Promotional efforts are usually the first thing to be cut in times of business uncertainty, but Mark McShane, Managing Director for Skills Training Group, is passionate about the fact that marketing should be viewed as a priority. Here he explains why.
We’ve all been through a forced period of uncertainty that doesn’t look likely to end anytime soon. Like the wider building services sector, many electrical companies saw a reduction in enquiries over the lockdown period as operations ceased on building sites and commercial premises, and private customers shut their doors.
In times like this, its tempting to batten down the hatches and wait for the storm to pass. However, businesses that have maintained a consistent line of communication with existing and potential customers, despite the circumstances, are far more likely to weather the storm.
Here are some top communication and marketing tips for quiet times:
- Be active on social media
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide a free opportunity for businesses to reach more customers than they’d ever need. For an extra boost, sponsored posts are low-cost and a highly effective way for businesses to increase reach and engagement. Rather than just posting content, maximise effectiveness by interacting with local businesses, online electrical communities and industry influencers, using hashtags and getting involved in competitions – you could even think of some of your own.
- Provide engaging content
Whether it’s online or on paper, nobody likes ‘spammy’ communications. Facebook’s algorithms favour content that sparks conversation or initiates meaningful interactions between users. Your customers will appreciate content that is valuable to them, for example, free advice on electrical safety or energy efficiency.
- Use video
On a platform such as Facebook, video gets at least 59% more engagement and is 73% more effective than photos. All modern smart phones capture decent quality videos and it can be a quick and personal way to show the jobs you’ve completed and provide advice. Facebook allows videos to be up to four hours in length but unsurprisingly the optimum length is much shorter, around three to five minutes.
- Be helpful
Mix up your customer communications and ensure they provide value. Keep a record of the work you carry out so that when maintenance is required you can notify your customers. Stay up-to-date with industry news so you can inform clients about new opportunities, such as the Green Homes Grant.
- Curate a good contacts list
Keep a list of customers and people who’ve shown an interest in your business so you can distribute valuable content, reminders and relevant marketing materials. It’s very important to be GDPR compliant, so your customers must give consent to receive specific communications from you.
At times like this, when some companies are scaling back, there are opportunities for those with an eye on the future – by investing in communications and relationships building, your company can stand out from more cautious competitors.
Download a free copy of STG’s ‘Lockdown lessons for tradespeople’ guide by clicking here