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Savoir Faire’s Google My Business listing doesn’t include hours of operation, because we’re always open and working. Even while we humans sleep (or Netflix and chill), the automated digital marketing campaigns we created are hard at work. Marketing doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. or during a health crisis, so here are another six timely POIs to help you keep things moving.

Crisis mode marketing

A great CMS Wire article from a month ago examined the early days of marketing during this pandemic, and a new piece looks at where we are today, addressing these challenges:

How and what do we communicate to our audiences in a time of crisis?

Many companies have had to adjust messages thoughtfully, rapidly and frequently. The one constant from this – and perhaps it will remain once this passes – is an authenticity and simplicity in messaging. Sharing how the pandemic affects your business is real and relatable.

Going all in on digital impacts people, programs and technology.

Here, CMS Wire actually (and wisely) tells you what not to do if your company is in the early stages of digital marketing, or transitioning the shift from offline marketing (such as direct mail) to online.

  • Don’t double the number of emails you currently send. Instead, focus on the quality and messaging of your currently planned email sends.
  • Don’t make a video just because you can. If you have a great, original idea that demands a visual, go for it. Even without a lot of editing prowess, a visual message can be positively impactful.
  • Don’t launch a new podcast just because you have extra time unless you really have something to offer that truly benefits your audience.

Event horizon

“Digital events are cheaper isn’t the argument for virtual events in the long term,” says a new article from Content Marketing Institute (CMI).

We agree. Yes, many live events are shifting to digital out of necessity today, but there will come a time when in-person events (even large conferences) occur again – and that’s potentially a good thing. At Savoir Faire, we’re currently helping a client prepare a webinar to replace a spring seminar, but we know the power the “live” version of this event has, too. Once it’s safe to gather again, we’ll help the client get back in front of their audience.

CMI cites the media culture shift from analog to digital back in the mid-2000s as the reason to have a game plan when shifting live events to online-only. The move to digital for many media operations came without a strategy – how to enhance this digital experience and make it different. They just shifted the exact product to a cheaper, more commoditized experience on digital.

The lesson here is the medium is not what makes the content valuable. How is a virtual event more valuable for a consumer? Well, today, the value comes in the ability to gain knowledge and a sense of community while sheltering at home. But, what about when we’re not confined to home?

If your event is going to primarily remain digital going forward, you need to start with strategy, and not the same strategy that worked for the “live” event in the past. Design your virtual event with as much care and planning as you would with any other new project.

Weather the storm

Today, businesses are looking for whatever helps them stay afloat and make it to the other side of this health crisis. Marketing can provide an answer to concerns for many businesses – just not necessarily in the way you might think.

According to a piece in Builder, word-of-mouth recommendations from current customers probably won’t work to build your business right now, as most of us are way too focused how the current reality is impacting us.

Instead, consider an optimized website built for lead generation. Your website works for you 24/7/365 – as long as you feed it. Healthy website food includes blog posts, videos and whitepapers that reach and inform your audience. 

An effective, optimized website makes an effective base to build a marketing strategy on, but we still see too many websites that work against a company’s goals. 

Builder has the right idea, but it’s one that’s easier said than done. Here is an e-book Savoir Faire’s team put together on website planning that offers some ideas on how to get started.

Update your GMB

Whether or not you’re considered an “essential” business by the government, your customers want to know what’s up with you:

  • Are you closed completely?
  • Reduced or alternate hours?
  • Offering delivery?
  • Online services?
  • Curbside pickup?

A quick and easy fix is ensuring your Google My Business (GMB) listing is updated. Business2Community offers more details in this article. Using Google Posts within GMB helps update your customers on everything from merchandise shipping/curbside pickup options to gift card purchases.

FYI, marketing your company as currently closed will not ding you negatively in Google’s search engine optimization.

We update our clients’ GMB profiles with relevant information/news from our clients, and we have seen GMB become a top organic referrer for website traffic!

Here’s guidance from Google on how to update your Google My Business profile.

Messaging during a crisis

We’ve emphasized how important it is to continue marketing despite these uncertain times, but it can also be a mistake to ignore the climate in the country right now within your messaging.

It takes finesse and some “reading the room,” but you can offer relevant, timely messages of hope while also reaffirming your brand. We’ve assisted several of our clients, all from different industries, in sharpening their messaging during the pandemic. Now, Forbes shares some tactics for email messaging during turbulent times.

Remember, your readers are people first. You may have been successful in learning a lot about your customer base with email campaigns in the past, but now is not the time for just lead nurturing and engagement. We’re all experiencing atypical emotions and preoccupations! How you reference the pandemic in your messaging is key. Here are some questions Forbes urges you to answer when crafting your next customer email:

  • Does your product/service or marketing content address the crisis, or is it related in some way?
  • Is there a logical reason to mention the crisis in your marketing content?
  • Does the crisis impact you and your company directly in ways you share with your audience?
  • Can you include information about the crisis in your email without coming across as taking advantage of the situation?

Future content

“Adapt, pivot and continue creating” is how many of us are navigating these unprecedented days  – and also the tactic we take with Savoir Faire clients. There are ways to utilize past marketing successes and make them valuable assets for people who are generally at home all the time right now.

For example, one Savoir Faire client with specialized services regularly holds live events, but that doesn’t make sense today. We previously helped turn that event into a webinar that can then become downloadable content. Now, we’re helping the client pivot that content taking the current climate into consideration.

Adding new virtual content is one of the tactics content creators share in a new Content Marketing Institute article. Another highlight of the piece is on adapting your content calendar for what’s more relevant today, with suggested topics on:

  • Brainstorming in a remote world
  • Brands doing e-mail right right now
  • Pivoting for a Helpful Interim Content Strategy

If you like these topics, let us know and we can expand on them for a full blog post here.

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