The coronavirus crisis continues to loom large. Businesses the world over face a new reality – of finding ways to sell regardless of closed shutters. One thing that has become clear is that every business needs an online content strategy.
The Lockdown is Forcing Businesses to Reinvent
Over the last few months, I have been working with a U.S. medical billing company. Physician practices in the U.S. are now left with no option but to migrate to using telehealth. Telehealth is when the physician uses a mobile app with audio and video capabilities to offer consultations to patients. Although telehealth technology has been there for over two decades, there has been resistance, from physicians and patients alike, in adopting this technology. But with people not being able to visit doctors and the need to provide medical care being more urgent than ever, there has been a surge in telehealth adoption. Top medical associations in the U.S. have also introduced policies to encourage the use of telehealth. As a result, physicians are suddenly trying to spread awareness of their ability to offer telehealth and that necessarily involves a lot of online communication – website updates, blogs, newsletters.
In India, banks and lending institutions are looking to adapt by revamping loan application procedures to allow for approvals with fewer documents and in-person verifications. Many are trying to educate their customers through YouTube videos on relevant information such as loan moratorium.
Clearly, despite the fact that there may not be so much happening in the person-to-person interaction, much can be done to promote your business through online content. It’s a great opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to jump into the online marketing game.
Use Online Content to Engage Customers
It’s easy to create a website and a blog. The real challenge lies in creating content. To develop a comprehensive content strategy, I recommend that you create six to eight blogs a month. Of these four to six blogs can be text-based content and the remaining can be short videos containing ‘how-to’ advice for your clients.
Your monthly blogs can transfer into a bi-weekly or monthly newsletter, as well as inspire your social media posts. So everything is co-related.
Just ensure that each content you create has a call-to-action encouraging the reader to take some form of next step (e.g., contact us, read more, subscribe to receive a free-guide etc.).
At a time when people are just feeling a bit lousy, about everything being a dooms-day prediction, think about entertaining your target reader via content. It could be a humorous social media post or a contest that can spark a creative thought process in your target segment.
Businesses that have had to put launches and customer events on hold, can create videos about the pending product launch and use online contests to create a buzz because clearly you cannot do it through a large in-person event ( for a long-time to come).
Take the case of another industry – the automobile sector, which has also been terribly impacted. Even though cars haven’t been sold for more than a month, car sellers must keep that dialogue going with potential customers. One way to achieve that is to ensure that the business website is regularly updated with informative and interesting content. Also the website must have a callback page that can be used to capture customer details and build a customer pipeline as the business opens up.
I have been fortunate enough to be busy with work in the last three months. At the same time seeing clients adapt their business model to the changing business environment has been educative and has pushed me to think about evolving my writing business.
I hope that this post serves as a reminder that you need to reinvent the way you add value to your clients.