Starting like a sanitary crisis, coronavirus has turned to also be an economic one. The new reality struck businesses across the globe.
But they didn’t have much time to catch up with all the changes. They had to adapt and to find new ways to reach customers and clients.
Since the beginning of the crisis, the trend of online interaction has increased and companies around the world have found themselves with two options: adapt or collapse. Many social platforms saw usage growth. According to a survey conducted by Kantar between 14-24 March, WhatsApp has eyed a 40% growth.
Since failing is not an option, other platforms tried innovative ideas to overcome the situation. The companies have drifted their meetings online, COVID-19 has accelerated trends and digitalized activities.
We’ve put up 12 great ideas on how to communicate with agency clients and how to retain and engage their customers during these unusual times.
Let’s dive in⇣
How to engage and get more clients agency
- Create video tutorials for free
- Create social campaigns to support people affected by this pandemic
- Create online events to promote your clients’ products
- Use Instagram to offer discounts to your customers
- Go live on Instagram and provide organic value
- Offer free online courses
- Create online movements
- Share user-generated content
- Start a Slack channel
- Create personal connections with your community
- Repurpose your business to support others
- Start a TikTok account
Before you jump reading these creative ideas, we've conducted a research on how brands are managing the COVID-19 crisis on social media. You can download the PDF version here 👇
Making how-to videos help any business to increase the customers’ trust.
It’s essential to show them that you have the expertise and you’re willing to show your ”secret” for a greater good - so that many others learn. Moreover, video tutorials will ease companies to attract a new customer base after the lockdown.
During times like this, when everybody is stuck at home, a local coffee shop in Bucharest, Beans&Dots, had a wonderful idea. Even though their locations were closed for more than two months in a row, they didn’t stop communication on their social media platforms and decided to create free videos on how to prepare coffee.
Everyone’s health is depending on the healthcare systems countries have.
Besides that, a whole new crisis hit billions of people all over the globe. Some of them found themselves without a job. But those fortunate ones who can help, have a lot of ways to do good.
Here are some examples you can use:
- Jameson, the Irish whiskey brand, created #LoveThyBartender
- Miller Lite created #VirtualTipJar which aims to raise money for bartenders who have been put out of work:
- Guinness Ireland also pledged €1.5 million to support Irish bar staff and elderly citizens:
A lot of events got canceled this year. Even one of the most prolific ones, the Olympic Games was postponed to 2021 for health safety reasons. At the beginning of March, we’ve put up a list of the best marketing events to attend online this year.
Although most of them are also postponed, we have here a great example of how a festival in Romania continued and moved its work online. Doing this for a greater good, Dichisar created a platform where 5 brands were highlighted every day. Their philosophy is to help the local brands survive this period.
This period when social media platforms’ usage increases, your company can direct its clients to a particular one. Instagram is a great platform to offer discounts.
Ban.do is an online shop and they did a great job on Instagram during this COVID-19 crisis. They launched a new book in the middle of the crisis with a ton of accessories and stickers so you don’t have to waste your time on planning your agenda.
A constant presence on Instagram boosts each’s brand image, but going live is showing the algorithm that you’re doing your best to engage with your followers.
Deciding to go live will make your audience perceive you like an involved and caring company who communicates also during the crisis and it’s not afraid to answer questions about the brand’s future. Moreover, when people join, comment, and like your live video, it shows that they care about your brand and that they want to see more.
But there’s also a good reason to start or to work on your live videos. Instagram favors live stories as the top ones. You’ll be able to reach a wider audience than before.
We’ve seen a lot of free initiatives these days. People and brands alike have joined their forces to do good and to offer services for free. They saw an opportunity to retain their current clients and to attract others when the crisis ends.
Offering free courses is a win-win situation for those companies who realize that an effort like this can pay off in the future. They’ll gain recognition, awareness, and build a strong reputation in their field.
For example, Planet Fitness, one of USA’s largest chain gyms, is offering free online classes during the lockdown. The courses are taking place, according to the company, from Monday to Friday, on Facebook, and are open both to members and non-members.
Movements are important, brands can use them to push a particular goal. They are seen everywhere in normal times.
However, during this pandemic crisis, since all the activity has moved online, your company can increase its visibility and be the voice on an important subject.
Create an online movement, make sure you’re organizing it in advance so as many people as possible are going to attend and focus on the message and the importance of it.
Once you have your message set, you can reach out to the media to spread the word and get more people involved, as well as use social media to get more hype on your movement.
User-generated content has been used many times by companies who wanted to engage with its audience. During this COVID-19 crisis, brands can employ this approach to become more authentic, to boost their credibility, and to create a lot of buzz around some products or services.
Under the hashtag #FoodLoveStories, Tesco created a user-generated campaign and asked customers to share their recipes made out of ingredients bought from the store. But there’s a catch - the emotional component. They have to be made with love.
They say in hard times people from the same field should help each other, even though it’s involving competition. If you’re a professional and you have expertise in a particular area, you can help others to cope up with the new reality and the struggles that come along with it.
Share yours with your industry peers from the same country to give information from banks, tax advisors, and other governmental measures. A great way to do this is by starting a Slack thread. You’ll be surprised how good the initiative will be received and how willing are others to cooperate and share their knowledge too.
The most powerful brands are the ones that have a strong connection with their community and who are able to mobilize people during bad times for a greater purpose. This is why constantly nurturing connections with your followers is always a good idea.
Nike’s example is maybe one of the most prolific ones. Apart from pledging to donate $15 million to combat COVID-19, this sport apparel brand inspired people to stay healthy during this lockdown period. It encouraged people to stay inside their houses and practice social distancing.
Some major international brands stopped normal production in order to help countries in the battle with coronavirus. Brands lined up to donate medical supplies or equipment to their headquarter countries.
It looks like in tough times, they understand it’s their moral obligation to help others less fortunate. Or maybe it’s their way to pay back to the societies that helped them build their businesses.
Kering, a global luxury brands, the owner of brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen provided the French health service with 3 million surgical masks, but has made a financial donation to the Institut Pasteur to support its research into COVID-19 and other important donations to the four major foundation hospitals in Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany, and Lazio.
All these initiatives were very well received by people all around the globe because everyone saw the scarcity both people and governments are facing when trying to buy basic protection against the infectious virus.
If you want to expand your audience, you should definitely consider starting a TikTok account. If you’re not convinced it’s for you, think twice.
Brands, NGOs, and administrative institutions from all over the world are using this platform to release important information about how to cope with the coronavirus. This advice is backed by serious data. We’ve conducted a research to see what are the best campaigns launched on TikTok to tackle the coronavirus crisis and we’ve found some interesting ideas. You can read it here.
If your company is prepared, it can also contribute with knowledge and expertise from your field.
The cost of getting a new client is higher than the price of retaining an existing one. That's why I created this list to give you an idea of how to manage to retain your agency clients during this pandemic.
Got any questions or ideas on how to find clients? Comment below or holla at me on Twitter.