The pandemic hasn’t just changed the way we live and work. It has also changed our vision of the future. Many entrepreneurs have had to completely rethink their business plans, workflow, and marketing strategies to stabilize their revenue streams. As the pandemic drags on into Q4 of 2020 and a predicted catastrophic flu season on top of COVID-19, what can entrepreneurs do to weather-proof their businesses? Scott O Hirsch, CEO of Media Direct and digital marketing pioneer, has a few ideas.
Optimize Your Customer Contact Lists for Social Media Strategies Advises Scott Hirsch
With non-essential businesses closed or offering only restricted access and people choosing to stay away from crowded venues and restaurants, it’s only natural that screen time has skyrocketed across the country. And while your target audiences are certainly checking their email more often – a 20% increase in email opens over this time last year, according to CampiagnMonitor – they are also spending an increased amount of time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
eMarketer predicts that the time spent on social media will increase by as much as seven minutes per day by the end of 2020. Seven minutes may not sound like a lot, but consider how much scrolling that is – that’s a huge increase in the likelihood of someone seeing your business’s social media ad.
While Scott O Hirsch is known for his pioneering work in the email marketing field, he’s also a huge proponent of social media marketing. “Your digital marketing strategy wouldn’t be complete without social media campaigns,” says Scott Hirsch. If you haven’t already, now is the time to find out which platforms your customers are located on so you can market to them more effectively.
Hirsch advises that you apply the audience and demographic information you’ve gathered for your email marketing campaign to your social media marketing campaigns. And don’t forget that every platform has it’s own voice and tone – so tailor your messaging appropriately. What works on Facebook isn’t always relevant or appropriate on LinkedIn, and vice versa.
Go After Market Share Advises Scott Hirsch
The biggest competitors are the ones with low margins and high overhead that have been forced to slow down their business’s pace to a crawl while their employees and consumers are forced to stay home. The big guys are spending less on research and product innovation than ever before. This leaves the field cleared for smaller, more agile businesses to ramp up their efforts and hit the market with their unique concepts.
Scott O Hirsch advises that entrepreneurs use the time the pandemic has given us to research. Look into the needs and predicted trends that your target customers will develop or be affected by. Once you grasp that, work to develop products that will meet those needs and desires.
“The entrepreneurs who come out of the pandemic the most successful will be the ones who use this downtime to innovate and expand their market share,” says Scott Hirsch, CEO of Media Direct.
Increase Your Outreach Efforts Says Scott Hirsch
Your most loyal customer base wants to hear from you. And thanks to opt-in email – a concept pioneered by Scott Hirsch in the early 90s – you know exactly who that customer base is because they signed up for your newsletter. So increase your connection with your clients by increasing your messaging.
Just make sure that your content is meaningful and relevant, warns Scott O Hirsch. If you aren’t offering important content that brings value, your audience will start tuning you out. Information fatigue is real – especially during the pandemic – so you need to make sure that you’re avoiding the trap of sending more content for content’s sake, or you’re going to see a rise in unsubscribers.
Try connecting with your customers on a personal level, suggests Hirsch. Offer to help them manage their evolving needs in this “new normal” of online-only interactions, whether that’s offering discounts on high-demand products, customized services, or offering free delivery, keeping your communications meaningful will up your readership and your profits.
Build Up Your Internal and External Relationships Says Scott Hirsch
It’s more crucial than ever that you work to shore up your business relationships, advises Scott O Hirsch. When people are forced to be more selective about how and whom they interact with, it’s natural that they’ll gravitate toward people that they already have a strong relationship with. Work to become a part of that inner circle by offering to video-chat with them at home, doing Facebook live or Instagram Reels events, and introducing them to your family and your life that way. Making yourself more real is a great way to advance intimacy quickly.
Scott Hirsch is a digital marketing pioneer and CEO of Media Direct. You can find his works published in Time, Huffington Post, Wired, Forbes, and Fox Business.