What can you do in the face of a slumping market?
Brexit, slow growth in China, a massive wall that may or may not get built – big global issues are trickling through supply chains, making prospects hesitant to sign off on projects or holding back from purchases while they wait for the dust to settle.
We get it – but as data from the East Midlands Chamber shows, the result is an economic slow down that’s bad for business.
Don’t bury your head in the sand, acting early can deliver the boost you need.
Here are the tools we recommend to build new sales.
Profile the easy wins.
Don’t waste your time going after a new market if you’ve never done it before. Draw up a profile of your ideal customer (this could be based on existing customers) why they choose to work with you and how they found you in the first place. It seems simple, but if you can work this out you can then do more of the same to win similar customers.
Whatever you do, this profile will help you map out the journey for your ideal customer, the channels they use and the messages that will resonate with them. This is the bible to check your work against to make sure it’s properly targeted and can be tracked to deliver best value.
Invest in digital.
Paid digital advertising on platforms like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn offer an affordable way for businesses to get in front of new audiences while people search for solutions to their problems and answers to their questions.
How to do it? Firstly, you’ll need to do some research on what people are looking for, and make sure you create content that targets them and encourages them to act. Platforms like Google and Facebook really want you to spend money – so they’re happy for you to get it a little wrong – research in the early stages will mean you get better value.
Re-visit your website.
You might think your site is fine, or it may not have been a priority for a while, so it’s been left to go a little out of date. Go back and look at it from the perspective of your customers and work on getting content right if it’s not clear. Some new images or a nice bit of film can transform a website, and some tweaks to contact buttons and calls to action can make a big difference to enquiries.
If you’re targeting search, either through organic optimisation or paid search, you need to make sure your site is geared up for it. Not only with appropriate keywords but with forms in the right places. A decent digital agency will be able to help with this as it can be technically challenging.
Get better on social.
In a rush to get on the social bandwagon, businesses set up feeds on every channel and populated them with content that basically shouted about what they do – without really thinking who (if anyone) might see it and what they wanted them to do with the information. Feeds then become stale with regurgitated repetitive content or sparsely populated with a few posts about a charity cycle ride in 2016. It doesn’t reflect the true nature of you and your team, and it could actually damage your brand.
Don’t waste time on social if it’s not going to work. Focus on channels that your target personas use and create engaging content that will make a meaningful difference to them.
Make some noise.
If the going is tough it’s easy to retreat into your comfort zone, get your head down and try to work through it. But, in the world of sales, silence is deadly. If you aren’t shouting about what you do and how great you are it’s going to be tough to raise awareness of your brand.
Think about those easy wins and what they’re looking for, the problems they’ve got and how you solve them. Get that down on paper and use your digital marketing, website and social media to push it out as much as possible.
Share it with your staff and clients too – the more the merrier. Don’t be afraid to let people know you have space for new customers and where they can go to find out more.
Join the dots.
Remember – if sales are starting to fall now you need to try and turn the tide before it’s too late.
It’s really important to link everything together so you can join up all of your efforts to reach new customers.
It’s not easy – especially when you’ve already got your day job to contend with. Don’t worry, here at Purpose Media we’ve got a whole team who can help you at every step. Get in touch with us for a chat to find out more.