Between politicians, the media, and conversations among the general public, there are a lot of discussions of what the world will look like post COVID-19. When it comes to business, the path of recovery will depend on the way that you respond to the crisis right now. Your actions and decisions can ensure a path to success paved with organisational resilience, or lead to the destruction of what you’ve worked so hard to build.
Of course, there’s no foolproof way to successfully recover from the cultural and economic implications of a global pandemic. There are, however, a number of strategies that you can use to help protect your business and your people, now and well into the future.
Social isolation has enforced just how important community and connection is to our daily lives. It’s left us craving social connection, with a desire to bond over shared experiences during the pandemic.
The brands that are thriving throughout the crisis are the ones that have embraced their community of customers and fans, providing greater opportunities for them to share and connect.
For one thing, tone has never been so important when it comes to marketing communications. Now is not the time for pushy sales, nor is it the time to carry on business as usual. It’s a time for understanding, with messages that communicate empathy.
It’s also an important time to showcase the human side of your organisation. Show your customers and audience who the people behind your brand are. Tell the stories of individuals at different levels of your business and how they are working to overcome the challenges of the pandemic. This helps to form an emotional connection with your audience, creating a solid platform on which to rebuild and repair.
Creating this sense of connection and community now will increase brand visibility and awareness. This valuable asset can then be leveraged for future strategies and campaigns.
Invest in community
Your business and brand extend further than just the people within your organisation, and your clients or customers. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important social responsibility is for any business.
Corporate social responsibility has long been an important consideration for any successful business. If you’re a brand who targets young people, it becomes even more critical. A recent study has shown that 75% of millennials are willing to take a paycut in order to work for a socially responsible company. It’s not just a recruitment issue for your organisation, but a matter of profit. A 2015 report from Nielson indicated that 73% of surveyed millennials are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. 81% expect their favourite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important social responsibility is. Luxury fashion brands like Burbury are using their factories to make PPC equipment for healthcare providers and funding vaccine research, while Bacardi and other global distilleries are helping to produce hand sanitizer in response to the global shortage.
You don’t need to make a large donation to demonstrate corporate responsibility. Try smaller actions like partnering with local community groups, collaborating with other brands and being creative with ways to contribute to the community at large. These relationships built on mutual trust and support will go a long way to showcasing your community spirit and making a meaningful contribution to those in need.
Listen and answer
The COVID-19 pandemic has left the world in a state of uncertainty. Each of us have questions about the world and how it will operate, and the same goes for your brand. Your clients, customers and stakeholders will undoubtedly have questions about the way that your business will operate.
It’s important to provide clear answers to these questions. Transparency is key, and it’s best delivered with honesty, empathy and integrity. Gather your team (digitally, if necessary) and brainstorm some of the questions that your audience may have, and formulate answers to help them navigate this period. Consider hosting an Instagram Live Q&A session, or creating a series of animated infographics that address common questions in a way that’s easy to digest.
Another way to clearly communicate with your audience is to embrace VEO, or voice search engine optimization. Google reports that 27% of the online global population is using voice search on mobile.
Having a voice search optimized website allows you to quickly and easily answer questions from your audience. Moboom VoicePages allows you to create pages that are visible to voice search engines and products, providing a huge market advantage over your competitors. It’s the perfect way to leverage technology to further establish a meaningful relationship with your audience by providing informative answers to the questions that they need answered.
Analyse and strategise
Now is not the time to rely on the way that you’ve traditionally operated. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to be nimble and inject innovation and creativity into all facets of your strategies and operations.
Consider new technologies as a way to increase visibility and communication with your audience. Voice search is one method, but the options are virtually (quite literally)- limitless. One way to narrow down your focus is to carefully examine your analytics to better inform your strategy moving forward. Closely analyse your device-level website performance data, check your action insights data for PPC campaigns, and scour your social media insights. Once you have a comprehensive picture of your digital performance, you can capitalise on the platforms and content that’s providing the best value for your investment.
Taking the time to thoroughly assess your performance, closely monitoring the reaction and feedback from your audience, and surveying the activity and behaviour of your competitors will help you to formulate a new strategy for long-term success and resilience for your business.