Dozens of conferences and tradeshows are rapidly being canceled due to the concern for Coronavirus. Mobile World Congress was one of the first in tech to go, followed by the Game Developers Conference, Expo West, SXSW, Collision Conference, Green Energy Expo, and countless others. Aside from the financial impact for the visiting cities, the purpose behind tradeshows and conferences to connect and network with media, partners, clients and more have been highly impacted. I know I’ve grounded myself and my team from traveling for the time being.
What is the real impact on Marketing, PR and Sales programs for this year? Some larger brands are pulling together virtual conferences and opportunities to connect with their audiences. We can expect that the lack of interactions in 2020 will do two things
1) Slow down business conversations overall.
2) Push businesses, networking, and individuals to the Web and a more digital format.
Since we don’t really know how long the concern and precautions will last, it is prudent for brands to start building a strong digital strategy for marketing and PR. Since you may be saving some money on travel, booths and marketing materials from not attending conferences and tradeshows, where should you spend those dollars to stay engaged with your audiences?
First, some things to think about when approaching media and content:
We are receiving more content than ever on all of our devices to a point of digital exhaustion
Media is slammed with news and stories about the COVID-19
Everyone is sensitive about getting sick and staying healthy
The (temporary) remote workforce is growing quickly, as companies are forcing people to stay at home when sick, less travel and other considerations
Anything marked as “news” must be impactful and trendsetting
Keeping all these things in mind, it’s important to everyone that we do business as best we can and move things forward in a year that has so far been a little “messed up” to say the least. My team and I are constantly brainstorming ways to stand out in the media and it applies now more than ever. Always focused on being solution-oriented, here are a few things to think about to help you stand out in a crowded 2020 digital marketplace:
Create highly interesting, useful and engaging content – Take a second glance at how your audiences will receive and apply your content. Either provide real thought-provoking commentary or useful tactics to push your audiences to the next level.
Get out of your comfort zone – If anything, now is the time to say something more interesting and more provocative. Try doing or saying something new in your program. Maybe you’ve been waiting for the “right time”. Now is the time to remove your barriers and push everything forward with passion and excitement.
Explore new mediums and more frequently – Written content is tried and true, but not the only medium. Podcasts are projected to grow more than ever in 2020. And now that travel is being affected video may be the only way to visually connect with your audience. Create better appealing visual content either graphically or through video. Be present, authentic and put yourself and your brand out there. If we’re not networking in person, this is the perfect time for more video calls, video messages, and anything as close to live interaction as possible. Technology has enabled us with the tools, let’s use what we have.
Create opportunities with your content, marketing, and PR! – I’ve seen a lot of content that seems forced, scheduled and obvious. A clear call to action is a critical part of the business. Now is the time to create growth opportunities for yourself and others. If we focus on creating opportunities for others, new opportunities always seem to arise for business.
Be more personal – One thing when a crisis hits is how human nature drives us to come together, work together and remember that we are all humans. Make the content of your communications more personal to address our natural concerns and changes in lifestyle.
A friend just shared this awesome post by Super Evil Megacorp, a videogame company based in the Bay Area. In the same sentiment of this article, they have shared their tools of how they work together remotely, which may also help your teams during this time.
It remains to be seen how 2020 will pan out for the tech industry and business around the world, but the best what we can do is stay prepared, agile and creative. I highly support that everyone stays diligent about their health and the health of their family as a priority. And secondly, try to push creative limits to create new strategies and ideas that will better make your audiences’ lives better.
Stay positive, healthy and get outside and play!
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