Indeed, these are strange times.
As I write this, I am sitting in my home office because my employer, like so many others across the country and around the world, is doing everything possible to stop the spread of COVID-19. This is the kind of event that re-lights almost everything, including the topic I wanted to tackle today.
No company wants to act at the moment or appear opportunistic. This is of course. But the truth is that marketers, brands, and creators of all kinds can make a positive difference. Being legitimate and authentically helpful in such a moment can have a lasting impact.
Because personal interactions and physical closeness are minimized, people are turning to the Internet more than ever to get trustworthy sources of information and meaningful content. It's worth considering what role you and your brand can play.
The show must go on
As I mentioned in one of my earliest blog posts after joining TopRank Marketing, I have a side hobby outside of my marketing career: running a Minnesota Twins baseball community site. Because this passion plays such a big role in my life, I feel naturally affected by the sudden and indefinite absence of baseball at a time when the long season of sport is usually just beginning.
I realize, of course, that the big scheme of everything that happens is small potatoes. It's a game. But it is also a source of comfort and routine for me and so many others. And the bottom line is that while Major League Baseball's schedule doesn't continue, life does. This applies generally to companies and content creators across the spectrum.
As our CEO Lee Odden recently wrote regarding marketing during the COVID 19 pandemic, "the need for information and solutions could slow down or change, but it could not stop."
Let us examine how brands can all-in rely on authenticity in a time of universal uncertainty and fear to strengthen bonds.
“Marketers, brands and developers of all kinds can make a positive difference. Being legitimate and authentically helpful in such a moment can have a lasting impact. “@ NickNelsonMN Click to tweet
Building trust through authentic and altruistic content
Content marketing is by nature a long game that is primarily about building relationships. Currently, the best way to achieve this goal is authenticity and altruism in the context of your company and its audience.
Keep your target group up to date
The ongoing pandemic affects different industries and industries in different ways. If there is a white area for the provision of news and updates in the niche you are serving, you may be able to fill it out. Curate news from relevant sources (such as the World Health Organization and disease control and prevention centers) and make them available in an easily accessible place.
This is also a good time to provide helpful guidance on adjustments and adjustments that will be made in response to this situation. For example, our customers at the Antea Group used their expertise in the field of employee health and safety to provide ergonomic tips for a home office. Another customer, LinkedIn Sales Solutions, gave advice on how to stay connected digitally when "personal" is not an option.
Be open and human
We often talk about authenticity in B2B marketing because it is so important for practitioners to constantly remember that we do not interact with companies, but with people. COVID-19 presents a universally shared human experience to an extent unmatched in many of our lifetimes.
There has never been a better time to open and share real, attributable stories. Everyone is going through something, and it can be comforting to learn how others deal with the special circumstances that this scenario brings.
Focus on connection
Thanks to the technology, distance does not have to be equated with isolation. People are probably longing for social connection to a great extent. The easiest thing a company can do is focus on being accessible and responsive through social media, email, and other channels. You could also consider how you can replicate the dynamics of personal interactions. For example:
- Webinars and Live Streaming: It can sometimes be difficult to get a large number of busy professionals to broadcast live. At a time when travel and personal meetings are reduced, there are more vacancies in calendars. Running a webcast on a topic relevant to the current time could be a sweet spot.
- Virtual network events: With so many important conferences and summits canceled, people still need to network and grow. This can provide an opportunity to hold or attend online gatherings and meetings. One thing to consider is a virtual happy hour, where people turn on their laptop camera, have a drink, and enjoy a real chat from their location.
“At a time when travel and personal meetings are reduced, there are more vacancies in calendars. Running a webcast on a topic relevant to the current time could be a sweet spot. "@ NickNelsonMN Click to tweet
Stick to your strategy
Understandably, it can be strange to think about the sale right now. Driving products and services – especially products that might not be considered "essential" in the face of a global health crisis – feels numb at a time when everyone's attention is being drawn to the headlines. I get it.
But here's the inevitable truth: this ordeal won't go away that quickly. Life will be different for a while, and as we get used to a new norm, business drumming will regain its steady rhythm in most rooms. Therefore, it's important to maintain a holistic, integrated strategy with a full funnel, even if you temporarily reduce the focus of the conversion.
Many companies will want to think about how they can simplify digital buying and handling transactions.
In unknown territory
There is no game book for this. Every person, every family and every company is breaking new ground. But we all go through it together, so it's more valuable than ever to let our authenticity shine through.
“I will always appreciate the friend in need most. I can trust those who have helped alleviate the darkness of my dark hours better than those who are willing to enjoy the sunshine of prosperity with me. "- Ulysses S. Grant