As we collectively begin to cancel and postpone all public gatherings in hopes of preventing widespread contamination of COVID-19, your business will feel the impact. Your trade show, promotional event, networking event, and conference are probably canceled.
If you’re lucky enough to get a refund from any of those investments, you’ll want to shift them towards marketing and promotional alternatives that will still put you and your product/message in front of your audiences.
And if you couldn’t get your money back, there are still ways to put your now-leaner budget to work for you.
There are some things you can do immediately, and others you can start working on for the events that may get canceled later down the road. In this blog, we’re going to talk about some of the solutions you can take to have a more immediate impact.
ARE WE REALLY TALKING ABOUT MARKETING RIGHT NOW?!?
Yes. As crazy as it sounds, we are. Here’s why:
If you were working in marketing when the recession hit back in 2008, chances are you didn’t work in marketing soon after.
According to our CEO & Executive Creative Director Jim Taugher, “A number of companies that weren’t spending on marketing decided to start, but just as many companies that were already spending on marketing were hesitant to continue or reduced their budgets.”
If 2008 taught us anything, it’s that those who abandoned marketing for a while had a lot of catching up to do. Without marketing, they weren’t engaging their existing audience, so competitors who didn’t ditch marketing swooped in and stole them with minimal effort.
While it may not seem like the most important thing in the world, staying some sort of course can help keep the doors open, lights on, and provide employees with the safety net they need in uncertain times.
SO, WHAT ARE SOME SHORT-TERM SOLUTIONS THAT YOUR COMPANY CAN DO IN LIGHT OF ALL THESE CANCELLATIONS?
Turn your presentation into a webinar
If you were scheduled to give a presentation at a now-canceled conference or trade show, take that presentation from the stage to the screen with a webinar. Webinars are great lead-generation tools that can capture your audience’s information in a way that a live event might not.
For live-streaming, require “attendees” to RSVP with an email address and build a small email campaign to nurture this audience leading up to the event, and shortly after.
If you pre-record your presentation, use it as a lead generation incentive. Build a target digital campaign promoting it, and use the pre-recorded webinar as your gated content piece. The advantage of pre-recording vs. live-streaming is your audience can consume this content on their own terms. (Who doesn’t love an added level of convenience?)
Help your webinar stand out with strong post-production work
Here’s an obvious thing to remember: video is a visual medium. We say this because as more people shift to video content, the importance of standing out from the crowd will be stronger than ever.
If you opt to film your own webinar, find a video partner to enhance your footage with b-roll, animations, charts, graphs, and more. Our design team can build your supplemental video assets in a way that elevates your final product and stays visually on-brand. Our in-house sound studio team can provide any original score or sound design needs that are more cost-effective than licensed options. And our award-winning video department can combine it all together in post production
Make your message an audio seminar or podcast
If video isn't your thing, audio should be the next stop. Podcasts are one of the most rapidly growing mediums. (Feast your peepers on this data buffet.) It’s serialized content that people can listen to anywhere, on their own terms. Again—people love that extra level of control.
With a podcast or audio seminar, you’ll be able to draft a script in advance, record multiple takes, and edit the best ones together in order to produce a more superior product.
We offer our clients access to a state-of-the-art production studio, run by a sound engineer who, frankly, is one of the best in the business.
But if you’d prefer to maintain physical distance, we can advise you on what equipment you need to record it yourself and we can handle all of your editing, engineering, and other post-production needs to make it sound perfect.
And again—with a smart digital campaign built around it, your one-off audio piece can be a great lead-generation tool.
Reach that canceled event audience with a targeted campaign
If your business relies on the massive exposure that event marketing can bring, there’s still a way to reach that audience even if the “event” part goes away.
Our digital strategy team has helped our client partners achieve great success reaching trade show and conference attendees with retargeting display ads, LinkedIn ads, and Gmail ads. Combining the right approach, smart audience building tactics, well-crafted relevant content, and an established follow-up protocol can get your message in front of the right people, and expedite their transition from stranger to prospect and prospect to converted lead!
AN IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER NO MATTER WHAT SOLUTION YOU CHOOSE:
If these solutions do what they’re supposed to, people will want to engage with you. But with in-person interaction eliminated as an option for the time being, we can’t stress enough how valuable it will be to make connection and communication extra-easy for these prospects and customers.
Close every campaign with a strong call-to-action that lets your audience know what their communication options are. Whether it’s a phone call, video chat, form fill-out, or some combination of whatever methods are available, this is the final step in making these marketing solutions most effective in our current climate.
IN OUR NEXT POST:
We’ll explore some solutions that take a little more time and money to make, but provide a longer shelf-life, especially in case social distancing becomes a more long-term norm.
Let’s figure out how to keep your business moving forward amidst these challenging times. Contact us today.