I don't think any of us could have predicted that 2020 would have looked this way, I know I certainly wasn't expecting to be locked down for half the year, having projects put on hold indefinitely and wondering whether my business would survive such a hit to the economy but here we are. In the words of Elton John, we're still standing. Not many businesses would have included potential global pandemics in their online crisis plans, so many of us in the digital marketing industry have had some huge lessons to learn, some more than others. Here are a few of my favourites which you may not have thought of.
Social Media Never Switches Off
This we already knew, but social media bought us together and kept everyone close while being physically distanced this year, brands included. Although many non-essential businesses needed to shut or rely on skeleton staff, social media kept consumers connected to brands with a bit of fun, behind the scenes updates and crafty do-it-yourself content obviously made in social media managers' back bedrooms. This year we got creative and proved no matter what, social media never needs to go quiet and we certainly don't need fancy studios or equipment to make entertaining and engaging content. Brands, make sure you start to prioritise your social media presence to keep connected, even if this means hiring external help.
Crisis Plans Need A Shake Up
Okay, so in all the crisis plans I've written in my time never once has it crossed my mind to plan for a global pandemic, however, heading into a 'new normal' I will now bear in mind what would happen if a team I'm planning for needs to work from home, if their messaging needs to change or if they need to provide an essential updated service for consumers (just like supermarkets have trying to keep up with ever changing government guidelines). One of my biggest takeaways from the whole situation is to expect the unexpected; you can never be too prepared when it comes to planning for a crisis. Read more tips on crisis planning here.
Clear Campaign Messaging Is Key
The British government have provided us with a lot of marketing lessons to take away over the past few months; some good, some bad and some most definitely ugly. Their 'Stay Alert' campaign not only blessed us with some high level memes on Twitter, but was difficult to understand and far too easy to ridicule. The key lesson to take away from this is to always ensure your messaging is clear and easy to follow if it provides instructions. There are people who will always try to find something funny in what they see, but by making your campaign make total sense, this will be harder to do and any ridicule will be at a minimum.
Influencer Marketing Is Not Dead
One thing the British government did right was introducing influencer marketing into their campaigns to spread awareness of Covid protocols. Working with high profile Love Island stars, the government attempted to get their message through to younger people who were less likely to be watching the daily briefings or interacting with the government's own content on social media. While young people are now being blamed for a second wave (as true or not as this is), the message was still received by younger generations to socially distance, wash their hands and get tested if needed. Influencers still do their job and still certainly work if rolled out in the right way.
Lessons To Take Away From Lockdown
It is crucial during any crisis for everyone to take lessons away from what has happened to build resilience, whether this is emotionally, in a business sense or purely to improve on pre-lockdown projects. I will be taking these lessons forward not only to protect and improve work for my clients but also to help myself understand the huge shift everyone has faced, and I am certain there will be more lessons to learn as we face an uncertain future.
If your business is in need of some marketing TLC after lockdown, let's have a (socially distanced) chat! Drop me a message or feel free to pick up the phone.