No one – especially marketers and sales teams – was prepared for the coronavirus. As markets across the globe crash in the wake of COVID-19, brands and businesses of all sizes are grappling with the impact of this highly dynamic situation.
As many of us have never experienced a pandemic before, the current crisis is forcing companies to reevaluate many aspects of their business, including adjusting marketing strategies in the near term. This is where crisis communications training come into play. While many businesses are skilled at dealing with short term public relations issues and have a documented crisis management process in place, the scope of the current situation is unprecedented.
Since coronavirus is anticipated to be with us for some time, marketers need to be sensitive to the situation and rethink current strategies.
Since many employees are currently working from home, in-person meetings and conferences are getting canceled. This big question now is how can companies continue to effectively market their products and offerings, while being sensitive to the impact of coronavirus on the community at large?
It’s time to rethink your budget for 2020
Digital marketing involves all marketing activities that are done on the internet or through the use of electronic devices. This includes paid & organic search, digital display including banner ads, and social media. Since everyone is staying at home (both employees and potential customers), there has not been a better time to leverage digital marketing to drive demand.
Remember when everyone thought they could buy social media services for a few hundred dollars because their kid in college could do it? Times have changed. Smart marketers will focus conference budgets for meetings that have either been cancelled or postponed until 2021 to maximize the digital footprint for their products during the pandemic. This will include amplifying their share of voice across social media channels including LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook.
At this time, it will be glaringly obvious why certain agencies charge a premium for marketing and PR services. Many marketers will keep promoting their products through the same channels. Their posts will be tone deaf. They will not pause scheduled tweets or pre-written content for campaigns and will continue to market as if we were still living in a pre-coronavirus digital environment.
Create more content
Now is the time to engage people more through online content creation. Whether through articles, blog posts or social media contents, the fact that everyone is now more active online, means companies can reach them faster and with more frequency.
Convert Conferences into Webinars
Your employees are remote, and so are your target customers. . While in person meetings are getting postponed and conferences are getting canceled, webinars are on the rise. Webinars are a proven, cost effective way to enhance your lead generation. During this time, increase your investment in webinars and podcasts. Your audience may have more time to attend a webinar now since they are not commuting and their schedules are likely more flexible in general.
Implement social amplification through Employee Advocacy
Implement an employee advocacy program. This will exponentially increase social media reach and engagement.
At MarketBeam, we onboard our customers and all their employees in just 2 weeks. You can do this too easily. Here are 4 steps:
1. Identify those colleagues who are best suited for employee advocacy. For example, start with sales, the executive team, customer success , and marketing.
2. Create a social media calendar so you are ready with content when employees onboard
3. Position the program with employees ahead of time and let them know that they will be building their own social profiles and brands. For example, some employees may choose to share company generated content on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, while others may only choose to share content on 1 of these channels. Choice and control will increase the level of employee engagement.
4. Host a webinar to show a quick demo and answer questions. The key is for all those employees to set up their accounts immediately.
At MarketBeam, we have a feature called auto-share, which allows employees to pre-approve all content for publishing. Alternatively, employees can choose to review each post first. Providing these options to employees has led to many of our clients realizing high levels of employee engagement. Click here to view real world client case studies.
Learn how to partner with MarketBeam to up your social media game during the pandemic.