Clear and consistent communication is the foundation of any digital marketing strategy, but what happens when something unexpected changes how you do business? In the midst of this global pandemic, small business owners and nonprofit leaders are working to discern the best way to communicate and realizing that the old ways may not fit the new normal.
As the saying goes, to know where you’re going you must look at where you’ve been. Now that we have three months of this disruption behind us, let’s take a few weeks on the blog to think through the lessons learned and opportunities we’ve observed to help you keep communicating with your brand’s audience despite the roadblocks caused by COVID-19.
We’ve seen a lot of good (and sometimes bad) communications coming from businesses big and small. Today’s post focuses on lessons learned and explores creative ways to keep communicating when everything is changing.
Never Stop Communicating With Your Customers
Whatever you do, don’t stop communicating. While some businesses may not be experiencing a crisis, every business has been impacted in some way by the economic slowdown. No matter where you sit on this spectrum, the worst thing you can do is go radio silent. You may think you have nothing to say, and this will likely require a change of perspective and—absolutely—a change in messaging. But there is always something to say, and you owe it to your customers and to your business to keep the lines of communication open.
Why do Businesses Stop Communicating in a Crisis?
One reason why leaders stay silent in times of crisis or significant change is because they’re not sure what to say. This could be because decisions are still being weighed and they’re not ready to comment on changes. It could also be out of a desire to mitigate reactions to the messages. When COVID-19 hit, most businesses were scrambling trying to figure out how to stay afloat, so until those details were ironed out they chose to wait rather than risk saying the wrong thing.
Here’s the thing. No matter how difficult the times, there’s always something you can say. Deliberately choosing to not communicate will cause people to lose trust and ultimately damage the brand. While this blog focuses on the marketing aspects of communications, it’s also critical to keep communicating with your staff team. You don’t need to have all the answers, a simple message of empathy and respect for the trouble the company is facing, and a reminder that you’ll get through it together, provides reassurance and sends the message that you care and you’re listening.
Keep Brand Momentum Strong With Social Media Engagement
Back in March, Pennsylvania closed most businesses overnight—including construction. One of our clients, Roland Builder, went from working on multiple houses to a complete standstill. A big part of their social media strategy included posting videos and photos of construction work in progress. But instead of pausing their social media strategy, they pivoted their message. We helped them script a series of videos that they recorded at home and sent to us to edit.
The first series included messages of encouragement from the Roland team to every member of the Roland family, building connections and goodwill among current and past customers. This series had a strong response including 52 likes, seven comments, and six shares. Based on that success, they created two more series, one highlighting members of the Roland Builders team, and the other showcasing what current customers like most about their Roland home during this quarantine time. When they were able to resume construction they made a video to create excitement and build enthusiasm surrounding their current projects.
These were fun ideas that built brand awareness, positive relationships, and creatively highlighted what makes Roland homes so special. And while they were actually posting less content, they were getting more traction with their audience. By the end of the spring they had more leads for their business than in any of the previous months. Imagine if they had gone radio silent! Roland Builders’ success demonstrates that constant and fine-tuned communication can really help your business no matter what challenges you’re facing.
Don’t Stop Engaging Your Customers, Even if Things are Tough
Communicating in a crisis is complicated to say the least, and there are many factors to take into consideration. But we hope this post has encouraged you to keep connecting with your customers and new audiences even when you’re not sure what the future may hold. The more you can make a positive impression on the people you want to become customers one day, the better chance you have of growing your business when things return to normal.
If you would like more information about using video on social media or how to create brand videos from home, please schedule a meeting with us today! We would love to help you keep communicating and growing your audience in creative ways.
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