We keep saying that we are living in ‘difficult times’. And sure, things have been turned on their heads – but we mustn’t be fooled into thinking that the world has only changed temporarily. The lockdowns and self-isolation will obviously end at some point, but the reality of how we engage with each other today will continue to resonate with us, as companies and individuals, for the long haul.
New Normal, New Habits
Once the immediate threat of Covid-19 has dissipated, life will not suddenly bounce back to ‘normal’. Our shared experience will inevitably have created a new lens through which we see the world. And that lens is a digital one.
Face-to-face meetings, tradeshows, and seminars will not resume on a large scale any time soon. However, the online alternatives that are skyrocketing now in the form of video conferencing, virtual meeting spaces and web experiences are teaching us something very valuable: We adapt. Business goes on. Life goes on.
“Digital experiences will replace in-person experiences. Some of the new habits will become the new normal – even after the crisis passes. Looking ahead, the best companies in the world will prepare now for how to meet the needs of consumers (where they’re at) when the recovery period begins. Don’t expect consumers to return to the same place.” – Lynne Clement, Client Success Specialist at ApexDrop
The Missed Opportunity
I speak to many businesses that are frozen in a state of indecision. They’re keeping the very basic wheels of the business turning, waiting it all out, stopping all but essential communications, afraid to take action in case the game changes again tomorrow. And in doing so, they are missing the biggest opportunity this crisis has offered them: Customer engagement.
“During a time of economic crisis, the role of the marketer may now seem obsolete. However, it is quite the opposite, as this is an opportunity to pick up on consumer behavior changes and virtually engage with consumers in new ways.” – John Nash, chief marketing and strategy officer at Redpoint
So how do brands and businesses continue to stay connected with customers in a time when walk-ins, physical sales meetings and workshops are impossible? The key is content.
“Content marketing has evolved from being just blog posts and editorial strategies,” says Shohei Fukano of NewsCred. “It’s a holistic approach that relies on a broad range of digital marketing strategies tactics such as email, social media, SEO, and paid media to continue engagement with customers.”
Content is firmly at the centre
Content is no longer a nice-to-have. It has been firmly shifted to the very centre of strategic business development, and it now plays a critical part in separating the businesses that merely exist from those that truly thrive and shine and who come out of the immediate crisis larger and stronger than their competitors.
Whatever happens in the world around you, your business absolutely must engage with your customers.
- You need an online content delivery strategy for meeting your customers where they are and engaging with them.
- You need to adapt the user experience to ensure it’s aligned with what your customers need.
- You need to communicate a sense of stability, trust, support, and empathy through your brand.
- You need to give your sales and operations teams the assets they need to be successful in creating a great digital experience.
Support your marketing team
However – in doing all this, don’t expect your marketing team to deliver everything themselves. Allow them the freedom to bring in specialist resources to offer targeted, high-quality content and strategic guidance for each area, so that they can focus on managing the overall marketing systems and operations.
Content providers like the IT Content Factory are standing by right now to support your organisation with powerful marketing assets that engage with your audience, feed your lead generation engine, and deliver an exceptional user experience that your customers will love.