Breaking Through the Noise: Marketing During a Pandemic

Breaking Through the Noise: Marketing During a Pandemic

Takia Ross of Accessmatized explains how her social media experimentations have created more business for her during quarantine. Never ask which content will generate revenue for you. Instead as what content your audience wants, and find the answer to that question. You can’t go wrong then.

Listen to the podcast episode here:

Ruthie: In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about breaking through the digital noise and marketing during a pandemic. As I stated, this is going to be a long-term issue. The pendulum swung one way and everybody was talking about it. 

Takia, I’m sure you got that deluge of emails about what we’re doing during COVID-19 from people you haven’t heard from in forever. And I think the pendulum is starting to come back, but that means that it may even swing so far that people completely stop talking about it. 

So I’m curious to know what’s different for you in terms of marketing when compared to February, January, or December 2019.

marketing-during-a-pandemic

There Are More People Online Now

Takia: I think what’s different is that you actually have people watching. Before we were all in some state of lockdown, people were bombarded with things. People had millions of other things pulling at their attention and trying to vie for their eye. 

When the pandemic hit and as we’ve been progressing through it, all people have as their connection to the world is social media. That’s all. I mean, that’s how we’re talking and communicating with each other. They have Zoom, ,they’re doing Tik Toks, they’re on YouTube, etc. 

Know Where Your Customers Are

So what I found was that I needed to make sure that I was staying relevant in those spaces. I didn’t choose every space. You don’t have to be on every social media platform; you choose the platforms where your customers are. My customers are predominantly on Instagram and Facebook, so I stayed between Instagram and Facebook. 

And it may not be this way for everybody, but I do not talk pandemic. I found that my customers want relief. They want a minute where they don’t have to be reminded that they’re stuck in the house or they might have lost their job. They want some semblance of normality. 

What Types of Content Does Your Audience Want?

So what I did was start doing lives. I would go on live and do my makeup, and we’d just have a good time. We would just laugh and joke and I’d talk about how I mess up all the time. You know, just making sure that you give people some relief.

Figuring out what your market needs is unique to each business. My market needed a respite, and makeup gave them that. 

If you have a food business, you could be showing people how they can cook your menu items at home. Ain’t nobody going to do it as good as you do, so you’re not going to lose business. You’re not going to lose business because you taught somebody how to make it.

If anything, you’re going to gain business. They’re going to say, “Mine didn’t taste like the one you made, so as soon as this is over, I’m coming to get yours!” 

I can teach people how to do make up all day long, but you still want somebody to do it for you. You want to be pampered. 

How Hoarding Information Is Blocking Your Blessings

Ruthie: That is absolutely true, and it’s been true even before this. It’s not that my clients aren’t smart enough to learn how to do what I do, because they definitely are; it’s that they don’t have or want to spend the time on it. So what they actually want is proof that they can trust me to do it successfully. 

I could cover my website with all of my secrets, and it would make no difference. So when I do things like webinars or interviews, I don’t hold back.

I’ll tell you everything because you either want to do it yourself with your in-house people, so you were never going to hire me, or you don’t have the budget. But it doesn’t hurt me to tell you everything.

And I would love to be able to cook some of the foods that I get at restaurants, but that’s not my job! 

It Will Cost You Either Time or Money

Takia: As a business owner, you’re either going to pay with time or money. So you need to decide which one you’re willing to pay for. I always tell people to set their hourly rate. How much are you worth an hour? 

For example I’m worth $50/hr. Why are you doing a job that you can pay somebody half of that to do? So you’re still gonna make money from paying them. Once they’re done, you’re going to make more money from that. 

Secondly, I’m able to take my $50/hr self and work on a task that’s going to make us more money. Now you have two people working on two different tasks that are both going to make you more money. So either you got to pay with time or money.

And think about who you purchase from. I purchase from people whom I’m good friends with. I know about their kids and stuff. If you’re, if you’re purchasing from somebody, they should tell you, “Well this is how I do this ponytail. You need to do X, Y, and Z.” I’m not going to do the ponytail, but I swear I’ll pay you to do the ponytail because I could never get my ponytail that way. 

Stop hoarding information because you’re only hurting yourself. I’m not saying to give out your formulas and all of that stuff. I get that. But something as simple as me showing you how I put my makeup on, that’s harmless. We don’t have the same face. 

How Much Time Are You Willing to Invest to Learn?

Ruthie: That’s the truth. Also, what if it’s something you can’t do or have to invest a lot of time to learn? You’re operating outside of your area of brilliance. I often work with clients who could learn it, but how many hours would they have to invest to know SEO the way I know it? ]

Write content the way I write it?

Develop the marketing strategies, learn the ins and outs of social media algorithms, and search engine algorithms?

How much time would they have to invest? 

Takia: I’m not going to do that. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. 

Ruthie: And who’s paying you to learn that? 

Takia: No, I’m not doing it. I’m gonna pay you to do it. Tell me exactly why we need to have this , and then I’ll pay you. Because I watched you talk about it on social media for weeks on end, so you made yourself a subject matter expert in this particular field. 

We should stop hoarding information. You’re blocking your own blessings. Somebody’s gonna pay you for what you have in your head; you don’t have to be a workhorse all the time.

I tell women that all the time. Don’t think that you have to physically be doing manual labor to be earning a significant income or revenue. People are willing to pay big money for what you know. 

Recommendations for How Businesses Should Market

Ruthie: You mentioned that you discovered your audience wanted relief. My audience wants something a little different, which is why I ask these questions. But how did you go about discovering that? What are your top recommendations for businesses wondering how they should be marketing? 

Takia: Honestly, now we have a lot of time on our hands. I physically cannot leave the house, I have a non-essential business, and I cannot open my doors.

So I turned those 40 hours a week I was spending providing services into a science project. So I started trying stuff. One week I did videos all week long, one week I did a live video at the same time every day. 

Set Measurable Goals

You need to set what your goals are. I started doing lives because I wanted to get more customers to know about my product and to make purchases. So I went live and I talked about my products. I told people how to use it, I showed people how to wear them, and I showed people how they can create different looks with them. Afterwards, I started seeing increases in sales. 

So what do you want your customer base to do? Then try different things and see if they like it. If I try doing videos every day:

  • Will my engagement go up?
  • Am I getting more likes?
  • Am I getting more views?
  • Are people going to my website?
  • Are they giving me their email address?
  • Are they purchasing products? You have to know how you market. 

Post a Picture Isn’t Marketing

Just posting a picture isn’t marketing; you’re actually just posting a picture. You have to be very clear about what you’re trying to do.

When Cardi B was walking in her bikini and then she showed you what her belly looked like right now, that was all marketing. Something else will come out somehow. She wants you to look at her for something. Think about that. So set your goals and then monitor what works. 

Especially in marketing, I think we need to really use this time to set your goals, and work hard at it.

Don’t Let the Numbers Fool You

On social media, we get caught up in the numbers. I have about 3000 followers on my Instagram. A lot of times people think that you need hundreds of thousands of followers.

You don’t need that if all they’re doing is liking your stuff, but ain’t nobody bought nothing. You’re still not going anywhere. You just have a few hundred thousand people looking at you. 

Ruthie: And I talked to clients about this in relation to their website traffic. They’ll be like, “We have 1,000,000 site views a month, but it’s not converting.”

Well, you obviously (to me) have the wrong traffic. For example, a consulting firm might accidentally rank for a phrase like, “How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Month”.

Yeah, millions of people are gonna end up on your website, but you ranked for it because you used it as a metaphor in some of your content or something.

That’s not useful traffic. You could actually focus your message more, have lower numbers of site traffic, for higher conversions. 

Takia: If you’re not taking the time to really research marketing, conversions, and what your market wants, then you’ll never know. It’s trial and error. Sometimes it takes you to try a few things to find out what your customer wants. 

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