, what should your business do?
- Bring your entire team together to assess the past year’s performance.
- Determine what strategies were your winners and losers.
- Take a close look at those winners and design budgets around their success.
- Take a closer look at your losers and see if the changing market now makes those efforts an opportunity for future success.
- Build up your content marketing, determine your new messaging and start publishing more on social media.
- Continually assess your new strategy – optimize and refine as you’re wading through new waters.
Just because there may be downtime in your sales doesn’t mean there should be downtime in your business. Have a plan in place to assess and determine a winning marketing strategy for your business.
Assess Your Past Winners and Losers
When the market shifts and customers suddenly aren’t lining up at your door for your product or service, you shouldn’t immediately react and think it’s time to shutter your doors (either temporarily or permanently). You also shouldn’t just scrap all your marketing efforts in one fell swoop.
It’s at these times that you should be focusing all your effort into assessing everything you’ve done in the past 12-18 months. What’s been working, and what hasn’t? (Focus on one channel at a time when doing this to keep yourselves organized.)
Build out a sheet or a chart of all your business’ marketing efforts and determine what channels worked based on the goals that had been assigned to them. Did social media meet or exceed your goals? Was your paid search hitting your required CPAs?
Determine what met and exceeded your expectations and see how those can be utilized in this new age for your business. Not only that, but make sure to look at your losing strategies, as well – remember that we often learn best from our missteps.
If a marketing effort in the past didn’t work, try to determine the underlying issue. Perhaps the strategy didn’t align with your company’s business model at the time. Take that into consideration and look at your business now – you may have a new winning strategy on your hands.
Optimize Your Digital Advertising Campaigns
Look at your pay-per-click, Google Analytics and social media data. If you haven’t done a deep analysis from the past 12-18 months, then take the time to see what your business is doing right and how to build upon your success.
It’s also time to cut what you can and promote the products that matter most to your customers. By looking at traffic reports from Google Analytics, studying campaign insights, and analyzing conversion data, you may start to notice certain products and customers that lead to new and repeat sales. This is where your focus should be.
Here are some things to look at when assessing and optimizing your digital marketing strategy:
Optimize your online customer experience as much as possible by eliminating any friction points and offering promotions.
Talk to your most loyal customers first (the ones in your CRM who have purchased or interacted with your brand on social media in the past 60-90 days).
Some industries will need to come up with creative solutions and services, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Other industries should focus on how to keep their products relevant and shift their brand voice on social media.
Incorporate organic content that shows changes your brand is making as well as any donations, projects, charities and local efforts to help others.
Keep marketing costs in check by planning campaigns (and not just throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks) on the highest traffic networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google Search.
Pick Digital Advertising Channels Wisely for Content Marketing
Where does your best traffic come from? If you have funnels set up in Google Analytics or use other conversion tracking software, you should look for what’s working and expand upon your organic content efforts in these areas.
Since people are glued to social media, you can essentially publish anything for free. Maybe come up with a video campaign that shows your products making customers happy or run a social media contest for a giveaway. Publish frequently to your followers and stay top of mind. Your social media channels are your best free platforms to build brand awareness and loyalty.
Even if you don’t have a marketing budget for digital advertising, organic content can bring in just as much traffic when you tailor it to your audience and what they like.
Build Up Your Customer Lists and Segmentation
Look at your current customer lists. Determine who are repeat customers and look at their purchasing behaviors to find out who your target demographic is.
For instance, in Facebook Ad Manager, you can set up a campaign and within the targeting selection, you can select offline buyers, online buyers, spending behaviors and recent purchases. You can target individuals who are making purchases in real-time from social media, as well.
Google also has purchase behavior targeting factors. These are located within campaign targeting under Google AdWords.
Finally, you can use remarketing to show ads to previous customers and offer exclusive discounts to inspire a purchase decision online. While it may not be that simple, you don’t have to spend much on remarketing ads to get repeat customers if you have 1) the right incentive, 2) great ad creative, and 3) targeting for motivated buyers.
Take this time to look at your customer data from your CRM, as well, and find those customers who have made a recent purchase. You can add an educational email marketing series to show customers about products they have purchased and related products that can make their experience even better.
Change Your Marketing Language
Whatever you do, don’t react hastily when shifting your strategy. Customers see right through this, especially if the change is a complete 180 from your original messaging and branding.
People, now more than ever, have access to tons of IoT-connect devices, seeing ads or posts from companies when they use them. That number’s only going to grow in the next 10 years,and there are many businesses that look for ways to exploit consumers. While this tactic may work to get sales, it’s not a good look for your long-term marketing plan. If people feel like they were sold a lie, they will not continue to do business with you (and will likely be vocal about it) and your business will go viral for all the wrong reasons.
The last thing you need is a hit to your online reputation.
Wrapping Up: Reevaluating and Shifting Your Marketing Strategy
There are a lot of factors at play in staying afloat after industry trends shift and impact your business. But, having a proper digital marketing strategy is something you should be thinking about at all times. It will certainly help to lessen the blow.
Interested in a conversation? Let us help you create a plan for the future. Reach out for a consultation to review your online marketing, SEO, web design and development needs.