Undeniably, this year has been the most volatile I have experienced in my 10+ years in marketing. Not only have we witnessed the devastating effects of COVID-19, but we have lived through one of the largest civil rights movement in history and seen companies across multiple industries identify ways to move the needle on diversity initiatives across the board.
The ‘new normal’ has impacted people’s lifestyles and businesses massively. Companies that are working to stay afloat are identifying opportunities to stay relevant by providing value to their audiences. Meanwhile, companies are still navigating initiatives to share the refinements they have made towards supporting diversity. This is an opportunity for marketers to innovate and pivot their companies’ marketing strategies to align with the norm. I’ve outlined five ways for you to pivot your marketing strategy effectively to continue to build trust with your audience and create real impact during uncertainty.
- Review your strategic objectives frequently:
If you created a strategy at the beginning of the year, and haven’t gone back to review your objectives – you are doing it all wrong. Reviewing your strategy throughout the year allows you to make effective decisions and changes that should be implemented consistently. For example, when the Black Lives Matter movement finally went viral, many companies shared their solidarity with the black community and outlined the steps they would take to influence change. Proactive change can’t be made without ensuring your company’s core values align with marketing objectives within your strategy.
Clear objectives will guide the tactics within your overall strategy so you can track, measure and have a clear view of what you need to do to execute that strategy. It also is a good gut check to ensure you’re moving with the times.
2. Adapt your PR strategy:
PR strategies that worked at the beginning of the year might not be as effective today. To continue to increase your company’s media presence and thrive in the current climate, your strategy must align with your refined objectives. The questions that are top of mind for many are:
- How might your expertise ease people’s fears?
- How can you lead your ecosystem through the crisis?
- Are there any new industry insights that others haven’t considered?
Ensure that your spokespeople are well versed in what the company’s ‘refined’ strategy and talking points are – weaving in your company values as key – and identify who can lean into various topics for contribution. Remember, the goal is to curate a media presence in a strategic manner that emphasizes transparency and humanizes your brand.
3. Refine your content marketing engine:
More than ever, your audience is looking for you to provide insights on various topics in the form of blogs, research papers and email newsletters. Identify how your company can add evergreen value. The best place to start is by creating content for a blog to be featured on Medium or LinkedIn. Have your spokespeople that are experts on a specific topic develop the content.
Options such as Medium give you the ability to import work from any place on the web, effectively re-publishing it to their platform. It helps increase your audience following and allows your content to be seen by industry influencers to amplify your insights.
Focus on two to three topics at first, establishing a cadence for publishing and don’t forget to track your performance to identify what’s working. Lastly, if you have older content that you believe didn’t get the traction it deserved; review, refresh and re-promote – especially if it’s relevant. I can’t stress that enough, as there is no point using resources to create content you already have.
4. Evaluate your email marketing:
Email marketing continues to be one of the lowest cost, highest ROI digital marketing channels. Lean heavily on your email strategy to continue to communicate with your key audiences. I would encourage you to:
- Refine your design – Lately, customers are seeing emails continuously from competitors and companies looking to push messaging out so don’t be afraid to create a more visually appealing email for your audience.
- Send relevant content – If you didn’t send content via email before, I would start now as an opportunity to stay top of mind amongst your audience. Determine what thoughtful pieces of content will resonate. I would recommend embedding content as a file or video to track performance.
- Segment your audience lists to improve results – Identify what type of customers make up your lists and if the content should differ when distributing email campaigns. Different types of relationships do not require the same approach in terms of content and candace. Don’t forget to be cautious about what is happening in the world; be sure to shift when communication is released or automated if needed.
5. Develop captivating virtual webinars & events:
I know that many of us miss executing and attending in-person events; I will admit I miss it too. But, you can still create a fantastic experience virtually anywhere. The key is to create an experience that allows your audience to gain insights from your industry experts. Start with a webinar it’s fairly easy to execute and is scalable. Ensure that the duration is no more than 45 minutes to an hour and your speakers are conversational. In addition, utilize platforms such as Hopin to create events, utilizing the main stage and breakout function. Many customers want to have the opportunity to have human interaction even if it is in the form of a webinar or event. Virtual events also provide comprehensive analytics and reporting data that allow you to track ROI.
Also, a webinar is another opportunity to create a piece of content and repurpose it for future use. Have a transcription service on standby. Moreover, for a larger event, you can engage your audience by sending corporate swag in advance or timing it just after your event to keep that personal touch top of mind.
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The five strategies I’ve highlighted above have guided me throughout my career and specifically this year at Anthemis. I hope you find these helpful as you navigate through the new normal and don’t forget to be ready always to experiment with different strategies that work for you!