There’s no doubt the effects of COVID-19 have been far-reaching and devastating for many across the globe. While in Australia we seem to be travelling on a promising trajectory to ‘flatten the curve’, business leaders and economists remain concerned about the lasting impact this health crisis will have on the Australian and global economy.
With more than 80% of Australian businesses expecting to be adversely affected by the pandemic in some way, shape or form, it is no surprise our economy is tipped to be markedly changed after this world-wide event.
The question is, can you ensure your business is still relevant – or more relevant – as Australia starts to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown? You can! There are strategies to deploy right now if you want to be thriving, not just surviving.
Adapting to the ‘new normal’ starts with ensuring your messaging – or your ‘story’ – resonates strongly with your clients and customers – right now it is critical that you don’t drop off their radar.
There is nothing more important than clearly articulating your unique selling points, your insights, knowledge and the value you bring to your clients and customers. Your story is your brand. Your story explains your values and your mission but it’s also your marketing pitch.
So, what happens when your customers’ needs change overnight? Simple – your messaging needs to change too.
Now more than ever your messages need to resonate with your customers in a way which has meaning. You must be a true problem solver, a genuine provider of solutions to current issues…not another voice with a sales pitch.
Here are five simple ways to refresh your messaging to stay relevant, ensuring you not only survive but thrive after COVID-19.
1. Conduct a collateral audit
- What do you have in your marketing toolkit? Website, brochures, social media channels… Map these using a simple spreadsheet so you can easily evaluate your current tools, channels and messaging.
- Identify any gaps, shortfalls or opportunities in your current approach that might allow you to better reach your customers. What digital platforms do you need to reach your customers when you can no longer meet face-to-face?
2. Map your stakeholders
- Draft a simple map of your current and potential clients or customers so you have a clear picture of who you’re speaking to and what you’re saying.
- Identify the challenges or opportunities they might be facing due to the current pandemic and the impacts these are having on their business – their operations and their people. How does your offer address these needs?
3. Refresh your message
- Based on your collateral and stakeholder maps, draft a fresh set of messages that clearly articulate how your services can address your clients’ needs. This might be only require a simple tweak of your current set of messages, or it might mean a total overhaul. Whatever the situation, the effort upfront will reap many more benefits in the long run.
- The key to good messaging is ensuring your client is front and centre at all times. This is not a time for self-affirmation, but rather a time to focus on your clients’ needs and challenges and how you can help address and solve them.
4. Update your marketing pack
- Update your critical collateral to reflect your new messaging.
- Consider reframing your landing page on your website as a quick and easy way to let your clients know that ‘we’ve heard you’ and ‘we’re here to help’. A good way to achieve this is to pose a couple of questions in place of your list of services, such as:
Do you need help with…
- Restructuring your business strategy to adapt to the new normal?
- Engaging and retaining your best people?
- Navigating the various government legislations and policies that affect you?
5. Share with your clients
The silver lining in all of this is that the pandemic is providing a platform to market your services and giving you a very legitimate reason to reach out to your clients and customers with your offering. So use this time well.
- Maximise your digital platforms – such as LinkedIn and eDMs – and schedule regular posts and mail-outs. This will not only let your customers know you’re still there, but also potentially prompt them to get in touch. It will also give you great content to maintain your profile.
- Develop a monthly content calendar – in advance – to keep everyone on track and ensure a consistent stream of messages. Remember to constantly review content to ensure it stays relevant and appropriate as the pandemic progresses.
Amid the chaos, this is really your opportunity to show your clients that you’re here for them and focused on helping them get through the challenges they are facing. Responding in this way will not only help your clients, but will also put you in good stead to thrive post COVID-19.