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Pandemic Playbook from Amber Engine: Downtime To-Do List

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Now that ‘Stay Home’ orders have been partially lifted, your to-do list may look a lot different than it used to. Which makes this the perfect time to revisit some of the tasks other people (not you!) typically put on the backburner.

We’ve heard more than once that it costs more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. That’s why now is the best time to work on creating trust and deepening relationships with customers and clients online. Whether actively engaging on traditional social channels or showing up to ask and answer questions on Quora, keep tone in mind.

Given the sensitive nature of our environment, this is not the time for hard sales. This is a time to listen with compassion and respond with kindness – whether the person you’re interacting with is a vendor who lost their job due to a lack of work or a potential client asking if it’s okay to Lysol the sofa you manufacture. Anything you produce now should be infused with a respectfully clear, honest and human voice.

So, how do you know what to produce if it’s not a direct Q&A? It’s time for a content audit and gap analysis.

Look through your print and digital assets with the question “What do my customers/clients need right now?” in mind. Schedule a share-out of what’s relevant – perhaps with a few timely tweaks. Then, make a list of what’s missing. Keeping in mind the formats your audience seems to prefer:

·       Blog post

·       Whitepaper

·       One-sheet

·       Infographic

·       Social Image/meme

·       Email

Assign that work to your team, encouraging creative roundtables on Zoom or Skype. If your staff can’t take on the extra workload right now, kudos to you! Look to a freelancer if your budget allows.

This is also an excellent time to jot down creative ideas for future campaigns. Especially as you reflect on the way you want to see your business change when we come out of the current situation. Right now, we have an extraordinary opportunity to weigh:

 

  • Corporate image
  • Social good
  • Communication style
  • Character/ethics
  • Reputation

 

As you consider communication style and platforms, be sure to take inventory of the company’s marketing toolbox. Which platforms serve you best? Is this a good time for a change?

 

  1. Is your CRM doing all that it should be? Is it time to make a change to Pardot or Marketo?

  2. Does your social media scheduler give you clear sightlines, listening tools, a shoppable interface, metrics and all the other resources you need to be successful? With so many to consider – tried-and-true Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social to newer Post Planner, OnlyPult and SocialPilot – you’re sure to find an affordable option to amplify your voice if your current software doesn’t serve your business.

  3. Did your pool of influencers perform as expected last quarter/year? Should your talent pool be refreshed, or do you need to adjust the message that you’re communicating to that team? Are you using software, like Curalate, that helps you evaluate new and existing influencers?

  4. Are you happy with your keyword planners? If free options like Screaming Frog suit your company’s size and scale, great! If not, what about Moz or SEMRush?

 

Also, when considering SEO, you’ll want to spend time researching language. Specifically, you’re trying to figure out if the language you use on your website, collateral materials and all outbound messaging matches that of your customer. The terms they use will be the ones entered in the search bar – so it pays to make sure your digital assets are infused with their language. If you’re B2B, this is easier since you can check websites and social media posts. If you’re B2C, you’ll need to spend a bit more time digging around social sites.

Of course, if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, you can use the downtime to brush up on skills and software. Find an online course in:

 

  • SEO
  • Email Marketing
  • Analytics
  • Facebook Ads or
  • Affiliate Marketing

 

Learn as much as you can during this “downtime” so you and your team feel prepared and refreshed for a sprint upon return to business.  

When you devote the time that you have at home right now to reading, learning, evaluating and creating, you develop a stronger plan to rise from the economic timeout. Planning and development place your company in a better position to press forward with confidence. Certainly, we can all step back from the fear and confusion to see the extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to press pause and reevaluate. Don’t waste it.

 

Background photo created by tirachardz - www.freepik.com


About Amber Engine: Amber Engine’s innovative software solutions simplify work and empower people. The company offers full-service e-commerce solutions for furniture brands looking to sell in online marketplaces such as Wayfair, Amazon, Houzz, and many more. For more information contact info@amberengine.com or visit the company's website.

 

Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
Read other articles by Nic Ledoux