Adapting Outreach and Marketing Strategies to the COVID-19 World
COVID-19 has put the world as we know it on a stall.
Lockdown strategies adopted by governments worldwide mean one thing for most businesses.
Yet, in a world that seems to have come to a stop, some businesses thrive.
How do they do it?
It all starts with one thing. A change of perspective!
The first thing you should understand as a business is that the outreach strategies that were working yesterday are completely useless today. And they might be completely useless tomorrow, too.
What you should do, instead of sitting back and crying over lost business, is adapting to this new world.
And, obviously, the first step is adapting your outreach and marketing strategies to the COVID-19 world. Here’s how.
1. Adapt Your Core Values
Perhaps the first thing you should do if you want to reach your prospects is understanding that your core values must change. It doesn’t have to be a full remake. But you have to adapt to the new needs and address the new concerns of your customers.
So, ask yourself. What would you require from your business if you were a customer?
Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes to understand how priorities changed over the past week or month.
How can your business meet their needs now?
How can you reassure your customers to buy from you?
What should be your new core values?
For instance, if you run a delivery business, statements like “no contact delivery” could skyrocket your sales.
If you run an old-fashion bookshop, maybe it’s time to think of going online.
Do you have a restaurant? Reassure your customers by supporting takeaway and delivery options.
Before you start altering your outreach strategies, analyse your value proposition, and adapt it to the new needs.
2. Think of Your Communication Channels
What were your pre-COVID-19 outreach strategies? What communication channels did you use?
If your preferred outreach method was phone calls, perhaps it’s time to rethink your outreach strategy.
If you were already using social media, think about how your prospects might use it now.
Start to expand your outreach strategies beyond email or phone, especially if you operate in the B2B sector.
Social outreach on platforms like LinkedIn works better nowadays.
Businesses in B2C sectors can also adapt and improve their outreach. Just think from the client’s perspective.
Many people nowadays have started to work from home. Some are on furlough leave, while some of your clients may have lost their jobs altogether.
Selling your product might be difficult in these times of uncertainty.
But you can still reach out to your clients and provide value in different ways. This might not result in an immediate sale, but it works towards building customer retention.
Besides making your campaigns relevant for people who stay at home, also provide value.
For instance, switch from how-to blog posts to videos that explain how to do something – from cooking to gardening – so that your audience can follow them while actually doing what you explain.
3. Stream On Social Media
I already told you that putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes is key to outreach in the COVID-19 era.
A quick way to show your customers that you do understand their needs and concerns is by streaming on social media.
You don’t need an in-house video production team to reach your goal.
Live streams on Facebook where you interact with your audience and provide answers to their questions, for example, are a good start.
These live sessions where you answer questions or interact with your audience in real-time could get the crowds talking about your product in a fun way. Not only, but you can also use this strategy for your own market research, by seeing how clients respond to your proposals or ideas.
4. Get Your Face-to-Face Contact Online
When you run a business that requires face-to-face contact, getting it online could be tricky.
For instance, you could have had a killer advertising strategy that drew people to your shop or course, but now, that strategy won’t take you anywhere.
No matter what you do – from selling groceries in a small neighbourhood shop to teaching yoga – think of ways to take your face-to-face contact online.
If you have a grocery shop, it might be time to develop dedicated e-commerce and adopt no-contact delivery methods to get your products to your audience.
If you’re a teacher, coach, or instructor, join platforms that allow you to turn your physical classes into webinars or online conferences.
Doctors, midwives, and consultants, to name just a few, can also take their businesses online. Simply switch to platforms like Skype and social media to host your sessions.
5. Evolve Your Email Strategy
More than ever, during the Coronavirus lockdown, email outreach is essential for both communication and remote business marketing. Email is an essential tool for keeping your customers informed and engaged.
It would be a shame, thus, to waste such an important outreach tool.
To be successful in the times of the pandemic, all you have to do is use this tool wisely.
Instead of letting your customers wonder about your approach or strategy, update them via email.
Use email outreach to explain how your business is adapting to the pandemic times.
For instance, you can update your business hours. Let your customers know what is available to them at this time. If you just added delivery options or online support, make sure your customers know about it by sending an email.
You can also take advantage of people staying at home to expand your mailing list.
Remember that boredom can get people to try all sorts of new things. So, make an e-book or setup an interesting newsletter for your blog to lure more people to sign up for your emails. All these new leads can easily convert into new customers when the emergency period ends.
Last but not least, invest some thought and time into the email design too. Add captivating images and enhance readability to improve conversion rates.
6. Stop Investing Resources In Older Campaigns
If the above wasn’t clear enough, your old outreach strategies might not be useful anymore. Thus, the wisest thing to do is to stop investing time, money, and energy into making them work.
Instead, focus on reinventing your brand and on creating new outreach campaigns that can capture your customers’ attention today. After all, this is the only way to save your business in the time of pandemics.