Five Communications Tips to Project Stability and to Prepare for the Future

Social media timelines are beginning to fill up again with food photos and group shots of people having a good time. Most are maintaining social distancing recommendations, yet we’re all hungry to return to a sense of normalcy.

Does this mean your organization should go back to ‘business as usual’? Hardly. COVID-19 has irrevocably changed how we engage with consumers to conduct business. From a marketing perspective, we’ve all moved up the steep maturity curve of communicating amidst a pandemic. With the insight your teams have gained, your organization can navigate the road ahead with more clarity than before.

However, to sustain this momentum your organization must hold true to its revised strategy. Consistency is key, after all. To help your brand grow its business, we’ve compiled several tactics your organization can implement to nurture engagement and improve customer acquisition. Continue reading to learn five tactics to help you proactively prepare for the future.

Communicate Updates Via Hello Bar and Popups

Well-placed and relevant popups provide value for organizations and produce results. Popups have been shown to have roughly a 2% click-through-rate, which is higher than any other kind of ad. While major brands have utilized popups for years, their usage changed after COVID-19. Messaging shifted from being promotional to personal and helpful. Popups keep your customers in the loop with regards to updates and timely information.

However, based on a website visitor’s current needs, your organization could try switching out its ‘Our COVID-19 Response’ messaging for helpful resources, requesting email addresses for timely updates, promoting upcoming events, webinars and more. A frequently updated popup can provide your website visitors helpful, at-a-glance information.

As a best practice, update and test your website’s popup messaging with fresh content, compelling copy and a clear call-to-action to see which copy produces the most engagement. Tools like Hello Bar make it easy for organizations to quickly replace and update copy. Keep this in mind if your organization finds it time consuming to constantly switch out messaging in its popups. Better yet, your organization can track the clicks and engagement driven from its popups to help it determine which offer or update resonates the most with your audience.

Start A Weekly Newsletter

Newsletters are an effective way to communicate directly with potential leads and loyal customers. Setting and maintaining a consistent publishing schedule and time are paramount to building credibility and growing email subscribers (e.g. every Thursday at 7:00 a.m.). This commitment to providing customers and stakeholders consistent value helps nurture trust without being annoying or bothersome by sending repetitive one-off emails for every update.

A frequently published newsletter that maintains consistent quality drives traffic to websites. People will look forward to receiving your newsletter if your organization provides a positive experience for its subscribers. Newsletters act as a hub for useful information that builds stronger ties with your email subscribers.

As an added bonus, newsletters don’t carry the larger overhead expense that other advertising vehicles do, making it a cost-effective way to communicate with multiple stakeholders at scale. In all, a newsletter is an accessible way to communicate with your audience and should be utilized now and into the future.

A Statement or Message from Your CEO and/or Executive Director

Strong, reliable leadership is necessary during times of uncertainty. This is especially true now. People are clamoring for answers, and who better to provide these answers than your CEO? It’s one thing to project stability through a personalized email, but it’s something else entirely when a demand for answers and information is addressed with an accessible and personalized message from senior leadership.

A statement or message from your CEO has the potential to unify your audience under one collective message. In a recent article on Forbes, contributor Robert Glazer interviewed 29 CEO’s of companies with revenue ranging from 2.2 million to 511 million to learn their response to COVID-19 and made a powerful observation: Your words create your reality.

Conveying a strategic focus and optimistic message lifts the spirits of others and projects the level-headed confidence that stakeholders rally around during times of uncertainty. To resonate with your audience and provide a more personalized experience, consider adding a video of your CEO’s statement. Embedding this statement to key pages on your website boosts its visibility and gets your message in front of website visitors. Your CEO is a trusted resource to reemphasize your company values and articulate the steps your organization is taking to remain proactive.

While these video statements or messages were essential during the initial outbreak of COVID-19, uploading follow-up videos will keep your audience informed and engaged. Regularly updated statements will help your organization build a brand that stays committed to keeping customers and employees informed.

Frequently Update Local SEO and Google My Business (GMB)

When individuals are seeking reliable information and answers, they aren’t just browsing your website. Many are taking their search for information to Google, and it is imperative that your organization continually updates the following:

  • Hours of operation (addressing any changes related to COVID-19)
  • An accurate phone number for each of your locations
  • An up-to-date Google My Business Description
  • Google Posts that highlight recent changes that link back to your website

Maintaining a tight grip on your local SEO and Google My Business will help your organization provide the most up-to-date and accurate information possible for your customers. If your organization is still closed, Google has assured businesses that a “Temporarily closed” update won’t impact local SEO rankings like it previously did.

Google has also compiled resources to support businesses and help them stay on top of their local SEO efforts during COVID-19. Within GMB, your organization can select attributes if daily operations are still restricted for customers such as appointments, classes and consultations, which makes it easier for different industries to use Google to communicate pertinent information. This also includes options for restaurants to communicate whether dining is an option, or if it’s operation is restricted to curbside carryout or delivery.

Your organization’s local presence and GMB are ideal places to disseminate information for your audience. With so much that’s still influx, or potentially influx after this writing, having a consistent and reliable place for people to access this information is essential. During COVID-19, it’s likely that you or a loved one tried to purchase a product or order takeout only to find that the business wasn’t open at the time. This same frustration is felt by your customers if they search for your organization to find that its hours or phone number are inaccurate or misleading.

Ultimately, consistently updating your local SEO and GMB will lead to customers trusting your organization, making it more likely that they will inquire your company about its products or services.

Weave the Tactics Above into Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is where your organization can directly share updates and engage with followers in meaningful ways. Of course, social media provides more value for organizations than a place to publish updates. In the event an individual doesn’t click through to your website, social media acts as a catch-all for the following posts:

  • Promoting a new offer or event contained in a popup on your website
  • Linking out to articles addressed in your newsletter (and encouraging people to subscribe to stay up to date with your brand)
  • Showcasing a message/statement or follow-up videos from your CEO
  • Informing customers about any changes to your business (hours of operation, taking appointments/consultations instead of in-person visits, etc.)

By weaving its response and next steps into social platforms where it has an active presence, your organization extends a dialogue to its followers. That said, just because your organization creates a social post doesn’t mean it will reach all of your prospective followers. Organic reach on all social platforms is diminished for brands in favor of giving individual users visibility. So, your organization will have to publish updates during an ideal time when the bulk of your audience is active on each respective platform to maximize its engagement.

In a regularly updated blog post, Neil Patel breaks down generic times that are an ideal window on each social platform. As always, there are various factors that prevent the publishing times from being truly definitive. Your organization will have to continually test the time it publishes social posts, the copy in its social posts, and any active offers. Look to your data to determine the time of day that produces the best engagement on each platform. Tools like Hootsuite make it easier to publish social posts at a specific time of day, to save your organization manual effort.

Contact Our Team to Project Consistency and Prepare for the Road Ahead

When your organization keeps its response strategy branded and consistent it will nurture engagement and will drive customer acquisition. Projecting corporate stability during challenging times isn’t easy to implement, and there are multiple channels to help your organization accomplish this necessary task. That said, our team is happy to help.

Contact us if your organization needs additional assistance implementing any of the recommended tactics above. We’ll also be eager to recommend specific tactics that are prescriptive and customized to your industry. In summary, what your organization says and does today matters in the minds and hearts of your customers tomorrow. Choose your words and implementation wisely.

 

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