COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on every brand across every industry. For many of us, it’s clarified our values, and inspired us to take action. For others, buckling down and laying low seems to be the smartest move.
But pioneering leaders of the industry know that postponing action is a mistake. People are watching to see how brands respond to this pandemic, and they’ll continue doing business with brands that choose to innovate and serve.
Businesses are under the spotlight, and what they do now will either set them up for success, or failure in a post-COVID world. So what can you do now to get a head start, and strategically position your brand as the solution customers are looking for?
Let’s look at 7 strategies you implement so customers know that you’re the brand to turn to when they’re ready to take action.
Curate & Repurpose Content
We’re living in extraordinary times, and you want all of your content to reflect a relevant message. Ensure all of your headlines and blogs are empathetic, insightful, and on point.
Consider how any of your content could be repurposed for an omni-channel approach—in other words, create a video based on one of your blog posts, or collect your short video trainings into a full webinar—and continue to invest in paid and organic opportunities to reach a captive audience.
Content curation enables you to maximize your existing content, and it can be more cost-effective than creating brand new content. There are multiple tactics you can deploy to curate and repurpose content, including:
- Find content that’s relevant to your audience, and add your own personal commentary to be an intelligent filter of that content
- Handpick related content that you’ve published and link it to top-performing blogs
- Get your community involved and ask people on social media to share content they think is worthwhile
- Repurpose your most popular blog posts and repackage them into mega guides for your readers
Note: In a post-COVID world, customers will be looking to brands for reassurance. They’ll want to do business with brands that have not only complied with guidelines, but have gone above and beyond to provide experiences that are convenient, meaningful, and safe. Take the time to integrate reassurance and empathy into your messaging.
Update Your Website
No one knows exactly how COVID-19 will change consumer behavior long-term, but in our fast-paced digital world, online engagement will only continue to accelerate. If you haven’t updated your website since COVID-19 hit, now is the time to do it. With an unprecedented number of adults now working from home, and kids taking up online learning, it’s essential that your website is user friendly and up-to-date.
Repurpose your content to let customers know how you’re responding to COVID-19, what resources you offer (if any) why your product or service is a great solution for the problems they may be facing, and give them a clear call to action.
Should customers order online? Schedule an appointment or make a reservation now? Check you out on social media? Make it simple, and guide customers through their buying journey.
If you’re trying to rank in a competitive industry, don’t scale back on your SEO efforts; chances are, many of your competitors are putting SEO on the backburner, so now is the best time to double down on your efforts and get ahead.
Conduct interviews, and send out surveys to gather insight on your customers at this critical moment. Take the time to understand their biggest pain points, and relate those pain points back to your solutions.
Make necessary adjustments to ensure you’re meeting market demand in an economy where consumer behavior is shifting. Your current customers can provide you with valuable insight so you can anticipate their future expectations and continue to improve.
Ensure Press Releases are Relevant & Important
The press is being picky about what stories they put on, and they want those stories to be relevant. Make sure that your press releases will strike a chord with your audience and aren’t superficial or insensitive. You may need to shift the messaging in your press release so it resonates with current events.
To some degree, everyone has been impacted by COVID-19. For those who have been affected, it may take years for life to go back to normal. That’s why brands need to show their customers they genuinely care. Offering discounts has always been a great marketing tactic, but more than ever people will be hungry to score sweet deals.
Volkswagen is offering 6 months no payment for those who want to upgrade their car, and many insurance companies are automatically discounting 25% off customers’ bills due to the decreased rate of driving. An eventual vaccine will help restore peace of mind, but it may take longer for some people to restore their bank account. By showing empathy during and after these trying times, you’ll distinguish yourself as a brand that truly cares about their customers.
Amp Up Digital
Research shows that businesses are now pivoting their marketing budget to invest more heavily in digital marketing solutions. With consumers demanding online learning, virtual events, and engaging content, companies are doubling down on webinars, video content, social media, and virtual event creation.
COVID-19 has accelerated market demand for creative online solutions and disruptive content, and this new ecosystem isn’t going anywhere. Your digital marketing efforts should engage your target market and directly support your bottom line. Here are some examples of digital marketing tactics that yield terrific results:
- Email nurturing campaign—according to Statista, the number of global email users will increase to 4.3 billion in 2023. Engaging and converting your customers via email is an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Well-crafted campaigns can expect to yield a return of $42 for every $1 you spend.
- Social media marketing—your audience is at home, and they’re on a myriad of social media platforms. Organic and paid social media ads are a great way to expand your reach and get in front of your customers while they’re captive. Use relevant hashtags to build credibility and demonstrate you’re up to date.
- Content marketing—in the B2B and B2C space, people are looking for relevant resources and thought leadership on how to navigate through these difficult times. Find topics that would be of interest to your audience and frequently publish valuable content, preferably on multiple platforms.
Every industry is being impacted differently by COVID-19—how is your industry being impacted, and subsequently changing as a result of this pandemic?
It’s important to not only be aware of what’s currently trending in your industry, but to look at where the puck is going, and know which trends are likely to emerge as a result of current events.
For example, the dine-in experience is about to change drastically as a result of COVID-19, with contactless ordering and payment emerging as a must-have for restaurants as new guidelines are put into place.
The event industry is now pivoting to incorporate virtual solutions, and while people will continue to attend live events in a post-covid world, many events will shift to online as it enables planners to save on cost and attendees to more conveniently work the event into their schedule.
The Long-Term Benefits of Better Positioning
Setting up your brand for success and positioning yourself as a proactive, caring brand will require effort, and massive action. But taking strategic action right now is the best thing you can do to be competitive, disruptive, and remain top of mind for when people start returning to their normal lives.
Technology has enabled people to stay connected, productive, and on-track during these trying times, and technology is a trend that will only continue to accelerate. So by correctly positioning your brand now using these 7 strategies, you can ensure that you’re set up to thrive for years to come.