How To Pivot Your Strategy During A Pandemic




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Be Aware of Changes


Across many surveys and reports that cover multiple industries, we’re seeing facts we just can’t argue with resulting from the worldwide pandemic. Long story short, everything brands and consumers do with regards to content and media has and will continue to change in the coming weeks. How we consume media, how often we are searching and streaming, and the vast increase in the number of people that are online are all things to pay attention to when it comes to your marketing strategy. The ways you respond to these changes now can help prepare you for the recovery phase of the pandemic. Read further to find out how your brand can be on top of those changes.




Outsource Content Creation


With the virus wreaking havoc on so many industries, it’s becoming clear that businesses need to start advertising differently in response. Large productions, photoshoots, and live events are shut down. For the foreseeable future, anything big companies and advertisers usually do that requires person to person contact has to be rethought. Advertising budgets are being cut, particularly in the realm of travel and retail. That means on one hand, big businesses are expecting to take losses that will affect their revenue the rest of the year. But on the other hand, they are still looking for ways to safely and sensitively produce content that can help advertise to make up some of the drop in sales.


That’s where Influencers come in. Influencers can help with content production, not just distribution and “Influence” of content across their social media platforms. Many Influencers have had the necessary tools, equipment, knowhow, time on their hands, and experience working from home well before the pandemic hit. Yes, they know how to make great posts to their own platforms and do a great job of integrating a brand into their own curated feeds. But did you consider that they could also be a great resource to help you create internal advertising content like audio, graphics, photos, and videos? Let your wheels start turning.







Due to the nature of an Influencer’s role as a one-stop-shop for everything from coming up with content concepts to actually publishing beautiful work, they are perfect for the new way businesses need to think about the future of producing advertising material. Think about how well-equipped digital creators already are to be producing from home. As a business, you have a few things to consider here, but you’ll find that the pros of utilizing Influencers for more content creation still outweigh the cons.


Pros:

  • Using Influencers to create content for you can be up to 50% cheaper than a business producing it through a studio or agency.

  • Influencers have the skills to pull off amazing things that you’d never guess weren’t done in a professional studio with a big crew.

  • They have enough creativity to make the ideas you have for content even better and more relevant.

  • The amount of production gear like cameras, lights, backdrops, props, etc. they’ve got stockpiled in their homes from years of accumulated experience is waiting to be utilized.



  • They certainly have enough time to devote to a large project, as they’re stuck inside and would LOVE to do something other than watch Netflix all day in their pj’s. Everyone is itching to work again.

  • Production can be done safely from the comfort of their homes and doesn’t involve anywhere near the amount of risk as a full crew all stuck together on set.

  • The connection and sensitivity Influencers have to the needs of your target audience will help make the content even possibly more targeted. They’re down in the comments and DM’s with people every single day, hearing their questions and concerns. Being able to speak to those needs in a more direct way, with the awareness of HOW to deliver those messages is something an Influencer can help with. Creating with compassion brings your customers closer to the brand and increases the brand equity overall.

  • If you still aren’t convinced, check out this breakdown of the reasons you need Influencer Marketing for your business now, especially during times like this.

Cons:

  • More brands will start using influencers and out of desperation, may drive the price of production up slightly with the demand. But hopefully all the pandemic madness won’t be going on long enough to see that happen.

  • And…. we can’t think of another downsides here...🤷🏻‍♀️


Adapt and Connect


Keep Communicating! If you panic, your messaging seems panicked, and the idea is to make your buyers (who are already panicking) not panic more. Consider some of the following do’s and don’t to make sure you are keeping the lines of communication with your customers wide open and a productive tone.



Do:

  • Use thoughtful, helpful, positive marketing messages. Providing purposeful content that brings people together, whether that’s by informing them, entertaining them, encouraging them, or teaching them, staying connected to your audience during the quarantine through shared values is the best thing you can do. Emotional connection and empathetic efforts on your part as a brand will go a long way.

  • Keep people up-to-date on what parts of the business are being modified due to the effects of the pandemic (i.e. No in-person contact, perhaps delayed shipping times, low stock, etc.)

  • Make frequent announcements about how the business is working to serve people safely and the precautions being taken for not only customers but employees as well.

  • Stay engaged with people, even if the business is temporarily shut down. People are the lifeblood of your business, and it’s important to keep them informed and feeling as taken care of as possible in such a stressful situation.

  • Pay attention to the shifts in your buyer’s habits and use that information to guide how you can best ride this recession out. If you notice a drop in sales of your higher priced products or services, consider ways you can make your offer more accessible. Meet people where they are and try to be on top of what needs to happen for you to best serve them as things continue to change.



Don’t:

  • Come across as desperate. Your way through this storm is to manage emotional responses to the best of your ability as you observe the buying patterns that will guide operations into the future. Make sure the way you’re pricing and selling reflects strength and certainty that you are going to make it through the economic downturn. If you’re not positioning your brand for recovery by preparing for evolving consumption patterns, you are missing an opportunity for alignment of your customers’ priorities with that of your brand.

  • Abandon your social media or go MIA with your overall marketing strategy.

  • Leave people hanging without customer support. With so many people losing their jobs and not being able to leave their homes, the chances are pretty high that you’ll have some people defaulting on their payments, cancelling orders, or asking for refunds. While your business policies may not be so simple to change overnight, keep in mind that your customer support team is essential to helping your customers during this difficult time. You never want your brand to be remembered as the ones who looked the other way in a time of need.




Show Support And Contribute To Communities


If you’re an established Brand, you’re likely revered in your community and loved for what you stand for. Now is the time to walk the walk and show your loyal customers (and potential new customers) what you’re made of. Supporting the communities that are most affected by the pandemic is a great way to show you not only care but you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is and show support with action.



A great way to show support is to share what you know will help others. What does your brand have to offer as a resource to your customers? Maybe you can share the most accurate and current news about how your industry is affected by the virus and the reliable ways people can find relief. Maybe you can share tips, guides, free gifts, discounts, or specialized packages. Donating a percentage of profit, having a charity giveaway, or running a drive for essential resources (food and medical supplies) are all great ways to stay involved and investing in bringing solutions to our communities.





About the Author

Katherine Pereda is the Founder and CEO of The Influencer Grapevine, a boutique Influencer Marketing agency based in South Florida. Her clientele list ranges from luxury houses such as Gucci, Roberto Coin, Acqua di Parma, Vacheron Constantin, Jitrois Paris, Cartier LatAm, and Jimmy Choo to beauty, home design, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness companies like Maisons Du Monde, Tampax + Always PURE, Home Made Simple by Procter & Gamble, Target, MintedLeaf CBD, and Agnes & Dora. Katherine has also worked extensively in experiential marketing for WantedDesign, New York Fashion Week, DesignMiami/, Glossier, Create & Cultivate, Miami Swim Week, Funksion Fashion Week, and Art Basel Miami. Now specializing in talent management, and brand campaigns, she helps influencers and businesses from all over the world gain exposure, connections, and collaborations to build lifelong relationships.


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