It's no surprise that COVID-19 has decimated business across the world.
With everyone “social distancing” and people staying home it isn't any wonder that day after day we see another small/medium and sometimes large business hanging up their hats and closing their doors.
I know it's hard to think of a life outside of COVID right now but it will come, and you need to be ready.
As the restrictions hit us pretty much overnight there was a scramble for a lot of business to accept & embrace new technology, figure out how to communicate and engage with their client or marketplace & get their new message out there. However, what's your plan for when things go back to "normal". What will the new "normal" be, and are you ready for it.
So far, we have managed to sustain our business rather smoothly through these difficult times and mainly because we still have a strong presence online and remain visible. In a time where costs are cut and non-essentials like Marketing & PR are reduced, it's the perfect time to ramp up your marketing. You want to be top of mind in your business when this time ends.
People are panicking right now. It’s no time to focus on your needs or branding. Look for ways to put your audience in first place and address their needs and concerns. For example, if you are a financial institution, you might produce content that addresses ways that your audience can save money during this time or how their small business can adapt to decreased customer numbers and purchases.
Cease All Non-Essential Press Releases and Launches
Press releases and launches are a key part of any PR strategy, especially B2B PR. The fact is that now is not the time for your latest announcement —unless it simply can’t wait. The reality is that nobody cares right now. Everybody is in a state of panic and has time only to focus on the current situation, not your company news. So put off that press release or product launch until things calm down and don’t piggyback off the work of others trying to make yourself stand out. That shows bad form, is really obvious and can be detrimental to your brand.
Work on Back Burner Projects
We all have those projects that we put on the back burner, waiting for when things slow down. Well, now is your time to dig out those projects and give them your full attention. This could include writing a book, updating your brand messaging, creating and publishing a new website, creating a video or podcast, designing a new offer, or even developing athought leadership strategy. Whatever it may be, now is the time to do it. We all know those people who are "going" to do something. So maybe gently remind them from time to time. Give encouragement to those around you to get out of their comfort zone and take on new projects.
Focus on Online Services
In-person events and conferences are off-limits in many areas at the moment. So look for ways to do things online to support your B2B marketing and PR strategies.Create webinars that people can log into from the comfort of their home. Do a live video on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that will engage your audience. Take time to produce regular videos that will benefit your strategy even after the panic dissipates. Once you get into the habit of these things you will it easier to do once we re enter the world.
Build Up Your Social Media
Social media is going to be a mainstay for everybody staying at home during this time. And it’s something that you can work on and improve in the background. Make sure all of your information is up to date. Look for ways to spice up your social profilesand feeds. Upload pertinent content that keeps you and your brand top of mind, but also speaks to the needs of your audience. Think about what your audience needs NOW. If you are a real estate sales person do you really think Mr & Mrs Smith needs to see you pull up in your Audi in a video and put a SOLD sticker on a signboard with a cheesy caption saying sold for $50,000 above asking price? Is that providing any benefit to them? Ask yourself, what does Mr & Mrs Smith want to know RIGHT NOW and give it to them.
Optimize Your Digital Spaces
Whether it’s your blog, website or third-party sites where you’re listed, you can take the time now to make sure these are fully optimized. Clean up and refine your SEO and B2B marketing strategy to ensure your current content is as visible as possible. Update all old information. Pinpoint what is and is not working within your strategy and adjust your tactics and budget accordingly.
Look for Ways to Help
It’s not all about your company. Look outward for ways to help your community, including your employees and customers who have been affected by this virus. Whether it’s with resources, technology, or skill-set, ask yourself what you can do to help during this stressful time. This might not be a traditional B2B marketing tactic, but it’s the right thing to do and will be appreciated by your audience or marketplace. People will remember those who stood out and helped during this time. Be one of those people.
These PR and marketing tactics are designed to help you weather the storm of this pandemic and come out the other side stronger than ever.
As always, we are here for you and hope you stay safe during this difficult time.
Bespoke Media Management