How to Use Corona to (Re-)Connect With Your Audience
Make yourself useful, be human, and adapt to what happens with your client’s business
Amidst the difficulties of coronavirus, there’s never been a better time to connect with your audience. This is the perfect opportunity to develop strong relationships with your ideal clients, and to position yourself as an industry expert.
Many businesses facing financial struggles are cutting back on marketing. But why not use these difficult times to connect with your audience? Clients might not be buying, but they haven’t gone away. They’re at home watching and waiting for this to pass.
So how do you connect to your loyal audience, and attract potential new clients? Here are six simple strategies you can use.
1. Make Yourself Useful
Now is not the time for spreading fear. Share useful rather than sensationalized content specific to your industry. Check that it’s verified and from a reputable news source. They will be inundated with general corona-based information, so what can you share that is interesting and different?
Make your communication easy to read by using plain English:
- Ditch the jargon
- Stick to simple English
- Use subheadings and bullets
- Create small chunks of text that are easy to scan
- Add infographics and other visuals
Think about the situation most of your customers are facing. How is coronavirus affecting them and their industry? Some businesses are booming with the rise of work-from-home life. Others face financial ruin. Knowing the challenges your clients face will enable you to be useful to them.
2. Be Human
How many emails have you received over the past two weeks from a company’s CEO? Your customers are facing the same onslaught. Think of ways to show your human side and empathize with your clients. It will make you stand out in the right way.
Now is the time to be helpful. Yes, you want to maximize your sales, but not opportunistically. Put the hard sell on hold and imagine yourself as your ideal client. Use this to provide something that will help them. They’ll thank you in the long run.
Wherever you can, go the extra mile for your customers. Be prompt to respond to messages and watch your social media channels to avoid missing communications. Share information that will help them and look for new ways to connect. if you’re looking for inspiration, Neil Patel has other ideas for building personal connections.
3. Focus on the Client
If your business has been affected by the coronavirus, you’ll need to tell customers about changes or inform them it’s business as usual. But instead of making it all about you, focus on them. Explain what you’re doing to help, how changes might impact them and offer support.
Avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach. Think about what is specifically happening to the customers in your industry. This will affect what you share and how you talk to them.
What situation is your ideal client facing?
Scenario 1: Adjusting to working from home
Changing to home working is challenging. Your client may be struggling with new technology and the impact of schools being closed.
You could share:
- Tips on video calling and other ways to communicate effectively
- Ideas for technology they could be using
- Inspiration for managing working with kids at home
- Guides for using new technology
Scenario 2: Still working, but making changes
Businesses are branching out in countless new ways. Companies selling physical products are moving into home deliveries. Many coaching and group sessions are being run online.
You could offer:
- Tips for keeping safe with home deliveries
- Information about the latest government advice for your sector
- How-to guides for electronic payments
- Ideas to use tech to replace face-to-face meetings and sessions
- Inspiration from companies successfully changing how they work
Scenario 3: Riding out the storm
For many businesses, it’s been impossible to keep working because of government restrictions. They face difficult times trying to work out what they can do.
You could help by:
- Signposting them towards financial support
- Suggesting mental health support organizations
- Explaining their rights and responsibilities
- Introducing them to remote working opportunities
- Offering ideas for diversifying
Scenario 4: Coping with a booming business
Plenty of companies are unexpectedly facing increased sales because of coronavirus. But being in demand can be just as challenging.
You could suggest:
- Tips for dealing with increased website traffic
- Ideas for improving communication with clients
- Ways to help them cope with demand
4. Adjust Your Lead Magnet
Now is an opportunity to consider your lead magnets. What are you currently offering your clients? Could it be adjusted or replaced to be relevant during this pandemic?
Ideas for good lead magnets:
- New analysis or perspective on the coronavirus focused on your industry
- How-to guides for tech resources on home working/social distancing
- Useful printouts and templates
- Case study about a similar business during the coronavirus
- New product offer or discount
- A free trial
- Online classes or lessons
Changing your lead magnet is a great way to boost your email sign-up rate and gives you something new to offer your customers.
5: Create Conversations
Are you talking regularly to your clients about your industry? It’s time to use your mailing list to create communications they’ll be interested in reading. Keep to your branding. but don’t forget to share your personality.
Easy-to-action ideas include:
- Providing a roundup of events from the week
- Sharing positive stories
- Providing useful links and resources
Consider the position your clients are in. Have they got more time on their hand to read long informative pieces, or are they working than harder than ever? Tailor what you produce to engage and remember powerful subject lines for your emails to increase open rates.
Conversations on social media
Your social media channels will be more important than ever for promoting the content you’ve created. Focus on where your customers tend to be and tailor what you offer. If they’re on Pinterest or Instagram, step up your visuals. Tools like Canva are a quick way to produce beautiful results.
Maintain your brand voice, but embrace the informality of social media. Create a two-way conversation. Use you and we to speak directly and clearly.
Reply to comments quickly to build a conversation. Signpost your customers to other people in your industry and offer helpful tips to position yourself as an expert. Use hashtags strategically to be found by new clients.
6. Get Your Customers Involved
You can reduce the time and cost of marketing by getting your audience involved in making it. It boosts re-shares and attracts a wider audience to your site.
- Interviewing people in your industry to share their story
- Appealing to clients for the latest news and sharing it
- Designing a simple competition
- Sharing reports from others in your industry
- Asking a question and creating a post based on the responses
- Using polls and questionnaires to get information
- Offering a freebie in exchange for reviews
Remember to tag your customers into your social media posts and thank them for their help. It’s polite and boosts your re-shares.
Your business might be booming or struggling right now. Whatever your situation, creating connections with your ideal clients is always good business. This crisis makes it more important than usual.
Making yourself visible is an easy way to build and keep your audience. Instead of spreading fear, share helpful and interesting content to make positive connections that will last beyond the coronavirus.
This article was originally published on medium.