I've always been an optimist and at times like these, I truly believe this is the moment to encourage others to do the same. We are faced with a decision, and the question is, do we take a pessimistic route; stop what we are doing, shift budgets due to the uncertainty and panic? Or do we sidestep, adjust and be agile in our approach taking the optimistic road less travelled? I choose the latter and urge you all to do the same.
With this in mind, here are my recommendations for brands and agencies thinking about what to do at this time...
1. Adopt a digital first approach - now more than ever, maybe that's just me as a digital advocate, it goes without saying that people are spending more time online (@campaignlive cited almost a 22% growth in Instagram impressions for one campaign upon comparing Q4 2019 to Q1 2020) so think digital first. That includes thinking about your non-conventional social sites, aka social dating sites which are also seeing a spike in activity and subscriptions, interestingly one noted that 25.6% of users were motivated by the spread of COVID-19 when asked about their reason for signing up.
Re-allocate your budgets, take advantage of your social channels and utilise the opportunities available - remember LIVE content and video is key for the highest engagement rates! Don't think just about acquisition but also think about the opportunity you have for brand building and brand awareness. Great article here for behavioural shifts on social media with some great examples!
Tell me I'm not the only one loving the sense of community on Facebook / WhatsApp with all the local groups set up to help and support each other! But not just socially, up your display, ppc and SEO but be smart about it, money is tight so it's crucial you are more stringent with your paid channels.
2. Be aware, be sensitive and be human - Bring out the human, real you in your comms. This is your chance to make a difference! Use your knowledge and expertise, get back to the basics that started your journey and find how you can adapt to these times.
Our client @lecolonel are now making face masks instead of bow ties, bracelets and printed accessories, for local hospital staff from their apartment during a lockdown in France - j'adore!
3. Be creative – Many of you will have a 6 or 12 month strategy with set key dates and events that most likely will have now been pushed back. Though you may not be able to host physical events or have an open retail outlet during this time, your possibilities in the digital space are endless!
Our fabulous team have turned a cancelled art exhibition into a virtual exhibition launching soon! Remember; test, fail, pivot. Still valid now, more than ever!
4. Plan, plan and plan ahead - utilise this slightly quieter period to focus on planning that anniversary campaign you keep meaning to get to or that rebrand... Now is the perfect time to get those creative juices flowing for the future! Don't forget once all of this is over people will be eating, drinking and being social again so the future needs to be planned now...
5. Self-growth – Invest in yourself and your team. Share online courses, webinars, lessons and skills. Use this time to explore what could make you and your teams better.
I would highly recommend the @facebook blueprint courses, many of which are free!
6. Dig out old projects - you know, that CRM review, that UX re-design or that optimisation project that there just is never enough time for... well now there is time!
7. Stay connected - now more than ever! I would definitely recommend giving @houseparty a go. By the creators of @fortnite it is currently the most downloaded app on the AppStore (according to @financialtimes). A more informal interactive alternative to Zoom, Crystal clear and FREE! Win - win!
8. Pick up a new (or old) skill or activity - whether it’s painting, cooking or yoga, each of these activities formulate who you are, your way of thinking and the way you interact and learn. Develop your personal interests and you will ultimately develop your career too! My resolution is to pick up painting again, resurrect my inner artist and finally accomplish a crow pose - it's harder than it looks!
9. Contingency plans - hopefully you will all have your crisis handbooks polished and ready for a situation like this but if not, now is definitely the time to ensure it is complete and fully comprehensive in any scenario.
10. Don’t just focus on your physical health, your mental health is just as important at this time!
I hope this helps those of you who are feeling a little lost. Whilst short-term the road ahead is a uncertain, these unprecedented times call for undiscovered measures and ideas...
We need to look ahead, remain positive and keep our businesses and clients going as well as thinking about what we as a business could do to help the critical issues going on in the world. Think opportunity rather than impact, proactive rather than reactive, glass half full rather than glass half empty etc. you get the picture....
Get in touch for any more info or tips, tricks and apps to use. But most importantly stay safe and stay thinking positive!