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Blog 3: Developing Smart Content & Pivoting Your Business

Laurel Mintz

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Right now, your business /marketing strategy may look a little different. We're in the midst of a global pandemic, and there is no doubt that emotions are running high. As a marketing agency, it's our job to know when to pivot our own as well as our client's marketing strategies. Because of all that's happening with COVID-19, you'll likely have to adjust your messaging and be tactical in the way you approach your audience. Here's how.

Amp Up Your PR

Now may not be the time to be pushing sales, but it's a great time to step up your PR and get your name out there. Times are uncertain, but if anything is true, it's that we're all in this together. When COVID-19 started to unfold, the first thing I thought was, “How can I be of service to those who are struggling?” As a small business owner myself, I saw it as my responsibility to use my expertise to help those around me. So, I wrote an article on 5 Marketing Tips to Staying Profitable During a Global Pandemic and our team worked their PR magic to push that article everywhere, with one goal: to reach and help as many people as possible during this difficult time. But one and done doesn't cut it anymore, so we also penned the follow-up article, Covid, Now What?, to give next steps and a more positive future-looking perspective on how to approach things now that we've been in it for a few weeks. Things are changing rapidly, and it's your duty to support your community with whatever gifts you have. When you start from there, you can't go wrong and it's clear that you aren't tackily selling.

With everyone shifting their focus more to digital, now is also a great time to push your message out on socials via content collaborations. Instagram Lives have skyrocketed in popularity, with many large platforms hosting Live On-Site Takeovers, such as Create & Cultivate's “Ask An Expert” series, which you have hopefully had a chance to see! Since we've all been working from home, social media usage and engagement has increased over 30%, so take advantage of this and reach out to as many sources as possible to see if they are willing to share your message. Not only will you be helping your community, but you'll be building brand awareness as well. This means that when things do open back up, you'll have built some new top-of-mind awareness that will help you get back on top quicker.

Reevaluate Scheduled Content

Running on a schedule makes life so much easier, I know. But in a time like this where life is so unpredictable, it's important to step back and take things day by day, and that includes your marketing strategy as well. If you scheduled content to go out on your social channels and blogs, you'll definitely want to take a look at it and see if it's still appropriate for the times. At Elevate My Brand, we have had to pivot a little bit with our blog posts, pushing back topics to make room for content having to do with COVID-19. Sometimes, adjusting your content is as easy as changing a caption for a photograph. Want to post that picture of your product with a group of people? Be sure to let your audience know that this photo was taken pre-quarantine so your followers don't get upset that you're not following social distancing rules.

It takes a lot of work to properly plan and execute a successful marketing strategy, and you don't want all that hard work to go to waste. While scheduled events and meetings may have been disrupted by COVID-19, that doesn't mean that they should be canceled. We're lucky to have technology on our side so that most of these scheduled events can be converted, rather than having to be canceled. Each year I host a women's networking event called our Elevate Spring Salon, which is a schmooze and booze that supports a different non-profit each quarter. Obviously we can't proceed as planned, but we have decided to convert the event to digital, which should still give us a community feel, support the cause that we're standing behind, and continue building brand awareness and visibility. P.S. fun isn't cancelled, it's just converted.

Don't Be Tone Deaf

As I mentioned earlier, emotions are running high right now. Everyone is reacting to the situation in a different way, so it's crucial that you take note of your audience's heightened sensitivity during this time. Listen to your community. What is it that they want and need right now? With social media and surveying tools like Survey Monkey, you can actually ask. What a concept!

Ultimately, you have to trust your instincts. Maybe it's not the time to push that ad or sell that product. Now's the time to be authentic and really showcase your brand values. Funny, positive and uplifting content is always welcome. Just be sure that you're being sensitive to the current situation and adding value, not just acting as if nothing has changed.

We're going to be in this for a while, even after shelter-in-place is lifted. So the faster you can shift your messaging and positioning, the more successful you will be long term, and the less of an uphill battle your brand will have when this is truly over.

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