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We knew this summer was gonna be different (thank you, pandemic). But that doesn’t mean marketing takes a three-month vacation. The Pork Council’s letting pigs fly to try and save restaurants! While they help North Carolina barbecue, we’ll take care of your non-porcine marketing needs with this week’s Points of Interest.

Are you too late?

We’re more than half a year into a global pandemic, and many companies are still reacting to its impact on their bottom line and scrambling to share the right messaging to appease their customers.

It may be a challenge to assemble a crisis marketing plan in the middle of a crisis, but this opinion piece from Entrepreneur makes the case as to why now’s the time to strategize because the relevance of your business is based on changing consumer behavior.

Here are some takeaways from the article we think you can begin using immediately:

Facebook’s paid ads drive curiosity, though LinkedIn’s marketing offers that to you for free. LinkedIn is an optimal social channel to attract new interest as its audience today is five times more than it was in December last year. Consider soft selling through creative content, and take the time to create a community of loyal followers that will become regular customers down the line.

Describe your areas of expertise in the simplest possible explanation.

You should send a “We hope you are safe during these challenging times” email to customers even if they’re not buying today.

Keep email in your grand design

The pandemic has changed the way businesses market themselves for the foreseeable future – perhaps forever – and it has shown how email marketing is more important than ever for reaching customers when face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) isn’t an option.

We’ve written extensively about the importance of sensitivity, the right message at the right time and knowing your audience. This blog post digs into the types of email marketing to help you determine which of them could be the most effective for your company.

How do we know email marketing is still effective?

  • Email users will hit 3 billion this year, according to Radicati Group.
  • For every $1 spent on email marketing, it delivers an average return on investment of $32, says The Data & Marketing Association.

Despite the positive ROI, email was only 13% of company marketing spend on average in 2019, though it was attributed to 19% of sales (according to Sale Cycle) – so take advantage of tactics that others may be ignoring.

I assure you, we’re open

Some of the benefits touted by shopping brick and mortar versus online are not as valid today, including the trust factor. Years of ecommerce advancements have given much of the population assurance that their private information is (mostly) safe and that delivery is relatively seamless.

Mom and Pop stores have to look for other opportunities to drive customers back indoors now that shops are once again open for business (for now). An article from Pet Product News dives into tactics small businesses (not just those catering to furry friends) can attempt.

Find a way to merge passion into what you’re selling. For example, when you ask someone if they have a pet, a smile typically emerges on their face, and they’re ready to tell you stories or show photos. (Sure, the same thing can work if you ask if they have kids or grandkids, too.) Finding a message around your product that evokes that type of emotion will be your golden nugget for content, be it ads, emails or blog posts.

Small businesses (hopefully) have a good relationship with their suppliers. Reach out for help to get live customers back to your shop. Ask suppliers about donating product, services or advertising dollars toward a promotion or ad campaign. They don’t want to lose you as a customer.

Meet the Marketing Monsters

The Analytics Monster wants to melt your brain. Just his namesake is enough to drive many of us mad: Analytics is the systematic computational analysis of data or statistics.

“Aargh! What does that even mean?!? Help!”

Don’t worry, the Savoir Faire superheroes have heightened awareness of analytics and how to control that monster so he works for you! We use Google Analytics (GA) to help our customers understand the power of their website, by looking at wins, losses and pointing out ways to improve messaging.

The Analytics Monster hates GA for several reasons, as evidenced in this blog post:

  • GA offers a superior level of data
  • GA is free!
  • Ecommerce data within GA is top-quality

Go from OK to KO

When you advance your online content from “meh” to “a-mah-zing!” it’s a double win because it’s useful for your customers and performs well for you.

At Savoir Faire, we place a big emphasis on keywords within content so the content can be found by the right people. Our analytics and content team partner to discover relevant keywords based on the industry or subject matter and then thoughtfully integrate those keywords into content.

Just stuffing a high-ranking keyword into your content isn’t going to do squat. Content Marketing Institute has a new article about improving content performance and their first tactic is using keywords based on your audience’s intention.

There are four types of search intent:

  • Informational: Potential customers want to find an answer to a question or a solution to a problem.
  • Navigational: Someone knows which company or site they need information from, such as searching for operation hours.
  • Investigational: Potential customers know what type of service or product they want to buy, and now they’re looking for aspects such as reviews, price, ease of acquisition, etc.
  • Transactional: They’re ready to buy! They know exactly what they want and the search query includes all the information they’ve acquired, potentially after they’ve used the other three types of search intent.

You can target keywords for potential customers’ search intent based on what you want them to do. For example, if your goal is email list conversions, focus on informational searchers who may consider you a trusted source of information. Consider using targeted keywords that begin with “how to” and longer keywords that ask questions.

Council pulls pork

Restaurants are bacon, er, beggin’ customers to return, and they’re looking for opportunities to keep their businesses afloat. You’ve already seen makeshift outdoor seating areas pop up in parking lots and on sidewalks.

With that in mind, we thought this creative marketing campaign was worth sharing. The North Carolina Pork Council has declared this the summer of barbecue (which summer isn’t?), and is encouraging pork enthusiasts in North Carolina to visit several establishments to get their fill of grilled oinkers.

Participants who visit five different restaurants, order a pork menu item and share the experience on social media will win a special “Summer of ‘Cue” T-shirt. There are 450 barbecue restaurants in North Carolina, so hitting five isn’t a huge challenge.

“Pork — and barbecue in particular — is so important to our state’s identity and heritage, and we want to do all we can to encourage support for our restaurants,” said Jim Lynch, president of the council. “With many activities canceled or postponed this summer, this gives families a chance to have some fun while they hopefully try a new restaurant or two.”

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