Original Article by Emily Sandul
We all know a strong digital marketing strategy should be continually monitored, flexible and poised to change at a moment’s notice. However, no one could have predicted the sudden and abrupt changes to our marketing environment caused by recent national and global events.
As many employees moved to working at home, the internet became even more important as digital communications often became the lifeline between a person and the outside world. While before companies may be able to reach prospects or customers in person, now a digital relationship may be the only way to connect and share your message.
These unexpected changes often reveal the health of a marketing strategy and a marketing team’s ability to truly pivot based on uncontrollable factors. So how did your company fare? How quickly was your team able to regroup, assess, and modify your digital plan? Below are some quick tips of things to considering adjusting in these changing times.
1. Double-down on Social
More time at home, means more time people are spending on their mobile devices both for work and pleasure. Facebook recently reported record-usage during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Therefore, it’s critical to meet your customers where they are most likely at right now – on social channels.
While you’ll want to increase your focus on social messages, we must remember that it’s not business as usual on social. Your content strategy should be adjusted to include relevant, timely content such as:
- How are national and global events impacting your industry?
- How your company is responding to the pandemic – how are you helping? How are you protecting your employees and customers?
- How could your product or service help them during these times of uncertainty and change?
Sharing timely, relevant content can ensure you continue to engage with your customers and position yourself as a trusted partner during this time of uncertainty.
2. Ensure Your Content Uplifts and Engages
Recent national and global events have created a great deal of uncertainty so now is a great opportunity to share positive, uplifting news about your company. Remind customers of your ‘humanness’ and that you care about them and what they are going through. Share content that makes people laugh, offers compassion or explain what you are doing to help stay feeling ‘normal’.
As an example, for one of TMC’s clients, we created content that shared photos of their new “co-working” pets and encouraged followers to share their pet photos. No matter what scary thing is going on in the world, everyone enjoys showing off their furry family members.
Many people’s new norms involve the impossible task of juggling working at home while having kids at home. How do your customers stay focused while trying to entertain their brood? Consider creating content that engages your customers kids and even explains what you do. For one client, TMC created kid-friendly coloring pages and mazes that connected to their industry and helped address those bored kids at home. For another client, TMC helped craft a photo essay blog which captured the day-to-day realities of social distancing and sheltering in place. These unique pieces of content generated very high engagement levels.
3. Leverage Email and Digital Ads to Relay Empathy
You most likely already use email and digital advertising to connect with customers but be sure to alter your messages. Ensure your email content is adjusted to include thoughtful, personal messages to show customers you care about them. This is a unique time to relate to your customers or prospects on a different level.
While many companies may consider reducing their marketing efforts at this time, we believe this is a critical time to solidify your relationship with customers. The pandemic has given people pause in their busy schedules to stop and think and potentially re-evaluate who they do business with. Remind customers that you are in this situation with them and are doing whatever it takes to help them through this difficult time.
4. Use Downtime to Get to the Bottom of Your To Do List
Every marketer would agree that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done on your marketing wish list. While many businesses are experiencing a slow down in productivity, use this time to get to those projects on the back burner and prepare yourself for success for when business returns to normal. Some commonly overlooked tasks that often fall to the bottom of busy marketers to do lists include:
- Review/revise marketing strategy
- Website updates to outdated graphics and content
- Search Engine Optimization Keyword Analysis
- Future planning of social media content and calendars
- Future planning of drip campaign content
- Blog / white paper article writing
- Email database clean-up
- Analyze and define social personas and target prospects
There are many factors out of our control right now, but you do have control over how you will respond and adjust your marketing strategy. Making thoughtful adjustments now to your digital strategy may allow you to weather this storm and prepare your company for a successful future.