Crises arise when you least expect to face any problem.
These situations can rarely be predicted, as well as their effects. However, there is something that can condition the severity of the consequences; the actions that each company implements in response to any adversity.
Ideally, these actions should be included in a risk plan and should be taken as soon as possible to avoid the worst. But what happens when that is not the case?
Sometimes, even if we have strategies for times of crisis, the situation can take us by surprise, and we need to act quickly with marketing actions that we had not planned.
In the face of a crisis and unexpected changes, there is no option but to improvise to mitigate possible damage.
In this article, and given the context, I will share a series of tips to help you lessen the possible impact of a crisis on your business.
Specifically, we’ll look at up to 10 actions you can take on your digital strategies, plus some ideas for your email marketing campaigns.
You find yourself facing a crisis! What should you do?
The first and most important thing is not to get carried away by uncertainty or nervousness. To think and implement measures that favor your activity or business, you should calm down and start to think about solutions.
In this sense, my first general advice is always to keep in mind that, as difficult as it may be, knowing how to respond quickly and with common sense, will be the key to overcoming the problem.
In times of crisis, you should think about ways to keep your business running, implementing actions that don’t involve major risks.
► Why should you act and not interrupt your activity?
The solution to a crisis is not to stop 100% of your business activity. This maybe the quickest route, but not the one that will most benefit you when things get back to normal. Even if you slow down, you should continue to work on your branding strategy. There is nothing worse than being forgotten.
Therefore, what I recommend is to adopt marketing actions that help to maintain customer loyalty, with strategies that will help your brand, but also your clients.
If you were thinking of disappearing from the scene, think again; Chances are, if you don’t act in time when you try to get back, someone will be in your place.
My advice is to focus on helping your audience. If you’re willing to help, your brand will be remembered for that. It is in these moments that people will see the most human values of your business, and that will bring advantages such as:
- Demonstrate that your brand is socially responsible.
- Improve your branding strategy.
- Get closer to your ideal customer.
- Work with reciprocity.
- Demonstrate commitment to your goals.
► General Tips
The marketing actions you implement must be accompanied by more general ones that allow your company to survive in times of crisis. Let’s talk about it now.
Think of them as measures that, although challenging to adopt, will make your company overcome almost any setback:
● Positive mindset and proactivity:
This should be the common denominator for all actions during an emergency.
Without a positive mindset, it is not possible to make good decisions or analyze objectively what is happening to mitigate the effects of the crisis.
In turn, proactivity will help you not to paralyze your business in fear and will give you the momentum you need to take action.
●Cut unnecessary expenses:
It is not a matter of paralyzing everything, but this is the time to review your expenses.
For example, services that you no longer use, ads that don’t bring positive results, extra expenses that you could stop paying without affecting your business.
● Decide to stop investing temporarily:
It is not a matter of stopping investing overnight or hiring external services, but pausing the most critical investments that aim at specific objectives that, at the moment, were left out of the company’s goals (there will be time to do that later).
●Centralization of efforts:
The sum of the efforts of your colleagues or team members will make everything flow the right way, especially when it comes to making changes.
Prioritizing intelligently and collectively leads us to focus on what is really important.
● Bet on flexibility:
Those who know how to adapt to new circumstances will win.
So, if you need to change processes, work procedures, priorities, or any other matter, do so. Some changes will be temporary; others will be here to stay.
· 10 vital marketing actions for times of crisis
Let’s talk now about marketing actions to face adverse situations and help you to strengthen your brand.
Your first job will be to keep your brand visible. For example, in the case of the crisis generated by the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, it is essential to offer aid; either through donations, or through resources, technology, or expertise.
Put yourself in your buyer persona’s shoes for a moment, to understand what they need, what they want, how they think, and how they feel. Only then can you help them.
Below, you will find my proposal, but first, I want to advise you that, whatever your action, always do it with empathy.
1)Free access and other advantages
One of the best ways to foster engagement during a crisis is by offering free access to content or services.
- For example, You can provide free training, live webinars every day, downloadable resources, videos, audios, and more. You could even think about launching a podcast.
- Another alternative is to provide free services, such as mentoring, or extra help for loyal customers at no additional cost.
At times like this, any help is welcome and is something that users will highly value. Obviously, I recommend that you manage this type of action to avoid overloading your resources or your customers.
2) Assertive communication
Whether in an email, a social media post, an article, or whatever content you send, you should always be assertive. Always convey consistency and confidence in your messages.
You must be very discreet when discussing sensitive topics and always think about reassuring your customers and offering them your help to let them know you are there.
Keep them informed about your activity, availability, and the continuity or not of the contracted service. Here, the important thing is not to sell but to maintain the user’s loyalty.
Follow these tips to communicate assertively:
- Be clear, concrete, and specific.
- Always check what you are sending; if you wait a few minutes and reread the message, you could spot problems or improve it.
- Use a close, friendly tone.
- If you want to provide relevant data (include the official source).
- Talk about positive emotions.
- Express gratitude to your reader.
In this email from Raiola, you can see how they do it:
You should not forget email marketing during difficult times.
As long as you are careful and work with empathy, you should always send a newsletter to your subscribers when you have something relevant to tell them.
Many companies are doing that. As I said at the beginning, disappearing is not the best option. Keep sending emails to your audience, adapt your strategy to new circumstances and work on the more human side of your brand.
At Mailrelay, you have a free account that allows you to send up to 75,000 emails and manage up to 15,000 contacts for free.
There is no possible excuse for at least not trying, even less now:
There is no better alternative to your marketing strategy at the moment.
4) Engagement analysis
In addition to creating informational or follow-up emails, we recommend that you add actions that lead your audience to interact with your brand. For example, you could propose a challenge, inviting participants to share it on social networks.
If you are a personal trainer or have a gym, you could create online classes or share tips for staying active at home. You can even create instructional videos or offer individual advice.
You could share healthy recipes with your customers or post testimonials from people happy with your method:
5) Positive language
If it is essential to use positive language in normal situations, in times of crisis, it is even more so.
Words generate emotions, so we must be cautious when approaching other people.
Avoid talking about the bitter side of the situation, because we are all already being bombarded with sad news. Use your email marketing to encourage your subscribers, show hope, add value, give ideas, promote actions, have fun, entertain, and more.
All of this can be done through positive language. Therefore, words like “impossible,” “no,” “never,” or “problem” should be left out of your vocabulary on a personal and professional level.
If you can’t think of ideas for action, you could create polls to find out what your customers are looking for. You can also create a poll to find out what your customers think of the actions you have already taken.
By asking the right questions, you will get very relevant information. You will know how your customers are feeling and will be able to offer exactly what they need to overcome moments of crisis. From there, ideas for content, materials, webinars, services, extra bonuses, and more will emerge.
7) Market analysis
Another option is to analyze what other companies are doing, inside and outside your industry. But it’s not just that; you also have to study the public’s response.
If you discover an action that can bring you good results to your brand, implement it. Although it’s not about copying here, it’s about finding inspiration to develop your own emergency strategy.
8) Be creative
Your creativity will be the lifeguards that will make your brand stand out from the rest. Put your strategies into action and develop creative actions for your emails, which you can follow with funny images, memes, or videos.
Do the same thing for your ads. Use ingenuity and look especially for originality:
You should create a list of hashtags relevant to your target audience to use them in your posts.
10) Include the surprise factor
Finally, I would tell you to play with the “wow” factor.
Don’t bother your subscribers; you shouldn’t send the same type of email every day. Get in touch to brighten their day, and at the end of each campaign, add something they didn’t expect to find in the message.
- You could post a video created by your team, showing what they are doing to work from home.
- A declaration of intent on what you would like to do when everything is back to normal.
- A collection of articles or tutorials.
There are thousands of ideas. This is just one example of everything you could do for your brand so that it doesn’t disappear from the consumer’s mind in times of crisis.
Usually, the strategies that work best are those that arouse curiosity, generate value, and also amuse your subscribers.
So, you know, organize a meeting or video conference with your team and professional colleagues to start brainstorming without filters. Select the most interesting ideas and model them to impact your audience!
Translated by Micheli.
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