content-marketing

Now is the time for content marketing

Now is the time for content marketing

Businesses are trying to navigate an exceptionally difficult time right now and we’re facing all sorts of hurdles along the way. With remote working becoming the norm for most people, time is something we’re definitely not short of. The way we work and think now has to change – instead of focusing on the things we have no control over, it’s time to focus on the things we can control. Your content and communications are just two of these things.

As most trade shows and industry events have been cancelled or postponed, your budget reserved for offline marketing can be repurposed into your digital content strategy. Brands have also been reducing their PPC spend and paused searching. This frees up more of your marketing budget to invest into valuable areas of your strategy that users are actively consuming.

Strengthen your content strategy

With time freed due to no work commute and isolation, your audience has more time to consume content. This is a great opportunity for your audience to really get to know your brand. Maintain a regular posting schedule to engage your existing audience and grow your brand visibility. Often times of distress lead to challenges that have great solutions your business can provide. With new insights, you can attract and convert leads that may not have had access to before. By continuing to provide your valuable offering, you can strengthen your existing consumer base and relationships.

If you’re struggling to think of new ideas to refresh your content strategy, you can spend time revisiting your existing content. Look at posts that are a couple of years old or older, you can update them with new statistics and information. Repurposing your existing content ensures your business remains relevant and valuable. Search engines will crawl republished pages and your content will be rewarded for its freshness.

Use this period to tighten up your content offering. With more opportunity for planning, reporting and reflection, you can see what is and isn’t working for your business. Reassess your goals and objectives so you can all remain aligned. This is a great chance for testing and improving conversions. With more people online you can see which content your audience enjoys consuming and engaging with. If one offering doesn’t work, test and test again.

Digitise your sales flow

A lot of businesses relying on face-to-face meetings to generate sales are undoubtedly going to feel the impact of change. But there are other great ways that are just as effective at developing leads and converting customers. Digitising your sales flow will help your sales team continue to grow your customer base and generate income. Make use of CRM systems like HubSpot to keep your data up to date. A CRM will allow you to monitor which stage of the buying journey your leads are on and generate communications that will engage them further.

This means that sales enablement is important now more than ever as your team has to shift their way of operating from offline to online. Create, update or replenish your sales and marketing literature and materials so your departments have everything they need to keep generating and closing leads.

Share more with your audience

With more people online turning to content and brands for escapism and learning, you have the opportunity to reach a wider audience than usual. Use this to your advantage and share, share, share. Be active and engaged on your social channels be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin or YouTube. Reply to comments, share posts and support other businesses in your industry who are in your position.

Improve your social listening by following hashtags, related industry channels and listening to your audience’s opinions. You can use this to guide the conversation you’re having online to ensure you’re producing content that’s relevant to your business and consumers.

Improve your internal communications

Use software to your advantage as much as possible while your face-to-face communication is limited. Losing those daily interactions can be a huge shift in the working day and can become isolating for some members of your team. Set up daily and weekly meetings with your workforce and wider business. These can be business-related or a general chat about your days. It’s all about making an effort to stay engaged in each other’s workloads and lives – if you don’t have time for a conference call, a simple phone call or facetime is enough.

You can also use this time to develop personally and professionally. Block out sections of your week for training, webinars or research to stay up to date on industry trends and practices. There are plenty of online courses and tools to develop your knowledge and skill set that will benefit your business and inspire new ideas.

The key is to think long-term, not short-term. Even though we’re all taking each development as it comes, we can’t afford to lose sight of the bigger picture. Stay on track towards your usual goals and invest in brand-building content that will stick around long after the current climate has passed.

As a company with customers, clients and influence, you have to remain proactive and positive in times of crisis. Feeding hysteria isn’t proactive, but providing reassurance and valuable services is. Offer your time, your knowledge and support during uncertainty and you’ll see huge rewards. Whether that’s improved performance, leads, conversions or social engagement, your brand will come out of the other end in an even stronger position.

 

Written by: Laura Greenhalgh
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