It starts like any other day. You head to work, have a productive day and come home to spend well-deserved time with family. Just as you are getting ready to enjoy a nice meal, it happens.
Your phone rings. Even though you don’t recognize the number, you pick up, curious as to who could be on the other side of the line.
Next thing you know, you hear it… The Voice. You’ve heard it before, and you’ve heard it often. A voice that sends chills down your spine.
“Hello, this is Shelly, can I interest you in a new car warranty?”
If this scenario made you break out in a cold sweat, then you have probably been the victim of a scary marketing tactic. You may be aware that incessant cold calling or drowning your target audience in spam emails is a surefire way to frighten customers away, but could your business be unknowingly using other marketing strategies that make your customers want to disappear like a ghost in the night? As we revel in the Halloween spirit, discover what kind of spooky marketing tactics should be left behind, and what new methods are worth incorporating into your 2022 marketing strategy.
Don’t Ghost Existing Clients
While the majority of consumers do not appreciate being spammed, as in the scenario above, it is still important to stay in touch. Many businesses make the mistake of putting a large portion of their focus on acquiring new customers, as opposed to directing attention to retaining existing customers. However, research has proven that “ghosting” your clients could ultimately affect your bottom line. According to a study conducted by Invesp, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing customer. The same study also found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95%. Loyal customers are truly the secret to your business’s long-lasting success! There are several marketing strategies that let your customers know you appreciate their support, such as emails that remind them of current promotions, starting conversations on social media and posting information that your target audience will find relevant, and making sure to always provide outstanding customer service. Taking the time to make your customers feel appreciated improves your chances of not only retaining existing customers but earning a reputation as a great company to do business with, which in time will attract the attention of new customers.
Send an Outdated Website to the Graveyard
From outdated graphics to a poor user experience, nothing scares away potential customers than a website that looks like it hasn’t been properly maintained. Just check out the following statistics:
- According to Adobe, 38 percent of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive.
- 89 percent of consumers shop with competition after a poor user experience, according to a study from Web FX.
- According to socPub, 57 percent of internet users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
The bottom line? If you have ignored your website and not made consistent updates, dust off the cobwebs asap! How do you begin? Conduct a thorough audit of your website and check for issues such as plugins or themes that need to be updated, poor-quality images, outdated user information and broken links. Additionally, make sure to keep your website fresh with consistent, relevant blogs, important news updates and aesthetically pleasing graphics.
Don’t Wear A Mask on Social Media
Jason Vorhees. Michael Myers. Leatherface. What do these terrifying scary movie villains all have in common? Masks! Masks are a common theme in scary movies, and wearing masks and costumes to transform into a different character is the basic premise of celebrating Halloween in modern-day America. However, if you’re social media is currently portraying an image or voice that doesn’t accurately portray your brand’s personality or values, it’s time to shed the disguise! According to a study conducted by Stackla, 86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Furthermore, Cohn & Wolfe’s Authentic Brands study, which examines the role of authenticity in business, found that 91% of consumers globally indicate they are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity via purchase, investment, endorsement or similar action. Those are numbers your business can’t afford to ignore! Being honest and transparent on social media helps your company forge genuine bonds with both existing and potential customers, because it develops trust which ultimately builds loyalty. Create authenticity on your social platforms by engaging with customers if they have questions or concerns about your products and services. Create content that is unique to your brand and relevant to your target audience. Don’t fear the competition. Highlight the little details that make your brand different on social media. Also, if your brand supports charities and organizations in the community, make sure your followers know it. This demonstrates that your brand cares about more than just promoting a product and making a profit.
Raise Your PR Strategy from the Dead
Has your business become a public relations zombie, roaming through each day with no concrete goals to tell your brand’s story, and no concrete strategy on how to engage and build relationships with the media? Then now is the time to take action and bring your PR back to life! Public relations is a great way to target the right communications to the right audience in the right publications at the right time. It can showcase your brand’s unique story, products and services in a way that doesn’t feel overly promotional or inauthentic. When revamping your marketing strategy, brainstorm new ideas about your products and services that you think would make for good articles in media and trade publications. Is your business approaching a milestone anniversary! Are you a family business that has overcome a surplus of obstacles? Did your business recently start a scholarship fund for impoverished students? All of these are good examples of stories your company can pitch to local media publications that would paint a picture of your brand’s personality, mission and values.
Beware of the Unexpected
2020 and the global pandemic proved to the world that sometimes, when we’re least expecting it, life can give us far more tricks than treats. If your business runs into an unforeseen crisis, a strong public relations strategy can provide damage control, switch the perception of the situation from a positive to a negative and give your customers reassurance that everything will be handled in the best manner. Here are some effective ways to prepare for unexpected challenges your business may experience:
- Maintain Clear Communication- Communication is more crucial than ever when dealing with a crisis. Make sure you reach out to your team to let them know how you will all work together to manage the crisis, and any changes in company policy. Also, let your customers know that you are aware of the situation and provide consistent updates to reduce uncertainty, anxiety and rumors.
- Be Flexible- Challenges are inevitable. Flexibility helps business leaders stay strong under pressure and minimize stress amongst their team. If certain strategies and procedures need to be amended during a time of crisis, find creative solutions to solve the problem. This will require thinking outside of the box, but it will show your team that your business is one that can adapt to a variety of circumstances.
- Conduct A Post-Crisis Evaluation- Congratulations, you made it through the crisis! Now that the worst is over, take time to evaluate how your team handled the situation. What were your strengths? Where could the team improve? What could you do differently next time? Taking time to find these answers helps you learn from the experience and be better prepared in the future.
Let’s face it, life can be scary. So, treat your customers and prospects with marketing that is inspiring, engaging, demonstrates outstanding customer service and shows that your business is prepared for the future.