• Matt Smart

Top 5 tips to make your digital channels the front line in a crisis

Times have changed. Coronavirus has taught us that time is in short supply and planning was a luxury.


Do you remember writing digital marketing strategies for 12 months, even three years? Right now, we're dealing with the weekly plan; however, in the beginning, policies were reviewed by the hour!


One thing is for sure, the events that have unfolded, not just Coronavirus, but the massive impact it has had on much of our way of life has allowed us all to embrace digital, in all of its forms fully.


Now we pay for everything contactless, order our shopping online, stay in touch with loved ones and of course, working from home. It feels like a dystopian future has dropped on us, many of us thought we weren't ready, but look at how we have adapted!


The advantages of shifting to digital methods of dealing with customer transactions are enormous; the real challenge is moving the audience to those platforms and getting them to embrace the change.


But during a crisis, digital engagement can be your frontline for immediate updates, responses and support. So how do you get it right?


The key is knowing your stakeholders and their needs before they do. If you fully understand the expectations of your audience, you can support the right people in the organisation to make better, informed decisions.


What are the critical functions of your organisation's service? As a Social Media Manager, it's your job to ensure it's you who is at every decision-making meeting ensuring you're communicating the word on the street, the real information that your customers are saying, internally, to your senior leadership. Steering the communications will manage customers sentiment and give you an idea of how to make sure they spend little effort looking to complete a transaction.


Can you use the tools you have at your disposal to create content that supports your customers? Chances are as digital marketing pro's; you have access to blogs and websites. Can you use social media to find the information that your audience need, pull it together and present it in a way that will support people?


Equipping your community manager with timely and relevant details is by far, one of the essential points. It's this person who will be able to manage the conversations for you, managing expectations from what could be a nervous, confused and scared individual or group of customers.


We all love a letter, so make sure you don't forget to join up your digital creative with your printed collateral. Post maybe the only opportunity you get to shift your customers over to digital, so make sure you explain why they should, there has to be something in it for them - this is where your personas matter!


Let's boil this down then;

1. Know your key stakeholders and understand their customers better than they do!

2. Be at the critical decision-making meetings and steer the communications using the word on the street - remember, you will need a stable relationship with your Insight Teams!

3. Use your digital marketing function to create supportive content that helps.

4. Equip and involve your relationship/community managers with the latest news and information. Your customers will thank you for it.

5. Join up printed and digital - sell the reason why customers should go online.


What are your thoughts?

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