The 10x team is composed of marketing and PR professionals with extensive and diverse experience. Our President and founder worked in traditional public relations, saw the online revolution on the horizon, and made the (not easy at the time) switch to a digital marketing model. Our team members worked in PR for large Fortune-500 companies. I myself worked for an event company where we once had to cancel an out-of-state event with 300+ participants, multiple vendors and 40 employees — three days before it started. I’ve also dealt with wildfires and flash floods and the marketing and response that goes with them.
Bottom line—we understand what it means to work under pressure during constantly shifting tides. While the current COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, catastrophe is not. So we’ve pulled together some of our best crisis management strategies for digital marketers and business owners during this challenging time.
Act Quick and Be Agile
Things are changing by the hour. New policies and reports significantly impact all businesses—from mom-and-pop all the way up to Apple and Amazon. You need to act quickly to make decisions. We understand that you might be apprehensive to make long-term plans, understandably so, but you need to be agile to adjust your short-term marketing and messaging.
First thing early Monday, our team got on an all-hands to discuss future strategy for both clients and our own brand. Some of our team members were driving back from trips cut short, but we knew we had to touch base to divide and conquer.
Make the quick and most important decisions first:
- What automated marketing needs to be stopped? (You don’t want sponsored ads promoting canceled events).
- Given your operations, what critical messaging do you need to share with clients, customers or audience?
- Evaluate scheduled social posts, blog posts or website updates (more on that in the next section).
As the situation develops week-by-week or even day-by-day, you have to be fluid and take it one a day at a time. Meet with key stakeholders to decide on the best path forward for each week and reassess as you go. That might mean pausing efforts completely while you develop a new strategy.
We have social media and PPC campaigns for our clients that are months out. However, for some, we made the decision to stop and reevaluate. While this is an easy recommendation for businesses halting operations or canceling events, it’s not for those that have campaigns rolling out that they’re excited about and have spent months creating. Have faith that you won’t lose those efforts and can use them once things calm down.
Consider the Context of Your Content
Look at all your messaging, content and visuals with fresh eyes, given the current climate. A lot of marketing that may have been on-brand, humorous or cutting-edge, can be downright insensitive, given the state of affairs.
To give you an example, with the need for social distancing, we pulled any posts that had images with groups together, people embracing or activities outdoors and in public places. Granted, the captions were more evergreen but we didn’t want to remind our audience about things they can’t do.
Look at your content, promotional and paid advertising calendars and take out anything that’s irrelevant or doesn’t work. Err on the side of caution — when in doubt, don’t send it out.
Evaluate Paid Social Opportunities
As with any crisis management, business will resume. While we certainly can’t predict when and how, once you mark off the essential items on your list, you can spend more time assessing the landscape.
Nick Wolny, Director of Content for Super Connector Media, made the case to Entrepreneur that some businesses should invest in Facebook Ads right now. First, because you have a unique opportunity to do so. Worldwide events are canceled, a billionaire just dropped out of the presidential election, which means “a less crowded space for ads.” What’s more, quarantine, work-from-home and social distancing means more people than ever are on their phones and social media.
If you have a digital business, you’re an e-commerce brand, you provide a service—anything that’s not interrupted by the Coronavirus—consider taking advantage of this time to experiment with more paid and social media advertising. Some people want an opportunity to take their mind off the crisis, and your business could provide that outlet.
Shift Service or Product Models
I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten an email from every yoga studio I’ve ever gone to promoting their new online classes. Industries adapt; when you can’t provide in-person service, it’s never been easier to go digital. Take a look at your model; how can you still provide a digital service or product?
Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box! Universal Studios just announced they will release new movies straight to streaming, instead of in theaters to meet the demand of homebound moviegoers.
Adapt Your Digital Marketing Strategy in the Face of Crisis Management
This too shall pass, but in the meantime, the businesses that adapt, evolve and stay agile will be top-of-mind for consumers, clients, and social audiences. Act quickly and use these tips to adjust your marketing.
If you need a quick consult on PR services please feel to reach out to our team of experts.