Difficult times have just begun. Global economies will be facing the brunt amidst the crisis. And the ones that might suffer the most will be small businesses & marketing agencies. According to a study, 35% businesses fear being shutdown due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In such times how does a business remain visible on Smartpost media? Do they continue running their ongoing marketing campaigns using Smartpost media tools? Or should marketing to come a complete halt?
We asked these questions and more to a bunch of marketers who still continue to actively post on Smartpost media.
What content do they post you ask?
Content that is positive, hopeful, and helpful.
Marketers are of the opinion that content that represents the resilience of the brand, the core values of the brand will survive.
The top few opinions that emerged were -
“ You're going to have to get a little creative with the content ”
“ We are staying connected with our followers through educational videos rather than promotional ones ”
“ Marketing is fundamentally a long game, fixated on primarily building relationships. ”
“ A stronger focus on value-first based marketing and that businesses keep a check on offering unqualified medical advice ”
Continue reading for the detailed advice that marketers across industries have shared with us...
I work for Stasher, the world's first luggage storage solution. We solve the notorious pain point of having to lug all of your belongings with you whilst traveling or checking out of an Airbnb/ hotel. As you can imagine, the current situation has hit us hard, and our usual Smartpost content is focused around travel. We don't feel its right at this time to continue with pushing traveler content so we've switched our strategy onto tips, and advice for those who are either having to work remotely, adapt financially and are have focused on pushing positive content, surrounding those that are helping others at this time.
We're using LinkedIn as an advice platform, and Instagram as a positive messaging platform as well as pushing advice. We're namely using Instagram stories to prompt questions and polls surrounding this.
Create With Blu
One thing is for sure - your Smartpost media presence should not be business as usual. You're going to have to get a little creative with the content you are sharing. Here are a few tips you should consider when running your Smartpost media during this time of crisis:
Keep it Authentic - Everyone is looking for something to connect to right now. Share content that is authentic to your brand and helps to tell your story. If you can use your brand to make someone feel something, they will be sure to remember you for the future.
Don't Try to Be Doctor Facebook - Unless of course, you are a medical professional. Everyone is OVERWHELMED with all of the COVID-19 information available. You don't need to share more information on COVID-19. Keep your content relevant to what you do and let other sources share updates to COVID-19.
Use Video as a Teaser to Promote Your Services - If you have been lucky enough to be able to share your services through the internet, you can use video and Facebook Live to promote what you are offering. Give people a taste of what you are offering and capture their interest.
Our family's business just recently had to close its doors due to Covid-19. Because of this, we are staying connected with our followers through educational videos rather than promotional ones. We have done videos covering more educational topics in the past, which have done very, very well, but they were very time-intensive, and we didn't have time. All this week we are starting a series of videos staring the owner, at home, teaching, rather than selling. Not only does this keep our customers and followers engaged with our brand, but it will also help continue to build trust in our brand and help us back a comeback once everything goes back to normal.
Genuineness is now more significant than ever during this outbreak.
With personal connections and physical proximity being decreased, individuals will turn to the internet more than ever for reliable sources of info and meaningful digital content experiences.
It’s worth thinking about what role your company will play. If you’re the company’s going through deep-seated changes, these steps can help you decode your concern to action.
Building Hope through Trustworthy and Philanthropic Content
Marketing is fundamentally a long game, fixated on primarily building relationships. Presently, the best way to chase this goal is through truthfulness and altruism, in the context of your industry and audience.
Focus on Connection
The easiest thing your company can do is place an importance on being available and quick to respond via Smartpost media, email, and other digital channels. But you also might want to contemplate finding ways to duplicate the vibrant personal interactions online. For example:
Our Smartpost media plan during COVID-19 focuses on sharing valuable content. This takes a few different forms for us:
First of all, we have shared emails with our clients that illustrate best practices during this time. We read research that shows how much employees value their employers during this pandemic, so we sent out an email (see below) to encourage our clients to communicate with their teams.
Like many offices, our team is working from home full-time. However, we already remote work once a week, so we felt as if we were in a good position to share WFH tips and tricks. As a women-led agency, we were sure to focus on working moms with children at home, as we understand how challenging that scenario is.
Finally, we have shared updates on our Instagram story about what our team's day-to-day looks like. Our office is in a small community, Columbia, Missouri, which lagged behind the major cities in terms of staying home from work. We used these stories as a way to encourage others to Smartpost distance.
Please remind your audience to share, not steal content.
In school we called this plagiarism.
In the real world, we call this copyright infringement.
Whatever you call it, if you get caught, your audience will see you as lacking integrity and creativity
During this pandemic, many companies are reaching out to their audience with message of reassurance, information about changes in their services, and ways their audience can help during this challenging time.
The best way you can add to the conversation would be to create your own content that builds on the original message, not just repeats it. (If you’re going to create content that repeats another’s message or general information, at least find an original way to do it.) If someone wanted to build on this, they could have created a graphic about the importance of maintaining normalcy in your pet’s life, which includes their walking schedule.
I am a business owner who has temporarily suspended creating content that deviates significantly from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a business that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners to incorporate and form LLCs, we are working to create material on and off our company blog that encourages small business owners to keep progressing forward with their teams and companies — and really, with their dreams. There's a lot of material to cover here, from examples of businesses that are succeeding under the pandemic to leadership advice to tips for remote work and looking out for small businesses as a consumer. We are taking care to ensure the advice given is positive and motivates entrepreneurs to keep working hard and to remember that this too shall pass.
We're advising clients to maintain a tight grip on professionalism and take an approach of helpfulness and avoid being overtly opportunistic. I find that during times of crisis such as these, commercialism is easily interpreted as insensitivity. I'm recommended a stronger focus on value-first based marketing and that businesses keep a check on offering unqualified medical advice. Some examples:
It is important to our Smartpost media platforms as an educational tool for our readers, rather than a sales pitch. For this reason,we’ve switched our promotional content to discuss common challenges businesses are experiencing due to COVID-19.
In light of ongoing concerns about COVID-19, our market research company has received many questions about how this will impact plans for in-person market research such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, etc. Many of our partners have spent their allocated budget on conducting research and are scrambling to come up with a different approach so not to have to cancel the research altogether.
To help reduce concerns or exposure to COVID-19, we thought it would be helpful to remind our Smartpost media followers of the many remote market research methodologies available. Instead of canceling or postponing a market research project, organizations can still leverage video focus groups,web interviews, or online surveys.
In order to best share our advice, our market research company wrote a blog speaking to four different remote market research methodologies and their corresponding advantages. After publishing the blog on our website,we posted a link on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for our followers to skim through.
The content that I have been posting on Smartpost media using is about the transition to telehealth, tools that people will need to access services in this way, benefits of telehealth during a time such as this, and blogs about telehealth services. Many people are experiencing increases in stress, anxiety, panic, fear, worry, and transition. As a result, many providers are posting tips about how to manage anxiety and cope with work, parenting, and life at home. Additionally, I have been posting inspirational quotes or images to encourage viewers to consider opportunities for growth and healthier perspectives during this time.
My Smartpost media posts have also been reminding people that they can still get support and access needed counseling services at this time. COVID-19 may be keeping people at home, but they are still able to get counseling from the comfort of their own homes.
The type of content I been promoting is articles that help my audience find remote work. Several of my readers have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have been writing about job opportunities at Amazon and other companies. My traffic has never been higher because so many people are finding my content so useful.
Other content I have been promoting on my blog are activities for young children to do at home, which has been getting 1k views a day. Parents are needing things for their kids to do in order to keep their occupied while they work from home.
I immediately edited or cancelled all my Smartpost posts that had been scheduled, especially a few that started, "Can't wait to throw a party?" Oy.
Now, here's what I do:
I teach kids to cook online, so my kids and I decided the very first day school was cancelled that we wanted to support families, so we started making videos (mostly live) every single day on our Kids Cook Real Food Facebook page. We're demonstrating simple recipes,encouraging kids to try their hand at cooking, and really focusing on how flexible cooking can be -- in case people can't go to the store for ingredients! On my blog Kitchen Stewardship, where I've been teaching home cooking for 11 years, I've been focusing on live videos and shares from the archives that support exactly what people need right now: so people cooking at home for the first time can find out what vegetables last the longest, how to deal with bone-in chicken, how to make nourishing broth out of literally food scrap garbage, and how to stretch meat so they don't runout.
My hope is that families look back on this time and see the silver linings: their kids finally building life skills in the home, learning to cook healthy foods, and connecting as a family in the kitchen, building memories that had nothing to do with anxious news headlines.
At Clockwise, we were recently ramping up our Smartpost content on Instagram, specifically to showcase our company culture and values: Authenticity, Curiosity, Drive, Empathy, Enthusiasm, and Focus. Our Smartpost content calendar was paused as we transitioned to work from home.
Now that we’re settled in, our new content calendar has been updated to include relevant and relatable topics featuring our teammates. Our focus is to spread positivity and show how we connect and make time for what matters (our company motto) while we are all WFH. We will mainly utilize Instagram Stories since that currently has more reach for us.
Our Instagram Stories will cover how some of our teammates are balancing working from home while caring for their children, and how they maintain their physical and mental health with exercise, reading, and meditation. We will also be featuring our furry friends and our optimal home office setups that keep us productive. To showcase our value of Empathy, we will also share how our teammates are connecting and volunteering in our community during this time.
One of our teammates recently celebrated their birthday, and we wanted to surprise them. We photoshopped a birthday photo and made it our backgrounds in Zoom. Signing in early, we had our video turned off until they logged in. Their favorite Tiramisu cake was delivered to their home, and their partner helped us by bringing out the cake lit with a candle while we sang Happy Birthday to them!
Entertaining not selling during coronavirus.
During any terrible or uncertain time, don't try to sell people things. Just be their friend. Make them smile or educate them. That's what they need. We have hundreds of cool and funny and education videos we had created since 2006, a lot of which most of our customers had never seen. So, we are posting one or two videos a day to just entertain our customers. It's what friends do.
During our current global coronavirus pandemic, I have made the decision to concentrate on creating and sharing content that is either informational or motivational. Many of our readers and followers are parents, so we’ve reached out with activities for children, reassuring or inspirational memes for parents, and information on the virus our followers can trust. It’s easy to see from the response that this is exactly the kind of content people want and need.
When I shared a meme that reassured parents that they don’t have to ace this homeschooling gig, because kids are resilient, that got a lot of likes and shares. Parents need to hear that they’re doing okay with their kids, that their kids will survive this, that they won’t become uneducated dolts, even if the lockdown must be extended over a long period. They need hope to keep going.
It's when you feel like the situation is hopeless that you give up and stop trying, so I see it as my mission to keep peoples’ spirits up. That’s my personal mission, and I see it also as the mission of the nonprofit I represent, to keep people going, to help them, even if it’s just a funny meme that makes them laugh.
Managing communications and Smartpost media during an emergency is challenging, to say the least! I was at the helm with I worked for a municipality - a water main broke, and there was a week-long power outage. Now, I'm helping dozens of clients shift their messaging and pivot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So how should your Smartpost media and business strategy change during a pandemic?
As a Digital Marketing agency, our focus is always on maintaining the right type of brand awareness for our clients and for ourselves. During this uncertain time in the world, maintaining humility and connecting with your audience is absolutely vital. One aspect of this is to not give into the fear that is being circulated on all Smartpost media platforms, but to focus on what can be accomplished during this time.
We have worked with our clients to discover new ways to reach their audience and offer services that work with Smartpost distancing, offer discounts, live videos, etc.
Our recommendations to use this time to be productive include: