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THE MARKETING STRATEGIES YOU SHOULD BE USING RIGHT NOW

As the UK is slowly easing out of lockdown, it has never been more important to deploy a number of marketing strategies to help support your business as it begins to resume normalcy. Normality might be a stretch, as life as we know it has changed a lot over the course of the law few months.

Nevertheless, lots of brands have adjusted their procedures accordingly so that they can work and trade in the “new normal” we have found ourselves to be in. Now that provisions have been made, it’s time to start marketing to your pre-existing, and potential new customers – let’s make up for lost time.

The value of marketing should never be understated. Even during UK lockdown where many businesses had to close, there was still a need to communicate and keep your brand alive. The idea was to not let your customers forget about you, and to keep them engaged and excited for when you may be able to resume ‘business as normal’. Now, since non-essential retailers have been able to open, and as the hospitality industry begins to resume next month, your marketing strategies need to change accordingly. No longer is the message: “we are here waiting for your return”, it is “we are back, and this is why you should be spending money with us”.

To get such messages across, you’ll need to use a number of marketing strategies and tactics. One is often not enough. In order to recuperate the losses that lockdown might have brought, you’re going to want to be visible to a large audience of varying demographics and with different interests. As well as remarketing to existing customers, now’s the time to start encouraging new ones in too.

Below, our team have put together some advice on marketing for hospitality, retail and other industries that might have been impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions.

Marketing Strategies For Hospitality, Retail & Other Sectors

As mentioned above, you’re going to want to deploy a number of marketing strategies in order to reach as many (relevant) people as possible. There are a number of ways in which you can do this, and they include…

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is great for retargeting, as chances are your followers like your content, or even better – your brand. As such, utilising social media could be the low hanging fruit for your reopening marketing strategies. Use platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to share business updates, inspirational content, hygiene protocols that will give your customers a safe experience, and anything else that you know is a particular hit with your consumers. To help build following, and to get people excited about your brand again, you might even want to run a social media competition or two. The most important thing is to remain active, you want to be popping up time and time again to your audience so that you’re on their mind ahead of 4th of July, where most businesses will be able to resume trading.

Word Of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing remains to be the best tactic there is. It’s said that as many as 83% of people would trust a reccomendation, if it came from their friends or family. Though this is largely an organic process, there are some things you can do to help it along. Why not encourage your consumers to leave you a good review on social media, or focus on branding so that even after they leave your establishment, they remember you. This could be a branded gift bag, or even something as small as a branded after-dinner mint if you’re a restaurant. When a customer goes home, and their friend or relative asks about you (perhaps being prompted after seeing your brand), you’re going to want them to say good things. Of course, word of mouth marketing is largely encouraged by the business providing an excellent service or product, so this should be a crucial focus as you reopen, or prepare to reopen on the 4th of July. Remember to share positive testimonials on social media too, as they can help reinforce to stakeholders why your brand is awesome. Reading a good review could be the final push a potential consumer, who’s been sitting on the fence, needs to pay you a visit.

Public Relations (PR)

PR is our bread and butter here at Source PR, but it also fundamentally important to your overall marketing strategy. Public Relations is a blanket term which covers your reputation management, this can be built up in lots of ways. Fundamentally though, it’s important to work on your strategy, possibly by utilising a PR agency, to ensure your brand image is a strong one, and one that rises above key competitors in your industry. A big part of PR is media relations, which involves getting your brand into media titles, both online and in print. This kind of exposure for your brand is great as you adjust to trading again, as it can reach a potential audience pool wider than your social media, for example, might be able to get.

PPC & Paid Social

Another way to reach a wider audience, and one that we would recommend if you’re trying to grow your consumer base is PPC and paid social. This involves using the ad-services on Google, as well as Facebook and Instagram. Paid social ads mean that your content will reach eyeballs that might never have interacted with your brand before (or those that have, that are yet to make a conversion), whereas PPC will put you at the top of a Google results page when potential customers are searching for queries that relate to your business.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Another way to target searchers, and perhaps the most effective, is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). When your customers search for queries, such as “DIY stores near me” then if your business name appears near the top of that results page, it’s more likely that they’ll come to visit you. In fact, according to Think With Google, 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business. SEO, the process of improving your website so you rank higher for these terms, is a difficult strategy that takes many years to master, but is a marketing strategy well worth considering. Why? Because you can not only reach a new audience, but also one that’s geo-targeted. Plus, the number of searchers is huge. According to Hubspot, Google processes around 70,000 searches every second.

Which marketing strategies will you be deploying as we move out of lockdown? If you need assistance in social media, PR, PPC, Paid Social, SEO, Influencer Marketing or any other means of communication, then why not send us a message and see how we can support your business?

HOW TO GET PUBLICITY FOR YOUR BRAND

Generating publicity for your brand, be it a start-up, SME or large-scale enterprise, is always a good idea. There are many different ways that you can put your business’ name in the public eye, but arguably one of the best methods is where the publicity is organic (i.e. it’s not an advertisement that you have paid for).

Why? Because people are more inclined to trust what is presented to them naturally. According to Nielson, 92% of people trust recommendations that are put to them by friends and family, while just under half of global consumers say that they trust newspaper and television ads. We can assume the latter is less, because people know that the advertisements are paid for and therefore the trust signals are not as strong. However, when your brand is at the forefront of the media from earned publicity – not an ad – it would be fair to suppose that this is likely to be not only more engaged with, but perceived as more reputable too.

This is, by definition, media relations – a type of PR (Public Relations) service that we offer here at the Source PR. Getting publicity for your brand and achieving that trust from potential consumers isn’t an easy job, which therefore makes it all the more worthwhile and rewarding when great coverage is achieved.

You can get publicity for your brand in many different ways, including:

  1. Show good community engagement
  2. Promote new product and service launches
  3. Give stakeholders an interesting story
  4. Provide statistics that make an engaging article
  5. Offering expert commentary to newspapers where relevant

We’ll expand on these methods below.

5 Ways To Get Publicity For Your Brand

There are a plethora of methods you can use to generate publicity, we’ve decided to explore our top five favourite tactics.

  1. Show Good Community Engagement

Building a brand reputation is as important, if not more important, than generating direct coverage for your business. Appearing in the media with product and service launches is great, but to create a brand image that will be more beneficial in the long term, you need to show your stakeholders what you’re all about. Is there something you can do as a business to support the environment, for example? Or perhaps even a local charity or organisation? Newspapers love positive stories, especially regional titles, so if there’s something you can do to create these optimistic stories (all the while building prolific CSR for your business) then you should do it – then be sure to tell the right journalists about it too so they can spread the word and generate publicity for you.

Publicity for your brand with community donations

Here’s a foodbank donation we did recently with one of our clients, it achieved lots of regional media coverage

  1. Promote New Product And Service Launches

One of the most straightforward ways of getting publicity for your brand is through promoting new product and service launches. However, media titles – both nationals and regionals – can’t cover every single launch. So, you need to make yours stand out. What can you do to make the press interested in your product or service? Perhaps you could create a bespoke launch event or thinking of an imitative way of boosting your new product, such as donating a unit for every unit sold, for example. It’s always a good idea to send your target journalists a sample of your product or service too, they’re more likely to write about something if they know it’s of a good quality.

  1. Give Stakeholders An Interesting Story

You can attract media coverage for your business if you can provide newspapers with an interesting story that they’ll want to cover, that also ties in with your brand. For example, do you have some interesting insights from your business (has a certain product seen more sales since UK lockdown) that you can share? You can test an idea out by creating a headline from your story and then asking friends or family if they’d read the article, if they’re interested, then there’s every chance a journalist will be too – so it’s well worth having a go at pitching.

  1. Provide Statistics That Make An Engaging Article

If you don’t have internal data to share you can also produce external statistics that media titles may be interested in. Could you run a study that runs parallel to the services or product that your business provides, and then sell that in as a story? You can run paid-for surveys on platforms such as YouGov, or perhaps you could conduct desk research and analyse trends to provide a great set of data that newspapers may want to write about.

  1. Offering Expert Commentary To Newspapers Where Relevant

And finally, another of our favourite ways to get publicity for brand is to give the media expert comments where relevant. If you’re a spa venue, for example, and a journalist is covering wellbeing tips to conquer stress – is that a topic you can offer extra insight to? Many writers often welcome tips and opinions from qualified people as it makes their pieces stronger, so all you have to do to generate coverage for your brand is identify these opportunities, and then be on hand to provide a comment if the journalist wants one. Often too, as these comments are provided out of goodwill, a journalist may also provide you a backlink to your website which’ll count towards improving your SEO performance. Great at attaining media coverage, high-quality backlinks and building up corporate and individual reputations, generating publicity through expert commentary is certainly a tactic we love here at The Source.

Publicity for your brand through expert commentary

Our Managing Director has been proficient in commenting on the Government’s Coronavirus communications strategy thanks to this type of outreach and reactive PR… This particular piece is in ITV News

Getting Publicity For Your Brand – It’s Not Easy!

These are just a few of our favourite tips for generating branded coverage, there are a whole host more that can be filtered into your PR strategy. If you need help in making the magic happen for your business, then please do give us a call on 01829 720 789 or contact us here for a free consultation.

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