When crisis strikes, many businesses freeze because they are cautious and feel uncertain as to how to move forward. Having a digital strategy is important, especially during a global pandemic such as COVID-19, since so many customers have had to move online.
The real question is – how do businesses get creative with their marketing during times of uncertainty?
We’ve put together some useful guidance on how to adapt and engage with customers with energetic & valuable marketing that reaches out to customers at a time when they are really craving creativity.
Identify new opportunities
With disruption and change comes new opportunities. While it is so important to remain sensitive to the situation and not to seem ‘opportunistic’, it is great to be able to identify ways you can quickly and effectively adapt as a business so that you remain alive and thriving during uncertain times.
Customers are carefully planning where to invest their money, so this is your opportunity to get creative – identify new problems that your offering can solve! Customer-centricity and creativity go hand in hand. Once you’ve worked your value proposition for your customers, you can start to adapt your messaging and answer their problems with your offering.
This is definitely a scary time for many people, and of course we need to be realistic that things are not going to be the same as they were before COVID-19 for quite some time. However, for many B2B businesses, demand for products and services is still there. Don’t get into the habit of negative thinking. Instead, set yourself some realistic goals and work out how your marketing efforts can reflect them – what creative tactics are really needed out there at the moment?
Be thoughtful, insightful & forward-thinking
The reaction to COVID-19 from businesses has seen massive amounts of creativity. Businesses now need to include “social distancing” into their operations and messaging. You need to become an educator, a provider of valuable information as well as a thought-leader. This means your social media becomes a hub for the latest news on the coronavirus, sharing insights, public health information and local business news. Creativity today also means being thoughtful and sensitive to customers during this difficult time – you could create graphics with positive and motivational messages for social media, or write blog posts with useful tips on relevant topics, such as working from home or looking after your mental health!
Your marketing material should be intentional. It’s okay to post valuable content and also continue to send email campaigns that is sensitive to the audience and offers value.
Customise customer experiences
You need to know your customer, inside out. This way, you can customise their experience. One creative way to achieve this is to actually talk to your customers! Try asking for their feedback on social media, or using polls, surveys, emails etc. If you’re listening to their feedback and adjusting your marketing accordingly, then they’re more likely to be receptive to future marketing messages. Feedback could include customers wanting to read more on the benefits of your product/service, so you will need to get creative on expressing those benefits in a useful and engaging way!
Doing this means you are having valuable conversations with customers online – you could even try social listening! Chime in on conversations about your business online, and engage with your customers so you can show them you value their opinions and experiences.
Think outside the box
It’s good to be different. Especially in digital marketing. There can be a rush to get ‘ahead of the game’ and appear innovative and super creative. However, you know your business better than anyone else does. So, identify your own niche rather than following the crowd.
Take some time to discuss different creative tactics that will engage your target customers. For some, this could be a new weekly podcast discussing your industry, or a video campaign of employees working from home, or simply a lighthearted aspect to your social media marketing. Brainstorm and communicate ideas with your co-workers in a natural and open-minded way – this is when the best ideas for your business will come to light!
Strengthen your reputation
This crisis has encouraged businesses to showcase the best side of themselves. Whether you choose to share motivational messages or share success stories and testimonials on how you have added value during this time, your positive reaction will undoubtedly strengthen your reputation.
Remember: your marketing should tell a story. Showing your customers the positive outcome of your products or services has the power to transform your offering from an intangible product into a real vision for your customers. Being able to show that your solutions have worked for real people in these uncertain times is such a valuable way to strengthen your reputation.
Adapt as time moves on
Of course, your creative ideas need to adapt and evolve as time moves on and things change. Of course, the future is unclear, but you should keep up to date with the latest advice and news on the situation as it moves on. For marketers and business leaders, it’s important to be flexible and adapt for now, but to continue to plan for the future.
If your company requires a professional online presence at this time, or if any of our clients would like a free 30 minute marketing consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us on Dungannon 028 3754 9025 or Belfast 028 9002 5050.