Five Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Marketing in a Post-Covid World
Let's be honest for a second. Not many people thought the Covid-19 pandemic was going to hit us as badly as it did. Most of us thought it would go away sooner rather than later and that lockdown was an opportunity to do chores at home or simply get some rest.
But, in reality, the pandemic has changed the world forever. It shed light on multiple aspects of the day-to-day workplace that could - and will - change, and boost online sales to all-time highs. Basically, if your business didn't have an online presence, delivery, or take-away alternatives, you ceased to exist.
On that same note, the pandemic presented an opportunity for thousands of people to start over and reinvent themselves. Either against their will due to layoffs (15% of people lost their job in 2020, according to Pew Research) or business closure or because they had enough time to realize that they needed to change the way they were living - or making a living.
Leaving The Comfort Zone
Well, for starters, you have to be aware that many people won't believe in your idea. Some of them will tell you that your business isn't original or that it's likely to fail because of competition or lack of resources. Take Sebastian Scheplitz for instance. He grew a content marketing agency for the iGaming industry when most of his acquaintances told him that he would fail. They thought that taking a remote-work approach would be a huge mistake, whereas he only saw it as a big opportunity, and subsequently built an agency network and two e-commerce businesses. "Stop listening to other people's opinions when they're not where you want to be. If I would've listened to every single piece of advice I've gotten, I would probably still be stuck in some job that I hated. Maybe going from one short-term contract to another. If you're dreaming about starting a business, don't listen to anyone who's always only been an employee. Listen to other entrepreneurs. Just as you need to listen to long-term couples on how they've made their relationship work, instead of only your single friends," Scheplitz says. Recently, we've seen countless new businesses blossom and entrepreneurs going all-in on their new endeavours. But, as it usually happens, some fail to stand out due to poor marketing skills or practices.
That's why today, we're going to let you know 5 things that every entrepreneur should know about marketing in a post-Covid world.
5. You Need To Have A Strong Online Presence
According to Statista, over 2.1 billion people are supposed to acquire goods or services online in 2021 alone. That means that your business needs to stand out amongst thousands, and there's no better way to do so than with both SEO and SEM tools.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will boost your positioning in search engines so customers can get to you first, and the best part is that it's all for free. SEM (Search Engine Marketing), on the other hand, consists of paid advertising on search engines to put you right at the top. Ideally, you should try a combination of both.
4. It's All About Customer Experience
Back in the day, business owners and advertisers knew that their products would fly off the shelves because the customers didn't have much of a choice. Now, all the information and alternatives are just a couple of clicks away.
That means that your customers can build or destroy your brand in the blink of an eye. People often look for comments, reviews, and opinions before buying anything from a new business, so it's important to engage with your community, incentivize feedback, and - obviously - prioritize customer service above all. Even if there's a mistake with an order, a client is even more likely to come back to you depending on the way you fix that issue.
"Don't fall for the trap of over-researching and over-strategizing. You don't need to most fancied out website, product, or service in the beginning. Just make sure to offer the best quality and set yourself apart from your competitors. Especially in the beginning, you're allowed to make mistakes. As long as your clients' or customers' lives and businesses don't suffer from it and you communicate everything clearly," says Scheplitz.
3. Develop Brand Loyalty By Showing Your Values
On the same note with customer experience, the pandemic has changed the way businesses develop brand loyalty. It's no longer about the product you're selling or the service you provide. Now, you have to add your values into the mix, especially when it comes to small businesses with homemade goods.
Clients are more likely to consider eco-friendly or organic products, support small creators, and buy ethically and sustainable products nowadays - as long as that doesn't mean paying way too much for the same product somewhere else. Solidarity matters more now, both with small business owners and with the planet.
2. Target Your Audience
Even though the pandemic has changed the rules when it comes to marketing, that doesn't mean that the game has changed in its entirety. At the end of the day, we're all trying to sell something. But, given the new tools social media, Google, and marketing platforms give us nowadays, there are few ways to get an edge over your competition.
How? By targeting. We need to be specific when choosing our audience if we want to make the most of our advertising budget. You need to put together an ideal customer archetype, get to know it and its online behaviour so you know where, how, and when to get to them. Those who aren't likely to be interested in your product won't care for your ads and chances are that you'll end up being annoying.
"If you want to market your product or your service to the right target audience you will need to understand all of their pain points. You might even have different target groups for the same product/service, and each of them is different from the other - and needs to be targeted as such. But it's crucial to only start with one of the first and focus your efforts on this group, instead of trying to appeal to everyone," Sebastian Scheplitz comments on the matter.
1. A Personal Touch
Let's not fool ourselves right here. Most things have already been invented, and chances are that we're selling something that a lot of people are also selling. So, why would anyone choose your product or your brand over someone else's? Because it's unique. And how do we show that? By being approachable and close to your customers.
People care about the person behind the screen. They need to feel like they can trust you to deliver exactly what they asked for on the timeline that was established. Automatic, robot-like responses are out of date and so is the stigma of the cold, overly-professional salesman.
But more than that, never forget about enjoying yourself and who you are as a person, and where you want to go as a business owner. That should be your biggest drive and reason to get up every single morning:
"My main message is to inspire others to give their absolute best, enjoy their life and work, and follow their dreams. Nothing is given. But you can only receive it if you start putting in the work, be it in your job or in your own business, that's when success will come," Scheplitz says.
By taking these few guidelines into consideration, your online endeavour is more likely to succeed. We've changed forever and so has marketing, so don't get caught behind in today's digital world.