Content marketing keeps you connected with clients and prospects
Photo by Tim Bennett of Unsplash

Electronic communications are a great format to support your clients in any economic atmosphere…including a crisis.

I’ve been hearing lots of stories from friends who were being challenged by this nasty new virus.

I worked in the wellness industry for 30 years and many are unemployed and stressed for the first time in their lives. 

They are laid off and trying to access their unemployment benefits.  For many, this is uncharted territory…just like the rest of our lives. 

I’m trying to help as I can. The problem seems to be the states weren’t prepared for anything like this. Their websites and contact accesses are swamped.

“I’m about at my wit’s end. The state said they accepted my paperwork, but now it won’t let me submit a weekly claim.” Jen’s voice shook with frustration.

“I tried calling them,” she scowled. “At least ten times. The line is always busy.”

“Is there no online support?” I asked, having never used the system.

“None. It just comes to a filing page and flashes a red stop icon, with a message to call the office.

“What a joke.” Even with “social- distancing, I could see her shoulders sag.

“I’m so sorry,” I offered helplessly. “Don’t give up. Please keep trying.”

With a system like that, there is nothing I could do to solve her problem.

I’m sure it’s a problem being repeated thousands of times a day across the state…let alone the country.

But you can help. You have products to help them deal with stress, insomnia, and pain.

What can we learn from the state and national problems?

I think it just showcases how important it is to have alternative ways for people to reach you. Your website is their point of access…don’t make it hard for them.  

Right now they need EASY and SUPPORT.

I also think we are learning a painful lesson about unexpected disasters and how important it is to have contingency plans.

I’ve been using customer messages to stay in touch with clients for over 30 years.  

In today’s digital world e-newsletters or emails are quick and inexpensive. They also look better than what I could produce 20 years ago. 

Clients like hearing from us and it keeps them engaged. There are numerous ways we can communicate.

One big secret to remember with communications…

When you are planning a communication you need to frame it in the current environment. 

It needs to fit the context of Now. 

You’ve probably heard the jokes of people trying to sell ice to someone in northern Alaska. It didn’t fit their context.  It was something they had no use for.

Make sure every message you send out is the right message, to the right person/people at the right time.

4 strategies to maximize your communications for effectiveness

Here are some simple ways I’ve found improved my use of communications.  Use them, to get more positive responses.

First…

Have ONE overall theme/focus. You want a theme that is appropriate for the “now.” 

Whether you’re using an email, e-newsletter, or social media post – keep the topic to one idea. One theme.

In the middle of a hurricane in Florida is a lousy time to sell sails.  

The airlines trying to tell us “right now is the perfect time to fly,” comes across as, well…stupid.

In the middle of summer, buying a heavy winter coat isn’t on your mind. Sun protection, a trip to the beach…yes.  Winter clothes…not so much.

Use downtime to make a list of some themes that might work for you and topics that might attract your ideal target clients.

Think seasonal. Are you adding new products to your website that will help them through this crisis?

Now is the time to let your customers know.

Another option is sharing how people are helping out in your area. This is always welcome reading.  There is so much negative news between the virus and politics… go for positive things. 

Help them feel better, not worse.

Make your Communications Show you care

People are feeling uncertain right now. They are feeling isolated despite all the social media and virtuality available. 

When we are in a tough time we look for connections. 

Your emails/newsletters can be those connections. 

In my work with clients we normally only send out newsletters once a month. 

Right now, we are sending and staying in touch more frequently but only with the right kind of message.

Use technology to make up for what we can’t do in person…engage with them.

Show you care by keeping them informed. Let them know what’s happening now and how to reach you…don’t make them hunt for it.

If you’ve created a how-to video on self-care or solving anxiety or sleep problems…put it where they are most apt to see it. Put it on your website and then cross-post it to social media. 

Inspire and help them dream with your communcations

Share all the upbeat positives and inspirations you can find. People are looking for inspiration right now and it would be hard to overdo this aspect.  

On you’re favorite social channels find out what they are doing to help others…recognize them and share that.  Inspire others to help.

A local dad was on the news last night.  His company builds recreational boats. He got a text from his daughter “Dad, do you have the ability to cut plastic.”

That got his attention.  He called her and found she was trying to get protective face coverings for friends that work in hospitals.

He immediately started networking with other businesses. In less than 24-hours, they are set to put out at least 30,000 devices in the next few weeks.

Doesn’t that story give you a warm feeling? Look around and .share good feeling positives…you’re helping others mental health.

If you’re involved in helping people some way…share what you’re doing. Get others involved. 

If you’re developing new products… get them thinking about them…gently…now. 

Bite-size communications for social.

This is one of my favorite things to do.  Once I have a blog or article for my newsletter, then I re-use the ideas.

I use snippets to create short posts and memes perfect for social media. How can you share your idea in the fewest, simplest number of words?  

Try to turn them into something so clear they are memorable, quotable.

Make them pretty. Use your favorite app to dress them up.  Do they look like something you’d like to clip and save? That’s the goal.

You can expose your thoughts and messages to different people. You can build followers…and potential customers.  

When I work with clients, creating content blogs and then bite-sizing those blogs into an email and social media posts are just two of the ways I make their workload a little lighter.

For ways to keep customers coming back and enhancing your ROI…go here.

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