We are operating in unprecedented circumstances right now. Many businesses have had to pivot their business models virtually overnight in order to keep going, some businesses have had to close completely and some are trying to stay open as best they can working with reduced teams and offering reduced products and services. Whatever situation your business has found itself in, its critical you maintain visibility with your customers in order to keep your brand front of mind – whether you are currently still operating or not.
Below are some tips for maintaining visibility with your customers when business as usual becomes business unusual.
1) Communicate regularly through email and social media – let your customers know how you’re handling the situation and tell them how they can help (Tesco have done this really well). Now is not the time to close down all brand communications. Quite the opposite – now is the time to communicate more than ever, with your staff, with your suppliers and with your customers.
2) Create an online branded community – so you may not be able to run your business in the usual way at the moment, but if it’s appropriate for your company consider creating an online community. This could be a Facebook Group or a LinkedIn Group that people can join and share tales of their Covid-19 lock down, tips for working from home, how they’re keeping upbeat and sane during worrying times or sharing stories and experiences linked to your brand to remind them of happier occasions. This is not a space for the hard sell and the goal should be for the community to lead the direction, but have a calendar of content to keep conversation going and to keep it fresh.
3) Dust off your video and image content – go back through your assets and create engaging and informative snippets of content for your branded channels. For example, top 10 videos on a subject or galleries of images from an event, asking your followers to submit their own content too. If you don’t have enough of your own content, then curate from others – whether that’s from publishers, influencers or your own customers.
4) Increase digital advertising if you can – if you do still have budget available and it’s still relevant to do so, then now is the time to increase your digital media and search marketing spend to keep your pipeline full and your brand out there.
5) Can your live events become virtual ones? If your business relies on face to face networking or attending and exhibiting at live events, can you turn those opportunities into virtual events? For example, last night our MD, Kate O’Sullivan, was on an expert panel at the first virtual Digital Taunton event (check it out here) and The Drum has launched a Digital Transformation Festival, an online event spanning March and April. Use technology to help your event schedule continue digitally.
6) Do good – can your business give back or offer help during this really challenging time? If you have staff on furloughed leave, can you work with them to offer support to a relevant charity? Do you have a fleet of vehicles that can be used to help the NHS? What skills does your team have that may be of use right now, if they can’t be utilised by your business? People will remember those brands who helped.
With that in mind, we understand that it’s a challenging time and we want to help. We are offering FREE comms advice to businesses that are being affected by COVID-19, to book our 15 minute consultation, please visit: www.adpr.co.uk/blog/covid-19-free-comms-advice-to-businesses/
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a crisis won’t happen to your business. You are just one click away from giving yourself long term peace of mind with our Crisis Management Success service. We promise it will be worth it!
The Department of Commerce states that 70% of smaller companies go out of business within just one year of experiencing a crisis – we think this is enough of a reason to be prepared! Our Crisis PR 101 guide will give you the tools you need to develop a crisis plan that will protect your business when a crisis strikes. As well as the guide you’ll get top tips from experts to give you more support in building a futureproof plan for your business.