Authored by: Stephné du Toit, Content Manager at At that Point
By now, we have all settled into our makeshift offices at home. We have become experts at distance communication with the help of Zoom, Teams and Skype meetings, among others. We had to “adapt or die” as they say.
To adapt and not die in this new normal, we need to change our approach to marketing and communications. This means that we need to adjust our resources, communication plans and our budget over the short- and long term. Our customers’ behaviours have changed dramatically as in-person meetings, events and workshops had to be revised and replaced with other channels to reach our potential customers.
For the companies that have made the leap before COVID-19 to digital environments and leaving traditional communication channels behind, riding through this pandemic storm was much easier than for others and minimised the disruption throughout their businesses. However, many companies, services and even sections in the entertainment industry that were not prepared for the shift, sadly did not make it past this pandemic.
If you are still willing to adapt and swing this boat around to higher ground, we can recommend a few strategies to consider when you are adjusting your communications and marketing plan:
With smartphones in almost every customer’s hands these days, your target audience can be reached by a click of a button, or rather by pressing play on a video.
Videos can be shared across multiple platforms, are easy to grasp and visually entertaining. Start off simple, use existing clips from your webinars or past event presentations and share them with your customers. Not only do you create awareness of your brand but, you also educate and provide trusted content to your audience.
There are various free video editing tools online to transform a modest five minute interview into a cost effective visual communication tool.
2. Webinars and Virtual Events
Even schools and Universities are now almost 100% dependent on webinars and virtual classrooms. So why should your company stay behind? This communication channel can never replace face-to-face interactions, but the recent boom in virtual platforms have created many opportunities to engage with other delegates - all in the safety of your home office.
3. Social Media
Communicating through social media platforms gives you the opportunity to engage with your target audience in more than one way.
4. Content Marketing
In an article titled “How To Positively Communicate With Your Audience Amidst A Pandemic”, Jagruti Bhargav, asked various marketers what content they create and post to their target market. The unanimous answer was content that is positive, hopeful, and helpful.
This is a good read as to learn how messages should be structured and filled with empathy, because we are in this together, helping each other - survive, grow and shine.
5. Lead Fostering
Stay in contact with your potential customers, especially during this period of economic adversity. Respect the threats to their lives and livelihoods that have altered their priorities and preferences.
This can be achieved by sharing thought leader content and other valuable information through previously paid for webinars and downloadable content.
Assure your potential consumers that your company’s values will remain unchanged, by clearly unpacking your values propositions.
For a further read on how other companies have adjusted their communication and marketing strategies and get inspiration to help your company adapt, rather than die, I recommend reading How business adapted - COVID-19 case studies by Derek du Preez.
Authored by; Rosa-Mari Le Roux, Content Manager at At that Point
They say, “If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” However, with an effective communication and marketing strategy in place, nothing would be left until the last minute.
Your strategy should serve as a road map for your business to effectively communicate a tailored message via the right channels to reach your desired audience.
My article will feature important elements to keep in mind when creating a marketing and communication strategy for your business.
What is the point of doing business if you don’t have a clear idea of who your customers are and what they want?
Consumer insights are crucial for creating a targeted message and this valuable information can be gathered through surveys, questionnaires or interviews.
Get to know your audience’s characteristics and familiarise yourself with what they read, listen to and watch. This will help you formulate your communication plan and customise your products so that it caters specifically to their desires, which should lead to better sales and happy customers.
Don’t beat around the bush
It is crucial to define your message, ensure that it is clear, consistent and recognisable. Keep these key points in mind when formulating your message:
- Brand Identity: Your customers should be familiar with your brand identity, which must be noticeable in all marketing material and platforms. Your reader should always know it is your message.
- Consistency is key: All communication and messaging should be consistent. Your company message should be communicated throughout every department within the business.
- King of creativity: Be creative and unique with your ideas and messages. This will set you apart from the rest.
Choose the right channels
The easiest way to reach your existing audience, is to use channels where your consumers are already active, such as social media.
The message that you intend to communicate should be the driving force to determine which channels you use. For instance, using video content on social media platforms rather than emails.
Fortunately, there are many platforms that you can use to get in contact with your potential customer. If you know your audience, as suggested earlier, you will have a better idea on which channels you will have the most success in reaching customers.
Importantly, whatever marketing channel you choose should have the same brand perception as yours. Remember “consistency is key”
Keep your enemies close
Lastly, know who your competitors are and what they are up to. They are probably keeping an eye on you too. The harder it is for other to duplicate what sets you apart, the better. Keep your competitors in mind when creating your strategy. This will always keep you one step ahead.
To communicate without a strategy, is like walking in total darkness. You never know what might be lurking around the corner. Your strategy is your road map, your source of light, if you will.
Authored by: Stephné du Toit, Content Manager, At That Point
Do your marketing meetings usually include a discussion around how you should be doing more video on your social media platforms? Then a month goes by and you still haven’t managed to get a single video done? Like they say, procrastination is the thief of all things.
This is usually because the process of making a video seems like a daunting task to the average person. However, it does not have to be a difficult or expensive exercise, you can therefor stop hesitating and get started. The easiest way to do this is to start at the beginning and methodically work your way through the production process.
Here are some simple steps to get you going, and before you know it, it will become second nature.
Get your team around the table, and if you do not have a team, get some of your creative employees to form part of your brainstorming session.
Ask yourselves, what do we want to achieve? What are the actions we want to stem from this video? Who do we want to reach with our message? Here you must set a definitive aim, if you shoot too broadly, you are going to miss your target.
Now you can start writing, plan your setting and create a storyboard to plot the scenes or message points of you video.
Type of video
Depending on your message, you have to decide if you will be using an articulate person to convey the message, or if you would just like to use text to elevate your main points of your message. Either way, there are a lot of free stock image and video sites on the internet where you can source great visuals to support your message
Also make sure your speaker is prepped, relaxed and as natural as possible. Remember, the whole video does not have to be done in one shot. Keep your segments short, this will make it easy to cut and edit.
Plan your video set well in advance. Make sure to focus on the small things – those that can make or break your video, such as:
Round off with some editing
No, you do not have to be a professional to edit your video. There are a lot of free and easy movie editing software online. Make sure to cut the unwanted content, use transitions to switch between scenes and add a bit of background music to create your desired mood.
Do not forget to add your company logo and have a call to action at the end, even if you are just inviting your audience to visit your website for more information.
The most important thing to remember when you create and post social media video, is to keep it sweet and short. Your aim is not to make a blockbuster movie, but rather to give a targeted message to a specific audience regarding your services, product or business. You therefor best keep to a one- to two-minute video, at the most.
Then upload your video to your website or YouTube channel that you created for your business. From there, you can link back to your video by posting a short description and link onto your various social media platforms.
Remember practice makes perfect! If you just start and keep going you will soon wonder how you ever communicated to your audience without video.