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Home Business Magazine|Summer 2021
How to Spread the Word About Your Business One Year into the Pandemic

After a full year of quarantining and placing everything on hold, we are now slowly getting back to life and back to business. It’s a critical time to publicize your business so that your growth and success can pick up where it left off1 year ago. For this topic, we’ve gathered a panel of business experts who share their tips on how to get publicity for your business. Such tips include filling the gaps; staying regularly connected with customers; utilizing digital marketing techniques; utilizing technology for more effective publicity and marketing; increasing brand exposure through messaging; building a successful website and online presence; focusing on content; growing your email list; utilizing social media and optimization; implementing a chatbot; producing quality content; cross-media marketing; repurposing content; and much more. Learn from these experts and implement these tips to better publicize your business during the second half of 2021.

Fill the Gaps Created by the Pandemic

In many ways, the pandemic created even more competitive fields in publicity and marketing for many industries. If there's any bright side, it's that many opportunities have been created for those that are agile and creative enough to seek out those opportunities and seize them. For us, through the heart of the pandemic we identified that there would be less sports vying for TV time, so we immediately pivoted to first developing a safe model for play for our players, and then petitioned our broadcast partners for the additional time. Production costs were at an all-time low, allowing us to deliver value to our sponsors with multiple broadcasts while at a discounted rate of cost to us. The moral of the story is that whether it be your industry, competitor, or local market, there has been a gap created that is waiting for someone to fill. It will require some level of risk, but those that can fill the gaps will be the ones who have the smoothest transition from this pandemic-filled world back to a state of (semi) normalcy.

— Trey Ryder, CMO of American Cornhole League, https://www. iplaycornhole.com

Stay Connected with Your Core Customer Base

Being in California, our bowling center was mandated to be closed for over a year and we were just permitted to reopen about a month ago. As bowling centers in less restricted states started reopening, they reported that the first customers to return were their core base of weekly league bowlers. We knew that it would be important to be able to publicize and market directly to these customers and remind them that when the time came to reopen, we would be there for them. We used our customer database to send out several email blasts during the months that we closed to keep our customers updated with the latest information on when we might be permitted to open. The best part about social media is that it's free publicity and marketing. We used our Facebook page to create numerous posts about bowling and had contests to help keep them engaged. We sent a couple of mailers to let our bowlers know that we were still there and as the time to reopen drew nearer, we launched a phone publicity campaign with the league secretaries and had them contact all the bowlers to let them know the dates that each of their leagues would start. Overall, we have had a pretty good turnout. While we don't have the usual number of league bowlers that we have during the winter months, our bowler count is still up for this time of the year. It’s been very encouraging after being closed for such a long period of time.

— Jim Decker, President of Bowling Proprietors' Association of America, https://bpaa.com/ bpaa/about-the-bpaa/our-mission-vision

Focus on Native Digital Marketing Techniques over Platforms

With everyone cooped up inside due to stay-at-home guidelines, prospective customers are on their devices more than ever. For all entrepreneurs focused on digital marketing, that’s amazing news, but not all digital marketing is working amidst the pandemic. More content is being consumed online, but that also means more platform advertising is being ignored or skipped. YouTube saw the most significant usage growth amongst all the social media platforms during the pandemic, but ad revenue plunged as businesses cut back and users skipped 65% of ads. Because prospective customers are consuming more content than ever before, consider publicizing and marketing through podcast host read ads through platforms like RedCircle or creator recorded ads in videos, which my tech startup Curastory powers hundreds of YouTube, IGTV, and Facebook Watch video shows. Naturally, potential customers are more likely to listen to ads from those creators they are already tuned in to see as it’s more organic.

— Tiffany Kelly, Founder and CEO of Curastory, https://www.curastory.co

Communicate Regularly with Clients

Here we are a year into the pandemic and we have been doing what it takes to keep our business thriving. A major lesson I learned to keep the momentum going through a difficult period was communication and publicizing and marketing to our clients and partners. Setting a schedule as part of each day to reach out through conversation, email, etc. has made it a more comfortable situation when we haven’t been able to travel and visit these customers in person! Reach out, create conversation, and give your customer base the confidence that they are on your mind and in your focus. I think we all had to go a little out of our comfort zones with technology this last year to help stay connected to our clients and guests, but social media marketing allows us to do that. But you learn quickly when it's the only option to communicate face to face. I am grateful for apps like ZOOM and MicrosoftTeams, that allowed us to still maintain an intimate relationship with our clients and customers, and almost made it a little easier to reach potential customers or guests.

— Chad Belding, Founder of The Provider Life and American Almond Beef, https://theproviderlife.com and https://www.americanalmondbeef.com

Use Technology for More Effective Marketing Language

In the age of automatic text generation, artificial intelligence is getting better all the time at generating the words (text) used in publicity and marketing efforts. But actual wordsmithing? Or being able to sort and evaluate slight changes to text? To compare and score changes in a meaningful way? That is something new that Keywee has been able to harness and is now providing to marketers. Keywee has developed an intuitive scoring system that ranks text, predicting results so that marketers can measure performance prior to launching a campaign and avoid costly and time-consuming A/B tests. With predictive performance, marketers know, in advance, how well text will perform with each audience base. Additionally, Keywee has filters that will generate tailored language for a specific audience (i.e. gender, age, etc.) maximizing publicity and marketing potential for that demographic. It is about using AI technology to workshop effective marketing language where even slight variations in wording will alter CPC and CTR results. — Inbar Yagur, Head of Marketing at Anyword, https://anyword.com

Convey Point of Difference and Increase Brand Exposure Through Messaging

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