So this wasn’t the first blog we had hoped to be writing in 2021, but here it is. I’m sure we are all feeling fear, frustration and anxiety about how this new lockdown will impact our lives and businesses. As a small agency we have the same concerns, but we are going to do all we can to continue supporting our clients, local communities and keep a positive mindset throughout. Last year showed us just how resilient and adaptable we can all be when needed and we saw amazing entrepreneurial and community spirit shine through some dark times. We are confident we will see more of this in the months to come.
Many of you did a lot of the hard work within your businesses last year; pivoting your focus and introducing new solutions/services to ensure you could survive through the lockdowns and strict local restrictions. Here we share a few tips on what you could be doing now to build on this and ensure you start 2021 as you mean to go on.
Why January is a great time to get pitching
January is a good time to pitch your PR stories as there is generally less competition for those column inches. It tends to be a quiet month for journalists as most businesses are still only just recovering and ramping up after Christmas. Take advantage of this and start getting in touch with your target media outlets to tell them about your new product or service, or even to pitch yourself for profile features.
Many online and short-lead feature themes for January are about fresh starts and new year resolutions, so if you can tap into these even better. Most long-leads will be thinking about spring now so you could start pitching seasonal content that relates to topics such as spring collections, spring cleaning, Easter and getting your garden ready.
Now is also a good time to re-visit and refine your marketing and PR plans for the year. We’ve obviously just been thrown another curve ball by Boris but don’t let that stop you. When was the last time you sat down with a blank sheet of paper to map out your customer profiles, target media, plans for new pivots or products to meet your business objectives for this year?
Understanding your target audience is crucial in helping you identity the media they look to for information or inspiration. For example, if your aim is to get in front of a younger more socially-conscious audience, you might want to look at collaborating with a relevant influencer or putting more time into your social media strategy. Or if your target customer is a high-earner with a taste for luxury, they might be more likely to read glossy lifestyle magazines. For a very local audience, focus on local radio, parish magazines and community groups on Facebook.
Keeping up communication
Regular communication with your audience has never been more important than during the ever changing pandemic. Many businesses assume the public know what they are offering and how they are offering it, but this is often not the case. Providing clients or customers with clear and up to date information both on your website and via marketing platforms is a simple way to alert more people to your services and generate business during these difficult times.
Ensuring your website is clear and easy to navigate is a great place to start. Try to view it from an outsider’s perspective or get an objective friend to take a look. Consider things like user journey and whether key information is easily accessible. Are as many of your products/services online as possible and are they broken down into easily searchable categories? Are your product pictures clear and high quality? Do you have any helpful payment options available (PayPal / Klarna etc.) Looking at your website and going through each user journey as if you are a customer could make the difference between a sale or them fulfilling their needs elsewhere.
E-newsletters and social media channels provide great ways to connect with your audience and keep them up to date with any new services, offers or opening times. Think about what your customers are going through right now and take this into consideration when you are writing your content, perhaps they need support, help or reassurance rather than a sales pitch.
For monthly tips and advice, sign up to our e-newsletter here.