The NSW Government has announced it is offering qualifying small businesses and not for profits the opportunity to apply for a ‘Recovery Grant’ of up to $3,000.
The Recovery Grant helps small businesses meet the costs of safely reopening or up-scaling operations. These expenses include, but are not limited to: marketing, communications and advertising.
But, what type of marketing and advertising activities can businesses undertake to make the most of the grant?
We have put together a helpful list:
1.Develop a plan and budget for the next 3 to 6 months
The creation of a short-term marketing plan that documents ideas to re-engage existing customers and attract new customers is important. A three to six-month plan will provide much-needed consistency and control. There may still be many societal changes over the next three to six months, so try to account for different scenarios in your plan and anticipate possible market changes.
2. Identify which customers you want to reach and their pain points
It is important to research and identify the types of customers who will be the focus of your marketing and advertising efforts. Remember that throughout the pandemic your target market needs may have changed. Decide whether you will aim promotions mostly at existing customers or also use this time to try and attract new customers.
The best way to identify and understand your customers is to listen to them, and to take note of changes in their attitudes and behaviours. Monitor customer discussions through social media platforms, customer care and emails
Remain protective of customer relationships though and avoid taking actions that provide short-term gain at the expense of the customer’s trust.
3. Update your digital channels
More companies are moving their business online and more customers are finding and accessing brands online. That means digital platforms are essential. Ensuring all social media platforms and your Google My Business page are continually updated and optimised highlights to customers that you are open and operating. This period of transition could be a suitable time to create new and updated branding for your business.
4. Digital advertising is a cost-effective option
While marketing efforts often focus on optimising organic search, combining organic efforts with paid digital advertising can be very beneficial. Digital advertising is a good way to increase your brand awareness as it displays content to individuals within and outside of your social networks. The targeted analytics provided on most social media platforms, like Facebook, can generate data on interested potential customers. Digital advertising is cost-effective and offers pre-determined audiences, analytics and budget, but before you advertise go back to point one, and make sure you have identified your audience.
5. Update your customers with an email newsletter
A professional way to keep customers updated is through an email newsletter. If using platforms like Mailchimp, you can either design your own template or adapt a pre-populated one, but it is essential that the content leads back to your website for higher engagement levels.
Developing content that adds value to your audience shows care and thought. Customers value authentic content now more than ever as their trust levels might have waivered during tough times.
6. Letterbox drop
Despite the growing reliance on digital platforms for marketing, the faithful letterbox drop is still an effective tool, especially when marketing to older customers. Brochures and leaflets delivered in a letterbox drop can easily be tailored to the needs of the individual due to the demographic and location targeting. This approach can be more memorable and personal than ephemeral mass messages distributed via email or social platforms. The real estate industry, for example, uses the letterbox drop as it provides a strong reach and high readership – and in real estate securing even one listing through this marketing tool delivers a spectacular return on investment.
7. Promote special offers
Another strong marketing strategy to entice people to re-engage with your business is to promote a special offer or develop a special discount strategy. This type of sales promotion advantages most small businesses, as it can trigger a purchase or worthwhile request for more information. Special offers can help with luring new customers, engaging repeat customers and enticing reluctant customers towards your business.
8. Engage a marketing and communications agency to develop the plan for you
If you are keen to make the most of your Recovery Grant and revive customer interest in your business, but don’t have the confidence to devise a new marketing plan, you can engage a professional marketing and communications agency. An agency with the right expertise can provide fresh ideas, assess and update your existing promotions and help your business adapt to changes brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. A marketing and communications agency can steer you through the stages to identify the customers you want to reach, document a three-month plan and advise on effective digital and traditional marketing platforms. It is a simple way to set your business on the road to recovery.
See the NSW website for guidelines about which businesses are eligible. If your business is eligible for the grant, work out now the most cost-effective way to use that $3,000.
Get in touch with Infodec Communications and we can help you put the right plan in place to boost your business success.