Business

Adapting Your Marketing Strategy for Social Distancing

Emma Gallimore 04.08.2020

COVID-19 is changing everything from where we work to how we market. If your 2020 marketing plan is full of in-person events, face-to-face networking, and event sponsorships, you might be wondering how you can keep connecting with clients during this time of social distancing. 

You can, and should, continue to market while adhering to social distancing guidelines. If live video was part of your marketing plan, consider shifting that spending to animated videos, which don’t require casts and crews to gather in one place. Replacing in-person events with video can keep you from falling behind during this difficult time. 

Don’t Stop Marketing

You might be wondering if marketing is worth the investment right now. Businesses are facing more uncertainty than normal. You might be tempted to scale down your marketing or stop altogether until the future seems more certain. 

There are two problems with that plan. First, the phrase “Out of sight, out of mind” became a cliche for a reason. If your customers aren’t hearing from you regularly, you fall out of their awareness. That makes it a lot easier for them to shift their spending somewhere else. 

Second, people are hungry for connection and distraction. They will remember those brands that helped to keep their spirits up and build community during a time of social distancing. If you can show clients and customers that you understand their concerns, you will build customer loyalty and improve client relationships. That’s a result worth investing in.  

In short, the worst thing you can do right now is nothing. Don’t throw away client relationships you’ve spent months or years building. Instead, give them ways to engage with your brand while abiding by CDC guidelines. Read on for some smart ways to adjust your marketing strategy for social distancing. 

1. Replace in-person events with virtual events

If you rely on one or two big events to make an impact on your customer base, you might be particularly nervous right now. Especially if one of those events has been postponed or canceled due to social distancing considerations. With the right mix of pre-recorded and live video, you can still hold your big event. 

Video conferences can meet marketing goals while abiding by social distancing guidelines

Here are some tips for hosting a successful virtual event: 

  • Choose the right platform. There are about a dozen virtual event platforms that include tools for live streaming, chatrooms, attendee registration and more. Research the options and pick one that fits your budget and has the tools you need. 
  • Plan ahead. What parts of your event will be live-streamed? What parts will use pre-recorded video? You can combine both to create an interactive event. For example, you might show a prerecorded video with live commentary from your panel of remote experts. You can even create animated videos to help keep audiences engaged and add structure to your conference.
  • Mix it up. If your event is going to run longer than an hour, you probably want graphics, video, or other elements to keep things interesting. Plus, pre-recorded or animated video can give you a chance to grab a snack, catch up on participant chat questions, or just rest your voice. 
  • Promote your event. Many people are looking for things to do. Reach out to your email list and share event info on your social media platforms. Have a clear value proposition to convince people to sign up. 
  • Have a backup plan. Technology issues can derail even the most meticulously planned event. Have a video prepared that you can play if an expected speaker can’t log on. 

When your event is over, you can share the replay as one long video. Or you can edit and cut the video to create several focused videos, commercials, or highlight reels to promote your next event. 

2. Record your presentations

Sales and marketing presentations can be just as effective on video as they are in person. You don’t have to create a custom presentation for every client. Instead, do what the radio stations do. Record the full presentation, then add on a custom intro and outro to make it feel more personal. You can share these presentations via email, as webinars, or through social media. 

Although social distancing makes live shooting difficult, you can still bring customers behind the scenes with an animated video that illustrates how your supply chain works, what you’re doing to combat the virus or other relevant topics that would be difficult or impossible to show in live-action. 

These presentations and animated videos can be cut down and repurposed for email, social media, or your blog. 

3. Consider animated videos

If you had plans to shoot live-action commercials or other video content, shift them to animation. Animated videos are flexible, cost-effective, and can be tailored to fit your brand voice and style. Most importantly, animators can work independently, they don’t have to be in the same room, or even the same country to create a powerful video for you. 

Consider how you might translate your plans for live-action recordings into whiteboard videos, 3D animation, or character animation. 

4. Reach out to clients with video in email 

If your clients are used to interacting with you face-to-face, the switch to all virtual communication can be a tough one. While video calls have their place, pre-recorded videos sent out via email and social media channels can have an impact as well. Everyone could stand to see a friendly face right now, and many people are starved for social connection. 

Whether you record custom videos for each client or share pre-recorded favorites, a moment of distraction and a friendly face can go a long way toward making clients feel less alone. There are several ways you can use video in email marketing, explore them all and see what works for you. 

Plan for the future after social distancing

Remember, although we don’t know when this situation will end, we do believe that it will. Keep marketing with the awareness that your clients and customers may be in a strange place right now. Create content that entertains, engages, and strengthens connection. We could all use a bit of that right now. 

If we at IdeaRocket can be of help, reach out and let us know. 

Emma Gallimore

Emma Rose Gallimore is a content marketing expert, SEO extraordinaire, and research addict who believes life is better when it’s animated.

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