Communications matters

Communications matters

Calling all small business owners!

The economic impact of Covid-19 has resulted in many businesses across the country suffering. The creative industry has taken one of the biggest hits, with an estimated £74 billion drop in revenue and 40,000 job losses as a result of the pandemic. The economic fallout has hit small, independent businesses hard too – with staff cutbacks and indefinite closures.

Those that remain face tough competition from larger brands with bigger budgets and brand loyalty. But how can creative communications campaigns help you grab more market share? What lessons can be learnt from how big brands communicate and how can these inform your own brand identity and messaging?

Be bold

Being different is key. Independent businesses should celebrate their independence and the freedom and diversity that brings. With competition fierce, do not be afraid to do the unexpected.

While nobody could accuse Burger King UK of being a small company, it is not afraid to be brave.  It recently released a statement asking its customers to purchase from competitors such as McDonald’s, Domino’s, and KFC as a way of supporting staff within the industry. The original and heart-warming initiative sparked a lot of positive engagement online, generating more than 200,000 reactions on Twitter and 50,000 on LinkedIn.

Get social on social media

We have already delved into the importance of social media in a previous blog, but it is worth mentioning again because of its effectiveness in enabling small brands to reach large demographics. Often, when the term ‘social media’ is thrown around, people believe it is simply a case of posting a photo or message that instantly translates into engagement and sales (if only it were that simple). The trick with social is to not get stuck in ‘broadcast’ mode but actually engage with followers, instead of just selling to them.

TikTok has a young demographic with the largest share of its UK users aged between 18 and 24. This social-savvy audience are switched off by advertising messages, so brands need to be creative. Fast-food restaurant Chipotle shares fun and comedic TikTok videos online,  and has gained huge recognition by not taking itself too seriously and creating imaginative content that really resonates with users.

Find your authentic voice

Engaging with customers – on and offline – is part of everyday business but doing this well is vital if you want to grow  brand recognition. People like to engage with people, so showing a human face or telling a human story is a great way for customers to get to know a small business and its story. You need to help people understand your values, your background and your identity to grow long-term and valuable relationships with customers.

Whether you choose to focus on earned media (PR), social media, advertising or simply, word of mouth – find what works for you. Find the platforms that work best for you, your story and the customers you want to attract.

2020 has been an incredibly tough year, perhaps the worst for a generation, but we take pride in watching local businesses grow through effective communications campaigns and methods. Not sure where to start? Feel free to get in touch and let’s chat it through.

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