Many brands are scrambling right now to deal with physical restrictions and fast-dwindling customers and revenue. One possible direction might be to investigate pivoting to online branding, either selling directly online or looking for new online revenue streams.
Here are some thoughts on how to optimize your brand for an online environment:
Fish where the fish are: if you’re new to the world of online business, it can seem overwhelming at first. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc, etc, etc, all crying for attention and generating a huge information overload. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and paralyzed. So keep it simple – what is the primary channel your best customers hang out in? Facebook? Great, focus your resources on building presence there. You can always expand later.
Build a funnel: although a full-blown website might not be necessary immediately, a funnel that will convert your leads to customers is. It doesn’t have to be complicated – say, a Facebook ad that drives traffic to your landing page and offer/email signup. You’ll need the tech to enable it though, so see my next point!
Don’t try to do everything: online branding and marketing can have many components that need to work together to be successful, and few people can handle all of them well. Remember to focus on what you do best, and bring in help for the areas you need it. This will save valuable time which is crucial in the online environment, save you considerable headache and frustration, and allow you to help other small businesses who are also facing tough times.
Decide on your Paid/Organic mix: Paid advertising can be a fastrack to new business online. Brands with clearly defined target audiences (that’s you, right?) can optimize their ad spend and drive significant traffic to their offer. Organic marketing (no ad spend, but more time investment) can be very successful for the right business, but takes a greater time investment. For most businesses, a mix of the two may be the best approach initially until data is available to indicate the more profitable path.
It’s still about human connection: despite the technology, establishing and building relationships with your customers is key to online communication. In fact, it’s more important to connect with customers’ emotions in the digital environment. Whatever your primary emotional connectors were previously, now is the time to ramp them up.
No matter what your brand offer, if you can market it online these tactics can help you get there more successfully. Consistency is key, both to your brand messaging, and your online marketing efforts.