By Candace Huntly
While we’re all inundated with discussions of how the economy is going to reopen and speculation of when that will actually happen, you should be asking what is going on with your marketing strategy. Specifically, what kind of content are you putting out there? Has your content strategy changed since the start of the pandemic? What about since the start of the lockdown?
Regardless of what industry you are in and whether you have been able to offer the same products and services as before or not, consumer behaviour has shifted drastically. Your content strategy should mirror those shifts so you can ensure you connect with your audience in the best way possible.
Here are 7 things to consider as you tackle your marketing during this uncertain time.
#1: Identify current organizational goals
Like it or not, the changing economic situation and social distancing measures will shift things for your business. While some businesses will be able to continue to offer the same products and services, the way your customers consume those products and services will likely change. And for other businesses, life as you know it has likely been flipped on its head. You may find yourself on hold completely.
In either scenario, your goals will likely have changed and how you prepare for the coming months is just as important as how you are managing on a day to day basis right now. You may think that stopping all marketing efforts is a great way to save money if people can’t buy from you, what happens when you can re-open? Are you planning on starting from scratch to build relationships? You need to plan and figure out what today brings for tomorrow.
What are you trying to accomplish right now? Are you trying to maintain a presence on your marketing channels so you don’t get forgotten about even if you can’t sell right now? Are you trying to maintain or grow your sales? Are you focused on building a community of loyal followers? Are you prioritizing educating your customers? Something else?
Once you figure it out, you can build your strategy.
#2: Identify how your audience behaviours have changed
Audience behaviours are changing – even if it simply means they don’t go out as much. Any time your behaviour changes, you need to adapt your approach to communicating with them. Figure out if and how your audience behaviour has shifted by asking yourself a few questions about your audience:
- Are they directly affected by Coronavirus?
- Have their priorities shifted during this time?
- How have their purchase habits shifted? Are they comfortable buying more online? Are they buying less? More?
- Can they still use my product/service? Do they have to alter the way they use it?
- Are they spending more time on social media? Watching videos online? Participating in discussions on social forums?
These are just a few things to consider when you are figuring out how your audience behaviour has changed. Answer honestly and, where possible, ask your audience directly.
#3: Figure out what your competitors are doing
This is a given at any point in your business growth. During times like these look at how your competitors are communicating with their customers and figure out if there is anything they are doing that you think might work for your own customer base or even things that you think won’t work at all. It provides a good foundation to figuring out what type of content you should be creating in a time like this.
#4: Develop new messaging guidelines
Your key brand messaging should remain in tact (unless you have shifted the entirety of your business because people still need information about what it is you are selling and they still need to get to know you as a brand. However, you should draft messaging to reflect the current situation that we are in.
A healthy mix of messaging is good because people don’t ONLY need to hear about Coronavirus updates and information from you. Your content should still reflect who you are as a brand.
#5: Develop content to help you communicate clearly
Once you figure out what you are trying to accomplish during this time and how your customer behaviour has changed, you can start creating content. Your content should help you meet your goals, but it should also help you connect with your audience in the best way possible.
Focus on visuals to stop the social media scrolling (because everyone is spending more time on social right now) and the type of content that will resonate with your audience. Are you hoping to inform, entertain, educate, promote, a combination of all of the above? Your task at this stage is to create content for the needs of your audience. And given the increased emotions regarding what is happening right now, addressing your audience needs is more important than ever.
#6: Engage your audience daily
While your scheduled content is important, your day-to-day interaction with your customers and target audience is equally as important. Now that we’re all stuck in a socially distanced world, making human connections will help you grow your community. You need to figure out how you can have the most meaningful impact on your community.
You can use content in many ways to help you build a loyal community. For example, you can host webinars, create podcasts, develop an IGTV series, and so much more. The challenge is that you need to think beyond this time period to ensure you can carry it on beyond social distancing to show you value your community.
#7: Monitor content and engagement daily
Things are changing on a moment’s notice. You can’t just schedule your content and forget it. Keep revisiting the same questions throughout this time to ensure your audience behaviours and overall goals haven’t changed.
If you’re having trouble getting your strategy straight during the era of COVID-19, set up a free 20-minute consultation with us to discuss how you can get started!