Let’s face it, we’re all disrupted. You’re reacting faster than you ever have, and you’ve always reacted fast. And in between those absolutely brutal bursts of activity, there are the even more brutal lulls. Probably stuck at home without access to your usual outlets, dealing with intrusive cats and even more intrusive fears about the future. But there is opportunity here. Opportunity to think, plan, and start to get proactive.
- Take a hard look at campaigns you have going right now. And yes, we define every email you send, every ad, every blog, every block of copy on your website or email signature or signage, as a campaign. Go through your marketing automation workflows and look at every email that anyone might get from you in response to a form-fill or media view or set of actions taken on your website. Read the content with a current events filter, and determine if your tone or message needs to be adjusted. Your sales people may be telling you that no one wants to buy right now, but people are researching like crazy and in the current mood, any message you are lucky enough to get in front of someone needs to be thought about.
- All those blogs and whitepapers that are part of your content marketing plan and have been written and ready to post for more than 2 months? Yeah, take a look at those too. Make some decisions about whether they need editing, or whether you need to open up a new content path and put the things you developed during the old normal on hold for a bit.
- Think about how your sales people are coping. Is your outside sales team stuck inside or at home making phone calls to numbers that no one is answering because they’re all at home too? Have they implemented any unique forms of communication to replace in person meetings that they might need some help talking about on social media? Would they benefit from an automated series of emails to prospects that help their phones ring rather than listening to all those voice-mail greetings?
- Does your customer service staff need a hand answering questions? If they’re getting a lot of calls about particular subject, this is a signal that either your website or your communication streams could use some bolstering. Can you automate a few of their tasks using chat-bots or email campaigns? Can you provide them with any content to share with customers?
- What about those conferences and trade-shows you had planned to participate in this year? Canceled? Postponed? Maybe moved to a virtual experience? How do your materials need to be updated or changed to reflect the new environment? What can you do to reach all those attendees whose hands you won’t be able to shake? Can you do your own online version through a webinar or video showcase day?
- Keep making content. It’s hard. Harder even than it usually is. But the tenets of good content marketing been never been more true: be helpful, be relevant, offer your audience something of value to them (something that is actually valuable to them, not something YOU want them to think is valuable to them), give them the opportunity to learn and the opportunity to contact you without beating them over the head with how great you think you are. Take a deep breath and think, really think, about what your audience is dealing with and how your product or service can help them, either now, or in the near future. Then spend some time thinking about where your company is going to be post-crisis (or post immediate circumstances). Get a start on the ideas and content you’ll need to fuel your communications later in the year, no matter what happens next. Check out our How to create content customers actually want post to learn more about creating effective content.
- All those things you’ve been putting off. There’s a bunch of them. Cleaning up your lists. Cataloging your brand assets. Rewriting your culture documents. Rethinking (or making) your social media calendar. You know what they are, all those little clean-ups and miscellaneous tasks that you put off because you had too many meetings and too much work and too many more interesting things to do. Maybe now’s the time.
Good luck everybody. Let us know if you need any help planning, writing, designing, or deploying. Keep safe.