These are unprecedented times. Every company, including ad agencies, is navigating something that we’ve never seen before in our lifetime.
And as many businesses look at temporary closures or a huge shift in their business model (like restaurants, bookstores and even boutiques going to a “pick-up only” or “online-only” model) there are many things they should be asking of their agency to make sure all their bases are covered.
Here are just a few:
Update your online ads and business listings.
If you’re closed, or moving to a different business model, make sure to update your Google search, Google My Business and Yelp listings with your new hours or new ways of reaching your audience. And not just in your description—if you’re now doing deliveries, make sure that’s highlighted!
Shift or even cancel your media dollars.
Media outlets are being very understanding at the moment. They know that if a business has had to shut down due to social distancing, then advertising their weekly specials is like using piles of cash as kindling. TV stations and publications are allowing companies to push out their media schedules and placements.
And as far as digital media goes, just make sure your agency is pausing everything until you’re ready to reopen.
That being said, since the media landscape is now pretty wide open, there’s significantly less competition for the audience’s attention on traditional media outlets, and Facebook usage has spiked significantly in areas with sheltering-in-place initiatives.
So if you have messaging that’s evergreen, or want to let your customers know about your business model shift, this would be a good time to get less expensive traditional media that might even overdeliver due to increased viewership and to create new digital media with that messaging.
Edit your organic social media calendar for two weeks at a time.
Your agency should give you a monthly organic social media schedule to review at least a week prior to the beginning of the month. For many companies, once sheltering-at-home began, their planned social media posts went completely out the window.
But just because your audience can’t utilize your product at the moment, that doesn’t mean you should completely shut down your social. Social media is about creating a conversation, and right now, users have much more time to engage. So we believe a best practice today is to make your social media posts less frequent, but more focused on creating community and starting conversations. Additionally, with all the uncertainty, it’s hugely important to let your customers know that you’ll be around to serve them as soon as this is all over.
The most important thing – turn off anything automated and check every scheduled post to make sure it still applies. Nothing worse than sending out a birthday email for a restaurant that’s temporarily closed or a hilarious April Fool’s post that is definitely NOT hilarious now.
We’ll say this loud for the folks in the back: MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS OPTIMIZED.
Right now, your customers are clamoring for information. Are you still open? Do you have new hours? Are you still producing that product they love?
If your load speeds are terrible, they will go elsewhere. If your information isn’t up-to-date and your coronavirus announcements aren’t immediately accessible, they’ll have to call your already-overloaded call center. And if your warehouse is currently shut down, your e-commerce better be shut off.
These are all things your agency should happily be doing for you these days. If you’d like more information on how to ensure your marketing is buttoned up for our current climate, give Nate Parr a call at 503-380-1700. He might be in a hoody and shorts, but he’s still working and ready to chat.
We know these are difficult times for every company, and navigating uncharted waters is always anxiety-producing. But the one positive in all this is that we’re all going through it together. So anything we can do to help, please let us know.
Stay safe and healthy, and we’ll see you for the world’s biggest happy hour when all this is over.
~The Fish Crew