April Brews & Brands went virtual via Zoom, but that didn’t slow the flow of great ideas and insights. Here are a few of the highlights that can help you get your message and marketing right, right now.
Say Something Different.
There has been such a torrent of emails with “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19” in the subject line that people are just starting to skip over them. They’re now the equivalent of the safety instructions at the beginning of a flight; you know they’re important, but you’re unlikely to give them your attention.
Keep those words out of subject lines in emails or titles on social media posts. Also, stop beginning a message by talking about how different life is. Everyone knows it. Lose the word “unprecedented” completely.
Don’t Follow. Lead.
One participant mentioned that her company wanted to make sure they were putting the same message out as their competitors (specific to the coronavirus and COVID-19). This is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Instead, now is the perfect time for thought leadership.
For example, if you’re a bank or accounting firm, you should be helping customers or clients think about what’s likely to happen down the road and how it will affect them.
One example: lots of companies are going to end up with remote workers who will remain remote. How will that impact everything from the size of your facilities to HR issues to reimbursement for wifi? Those companies who think about what their customers’ lives will be like a year from now, regardless of when the health crisis ends — and who talk about that — will be ahead of the game.
Accept and Accelerate Change.
Right now, people who need a new vehicle are going beyond looking at options online. They’re talking with salespeople via Zoom, buying on a website, applying for financing online, and seeing their vehicles delivered to their homes. When things return to normal, a lot of people will still want to buy a car this way.
That means you need salespeople who are good on Zoom and with email and texts, and your online systems need to provide a terrific, simple user experience and be secure, simple and reliable. Think like Amazon and their “one click purchase” option. Calls to action will change, too. Instead of “learn more,” the calls will be to shop online, set a meeting or schedule a call.
This is being seen across the board, from craft brewers to lingerie boutiques. How do you build systems that let you continue to serve customers now in a personal way — and how will this transition change the way you do business going forward? Your customers may well be ahead of you in this regard; your task is to catch up and get out in front of them.
B2B Needs to Adapt.
Brews & Brands members have long noted the necessity of video content in the B2B space. Now that content needs to change.
Create a killer slide deck with a professional voiceover (there’s plenty of online voice talent that can handle your VO remotely). Think about what your prospects or customers want and need to know. Help people understand what you do and how it’s better. If you’re a manufacturer and you post a video of the process, add text or a voiceover that explains what’s happening.
Revisit the content people can download from your site. These lead generators are more critical than ever right now. Is it a webinar or series of them? Is it access to a virtual meeting or live Q&A session? Is it a checklist of things you need to consider before embarking on a project? The more valuable to your prospects, the more prospects you’ll attract.
With so many people working remotely, everything from emails and web content to social media posts is probably being consumed at a different time of day than before the pandemic. So adjust your sending / posting schedule to line up with these new habits. One attendee found that end of day on Friday has turned out to be a great time to reach prospects. When is yours?
Plan Now for the New Normal.
Even when the healthcare crisis is behind us, the world is going to look a lot different. You should be planning right now for the new normal. Those who do are going to be in a much better position to recover quickly and achieve sustainability.
Think of all the challenges facing us now as the push we all needed to reconsider how we do business, what we offer and how we deliver it. Everything from how we staff to what we sell may change. Schedule time now for planning sessions to start building your new business model.
Don’t Miss the May Brews & Brands.
Mark your calendar today for the next Brews & Brands on May 14 at 3:30 PM. If the worst is behind us and things are reopening, we’ll be back at Against the Grain Brewery. If not, we’ll get together via Zoom again. Either way, put it on your schedule now so you don’t miss out. For details and to register, click here.