The A-Z of being in business during tough times
When money is tight, one of the first things business owners tend to do is cut back (or completely get rid of) all advertising. But I'm here to convince you otherwise!
There’s no denying the fact advertising can be an expensive endeavour. Especially when you don’t have much money to play around with in the first place. And even when you do have the cash to splash around, it can burn a hole in your monthly business budget pretty quick.
But I want to fill you in on some interesting research around advertising in murky economic times… During every economic disruption - a Global Pandemic or whatever the reason - research over the last 90 years has shown business owners who continue to advertise and promote their service and/or product will weather the storm better than those who don’t.
You just have to take a look at the advertising + marketing campaigns you might have come across in the past couple of months while people follow COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. I know I’ve seen artists + yoga teachers put on free online classes. Gyms and fitness centres promoting discounted rates for joining an online class - and even loaning gym equipment as a free bonus. I’ve even seen some businesses donating their services to helping out various charities and posting their good deeds on social media.
Now you might be thinking, all this is great, but it’s not advertising! Well, you’re perfectly right. In the traditional sense at least. And when I say traditional, I mean your more traditional advertising mediums like radio, television and newspapers. But now is a perfect time as any to think bigger picture and think outside the quarantine box you’ve built for yourself during the last few weeks!
Social Media is where it's at
Think more posts on social media and coming up with fun + quirky ways to promote your business and the amazing services + products you offer. Q+A sessions with your online followers… Profile bios on yourself + each of your staff members so clients + customers can get to know you better… Tic Toc dances (because they are all the rage right now + everyone is talking about them!)... the list is endless really!!
Influence the Influencer
Reaching out to Youtubers and Instagram Influencers who might want to spruik your product or service for free or for a specified fee. The key is to pick the Influencer with the right audience (age and demographic) that you’re looking to target. You might think Influencers are a passing fad, but I assure you, plenty of people watch their content each + every day (some boast audiences of over 1 million!) and it’s an option many business owners don’t even think about. If you do land a deal with an Influencer, it’s a great idea to offer an exclusive discount to loyal subscribers so their audience can’t resist. Plus, it’s a clever way to keep track of how many views or sales your product or service has seen from the Influencers’ online spruik.
Old school can still be cool
The good old fashioned letterbox drop is a simple, yet smart way to be direct with your advertising. If you’ve got a lot more spare time up your sleeve, there’s no shame in hitting the pavement with your promo flyer and walking the streets of your local neighbourhood. Plus, it’s a good excuse to get off the lounge and fit in some extra exercise. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called up a plumber or sparky because they’ve taken the time to drop off a flyer in my letterbox (which I stick on my fridge for later use).
A little effort can go a long way
Speaking of flyers, while you’re at it, why not stop by your local library, cafe or corner shop, and ask if you can put up a flyer in the window or leave a few business cards. Some shops and council service buildings even have a community noticeboard. The key here is to come up with a great design for your flyer so it stands out from the rest! Think bold + bright colours + big text with one or two beautiful images. It might even be a good idea to turn your original letterbox drop flyer into an A3 sized poster. There are plenty of online tools to help you create a design, otherwise use a local content creator (like Clarity Collaborations) and help support small, local businesses.
Don't rule out the major players
I know we mentioned traditional advertising earlier, but this option might not be completely off limits as first thought. It’s worth reaching out to your local newspaper or commercial radio station and getting a rough idea on advertising costs. Commercial media is also doing it tough right now, with many local papers deciding to stop publishing in print and only offering online papers for the foreseeable future. These types of production + distribution changes might mean they are offering discounted advertising rates which you can now afford.
These are just a few simple + cost-effective tips + tricks that might help you during what is a challenging time for a lot of us in business. There are plenty more ideas where that came from, so if you’re looking to think outside that quarantine box of yours and start reaching out to potential clients + customers, I’m always here for a Clarity brainstorm session!
"Clarity is power". The clearer you are about what you want, the more likely you are to achieve it. Don't just survive - thrive!
Clarity Collaborations is here to help businesses change how they communicate with their customers + clients. And it all starts with clear + concise words and creative design.