This time last year, Australian businesses were in crisis mode, and there was an all-time high in people Googling ‘business help’, ‘small business help Australia’, ‘business support’ and similar phrases. Even during the Global Financial Crisis, these search phrases failed to reach the frequency of 2020.
As with any panic-inducing situation, there was an obvious fight or flight response. Many businesses were guided by the misconception that effective marketing needs large teams and budgets, and this resulted in them being left behind.
In 2021, we’re facing a more competitive marketplace than ever before, and the companies that have survived are the ones that realised the value of effective ongoing communications and marketing.
Businesses are still facing challenges but during this bounce-back phase, those adopting three innovative tactics are leading the charge.
Video appointments and quotes
Video and voice software became the new normal for meetings in 2020, with many businesses adopting video conferencing for in-home consultations and to provide quotes for new business.
This major trend will continue well into this year. With further advancements and innovation in 2021, video appointments will become the new norm, helping businesses to increase productivity through eliminating travel time.
How a business could use video and tele appointments for quotes:
- Utilise a booking form with an in-person, phone or video consult option
- Expand your service areas and utilise video quotes and consults to facilitate the order process
- Fit more consults into your day by offering video options for services like pre-booking hair assessments and quotes
Community involvement and partnerships
2020 saw communities suffer great loss and businesses need to be seen as responsive and caring. We anticipate a strong trend in the reinstatement of community programs, with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility.
You need to be conscious of how your product or service impacts your community, and how you communicate this. Businesses are only around because the community has allowed them to thrive, so it’s important to show appreciation and support causes that are important to you and your customers.
A great way to get involved with the local community and build partnerships is by offering a small sponsorship to a local sporting club or event. In return, you may be able to receive signage on club grounds, your logo on uniforms, a mention by the commentator during games and more.
How to be a socially responsible business:
- Support other local businesses
- Offer your knowledge through free content, webinar or events
- Think sustainably
- Have a social mission
- Get your staff involved through fundraisers or a CSR team
- Communicate with the public about causes you’re passionate about
Don’t be deceived – live chat is not a new technological development. Today, 41% of consumers say live chat is their preferred method of contact, with 79% saying it’s due to the instant response, across both social media messengers and websites.
One of the many goals of marketing is conversions. Not having live chat is like leaving your store unattended. How are you making sales? We anticipate the continued online shopping landscape to grow exponentially. With additional businesses moving to offer online services, the ability to connect with your clients is now more important than ever.
To increase your chance of conversions, you should be offering as many options of contact as possible, including, at a minimum:
- Website forms
- Website live chat
- Facebook Messenger
- Instagram Messenger
Live chat software is easy to install on almost any website, is affordable (even free) and can be automated to respond to users, even when you’re asleep. Facebook Chat Plugin is a good place to start with – it is free, and most people can install it themselves, leaving no reason not to get on board.
When it comes to digital marketing, customers no longer just want the cheapest option. They want connections with who they’re buying from and using and want to feel good about doing it. It’s up to businesses to make sure they’re making their experiences easy and connecting with their customers to create long lasting beneficial relationships.