A few weeks ago, when I was lamenting the state of the world and my business, a mentor shared something with me that helped me reframe everything. She said, “There are only three outcomes: you can die, you can survive or you can thrive — the choice is up to you.”
Talk about tough love! But as soon as the words were out of her mouth, I knew she was right. Amid the chaos, frustration, pain, and loss — which are all very real and very valid — there is a silver lining of opportunity. To innovate and capture market share and emerge from this pandemic stronger than before. You don’t have to settle for survival, you can thrive!
10 Tips for Thriving in 2020
Enable website sales. If you’re not already selling on your website, now is the time to explore that. Make sure you have a link to your shop in your social media profiles and share content that explains how people can buy from you!
Lean into your feel-good factor. Food is emotional. What is it about your company that gives people warm fuzzies? Perhaps you donate a portion of your proceeds, or maybe you employ a large group of people in your community. Whatever your contributions are, share about them. People are hungry for hopeful content.
Double down on the social channel where your audience spends time. People are spending more time on social media — a lot more! Consider where your audience spends their time online. Are they on Facebook? Then host a Facebook Live event or consider a Messenger campaign. Are they on Instagram? Publish posts and stories, and possibly IGTV videos or IG Live.
Try video. Please, please, please just try it. We’re not asking you to hop on TikTok (but if you want to, more power to you!) People are starved for connection, and if your company can provide that, they’ll love you for it. If video feels intimidating, start with what you know: try recording a Q&A or answering some FAQs. User-friendly recording software like Loom makes recording and editing a breeze!
Try chat. According to recent Hubspot data, website chat volume has steadily increased during the pandemic. Dubbed “conversational marketing”, chat can be an excellent way to build rapport with your customers. Many website platforms offer easy-to-use chat plugins and you can customize your availability so you’re not chained to your desk!
Millennials remain foodies. If you (like many of our clients) are targeting millennials, think about recipe content! This generation is cooking more, which means they’re on the hunt for recipes. Consider publishing recipes as blog posts, or do a social media giveaway contest and have people share their recipes using your product(s).
Content that educates > content that promotes. Everyone is consuming content online. That means you can get your content in front of decision makers more easily than ever before! But nobody wants to be bombarded with “buy now” messages. Instead, take this time to educate your audience about all the wonderful things that make your brand special.
Come to your retail partners with solutions. Retailers are scrambling to innovate too, whether by setting up delivery services or implementing SMS messaging. If you can provide your retail partners with innovative ways to solve their problems, they’re going to play ball! (Or, at the very least, you can capture their attention for longer than 2 nanoseconds)
Benefit-first messaging. People aren’t buying fluff anymore. Be clear and explicit in all your messaging about the benefit(s) of using your product. Benefits may be better health, or, if you’re selling vegan baking mixes (like our client Coconut Whisk), comfort and community. Whatever the benefits are, make sure they’re highlighted in your communications.
Be a happy disrupter. What can you do today that would bring a smile to someone’s face and get you positive media attention? Chalk the sidewalks around a popular walking path in your hood with a treasure hunt? Sponsor the food for someone’s postponed wedding? Be playful, creative, and ask yourself ‘how can I help?’
BONUS: Other good ideas that are (slightly) less universal
- Advertise on Hulu
- Advertise on podcasts
- Launch a subscription service for your product
- Set up an Amazon storefront
Have questions about one of the strategies above? Think we left something important off our list? Want to participate in my quarantine recipe share? Need a pep talk before you record a video? I’d love to hear from you! You can send me an email at Allison@macleodandco.com or book a time to Zoom chat here. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
About the Author: Agency Director Allison Wasz is a holistic thinker and digital marketing expert through and through. She lives and breathes digital — strategy, social media, paid search, user experience, and content generation are part of her day-to-day. Allison’s drive to understand the ‘why’ behind every action makes her well-suited to helping businesses of all sizes and across all industries develop and implement their digital marketing strategies. She believes in an educational approach to digital strategy, empowering clients to grasp how digital works in tandem with traditional marketing. Allison is a coffee drinker, part-time yogi, and red wine aficionado who spends her free time eating guacamole and patiently waiting for the next George R.R. Martin book.