We didn’t get flying cars in 2020…nope. Things are definitely not, “business as usual” either right now and things look a little different than normal. Companies in all industries are working around the effects of COVID-19 and thinking through how to maneuver in a “virtual first” reality is priority number one for many. As events have been cancelled, many teams have quickly transitioned to working remotely, slowing travel and everyone is being encouraged to practice social distancing.
Companies that once depended largely on face-to-face interactions, events and travel are re-evaluating their approach to progress. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but there is reason to be optimistic about the challenges we face – it is the year 2020 after all and we have made certain strides in our business technology capabilities.
With the help of technology and some innovative marketing strategies, marketers can derive solutions to engage their audiences and make lasting impressions. Here are some current technology platforms for your team and partners to proactively pitch your marketing plans:
Virtual Conferences and Webinars
Don’t even think of cancelling your company’s future “in-person” events that would have demonstrated your expertise and/or influence in the marketplace. Instead, turn that event into a webinar due to concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19. As the organizers of the session, you’ll need to be quick on your feet and ensure people can still attend, perhaps still send coffee mugs or other giveaways and produce a clear agenda for participants. The show must go-online, right?
There are several platforms out there that you can use to host webinars like this. The number one most important thing is to make sure you have a stable internet connection and a backup.
Generating treasured content and increasing your distribution using paid ads is an almost necessary way at this juncture to reach/target specific market segments. Experts recommend creating a simple Loom video and then using paid ads on social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn to target the segments of customers you would like to meet at a conference. Even if digital marketing isn’t your forte, don’t be afraid to try it now.
Digital might be out of your comfort zone, but living in a time of cholera or coronavirus should bring you out of that comfort zone. Customers are out of their comfort zones and hearing an authentic voice about this discomfort can not only help them appreciate you, but also relate better to influencers who have been doing this for years without the technology. The key is to reach your target audience. Use keywords and interest targeting to direct your message to the people who most care about your product and message. Start small by testing and learning with a small budget. Then branch out in this is the perfect time to start experimenting with digital ad channels that make you feel uncomfortable.
Spectacularly Written Content
If ever there was a time that the written word could literally save a company, it’s now. Captivatingly written content in a variety of formats assists companies reach their audiences in an engaging and memorable way.
Typically, you should update your blogs weekly with new, informative content. But with everything happening in today’s business markets, ramping up your content creation to post several blogs in a week would be the proactive response to get ahead and stay there. It’s important to be there for our audience providing extra guidance and advice when they need it with the most with up-to-date info in response to what is happening in our fast changing environment.
Definitely reach out to online publications to supply their editors with guest-contributed articles. They are always looking for experts to weigh in on their industry and this need is only going to go up from here. Having a reputable publication publish your content also signals to your audience that you’re a credible leader whose insights are valued across your industry.
In light of our new reality of 2020, you should feel encouraged to recognize the power of live video. We now know a large percentage of the population is at home and live-streaming allows for real-time engagement, sharing information and connecting with viewers from afar. If you have never engaged in this type of technology, live-streaming can be done with just an iPhone on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Most people are glued to their screens and the social reach has never been more powerful. This is your new doorway to creative lead generation strategies. Viewers enter their email and what criteria you are most curious about. You respond to them with an email using a Loom video with a CTA to book a meeting.
One last reminder:
In light of current events, communication that is perceived as insensitive or disrespectful to the current state of the world can “Scarlett S” your brand for years to come. Be sure to reach out in your organization… ask everyone for their feedback and opinions of how they think something you are about to put out will be received. If your organization is not very diverse, find some diverse eyes to review it to ensure all your efforts do not wind up like the debut of the Nova car in Mexico by Chevy. The word “nova” in Spanish literally means, “it doesn’t go.” Millions of dollars were lost in one day because no one asked one person who spoke Spanish about the marketing campaign for this car in a Latin American country. Hindsight is something else, isn’t it?