Happy Friday! I hope you had a wonderful and productive week! This week I wanted to do a deep-dive into how your sales, marketing and even content creation will change as the world begins to move past covid in the coming weeks and months. Much of our day-to-day lives will begin to return to where it was prior to covid, but there will also be many changes to our routines and daily lives. And your business will need to pivot to meet those changes.
Let’s talk about some of the major changes brought on by covid
When we talk about the changes brought on by covid, we are mostly talking about how our daily routines and habits were changed because of covid. Many of us had to make adjustments in how we lived our daily lives. And the reality is, some of these changes will linger after covid is gone, and become permanent additions to our routines and lives. Your business needs to understand and consider these changes, because each will affect how your customers and even employees relate to you, moving forward.
The common thread running through these changes will be an accompanying change in behavior. These changes in behavior will result in new sales and marketing opportunities for your business. But your success in these endeavors will be rooted in your ability to understand what these changes are, what prompted them, and what value they will bring to the lives of your customers:
1 – We are all more aware of our health and how viruses spread. Everyone out in public is now more focused on safety and limiting the spread of germs. We are all focused on social distancing and basic hygiene more than ever. Over time, as we move past covid, some of these concerns will abate, that’s just human nature. But for now and the foreseeable future, basic hygiene. cleanliness and safety is very much top-of-mind for all of us.
Your business should adjust by focusing on maintaining a clean working environment. If your business has retail locations, you should keep these locations as clean as possible and make it clear to customers what you are doing to ensure their health and safety within your stores. This is about communicating to both your employees and customers that you take their health seriously and are taking the necessary actions to ensure a safe working and retail environment. Customers are going to be more aware of their health, and they will change their expectations for when they shop in a retail establishment. They will expect your business to make sure that your retail establishment is as safe and clean as possible, and they will want you to communicate how you are making this happen. Because your competitors are.
2 – Many employees began working remotely for the first time in 2020, and many will continue to do so from now on. This will probably be the biggest change that our nation will see as a result of covid. Remote work was gaining in popularity prior to 2020, but last year many companies were forced to embrace letting its employees work remotely.In last week’s issue of Backstage Pass I talked about how you can better manage and engage with your workers that are suddenly remote. It’s also very important to focus on how you can better connect with your customers who are now spending more time at home.
Even after the nation is fully reopened, we will likely see remote work happening at levels much higher than we saw prior to 2020. Many companies were forced to adopt remote work in some capacity last year and this, and as a result, some of those companies will decide to incorporate remote work into its ongoing business structure. For the company, this will change how you interact with and manage your workers as they will increasingly be working remotely. For your customers, this will also change their behavior as more of them will be spending their days working from home, instead of working from an office or retail location.
3 – How we consume content and the type of content we consume will change. More time spent at home will change our content consumption patterns. We are already seeing this streaming services are experiencing rapid growth as more people are spending more time at home. One of the changes I made last year in my content creation process was to create more long-form content both here and on my blog. The thinking was that since people would be at home more often. they would be spending more time with their laptops and desktops instead of being mobile and only having access to a mobile device. Having your laptop or desktop nearby means you are more likely to read and review longform content found on blogs and websites.
4 – More time spent at home will change our purchase patterns. Spending more time at home has resulted in a lot of us opting for items that can be delivered so we don’t have to leave our homes. This is especially prevalent in urban areas. Online ordering and shopping has surged as we gravitate toward items that can be delivered to our home. Or options that can be ordered online or through an app, and then picked up in person at the retail location. The idea is to limit or eliminate time away from the home, and sellers that are offering more options for ordering and delivery/pickup are benefiting.
5 – Spending more time at home could change how we spend our non-work time. This is purely speculation on my part, but I would assume that as more areas open completely and stay at home restrictions are lifted, that we will see a surge in activities done outside the home. Not at first, but I do think many people are quite eager to leave their houses and be outside and interact with people face-to-face again. For instance, I think we will see a surge in vacations taken to other areas of the country and world, as permitted. Before covid, it seemed as if the ‘staycation’ was gaining popularity, or staying at home and local when you took a vacation. I think we will see the opposite happening in the coming years. When people take a vacation, they will increasingly want to get AWAY from home and their local area. So this could have big implications for the tourism and travel industries.
Have you read my business book, Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers Into Fans? It gives you all the tools you need to create content that not only is engaging, but that helps you convert happy customers into passionate fans that love your brand. You can learn more about TLAR here.
How to create content for customers in a post-covid world
The first consideration is; What’s changed? How will the behavior of your customers change? Each of these behavioral changes is a disruption into their daily lives that you need to account for. For instance, if a customer is now working from home where before they were working from an office, how does that change the content they want to consume? Think also about how their roles as parents may be intermingling with working from home. They may suddenly need content that helps them understand how to balance the role of parent and employee. Perhaps your products and services now have new utility as a result of the new circumstances your customers find themselves in.
When assessing your content strategy and how to shift in a post-covid world, ask and answer these three questions:
1 – What’s changed for our customers?
2 – What new difficulties have these changes created for our customers?
3 – How can we help?
Your content strategy is the same as it was before. Understand your customers, understand how your products and services fit into their lives and help them. Then create content that helps your customer understand how your products and services can fit into their lives, and make things better.
I love talking to my friend Michelle Brigman, I learn something new from her every time I do. I’ve known Michelle over 10 years, we first met when we planned the 2nd DellCAP Days event in 2011. She was one of the catalysts for Dell’s social media and digital program getting off the ground, and has also worked with brands such as 7-11 on customer advocacy and VOC (voice of the customer) programs. Everyone that knows her knows what a brilliant mind and good person she is. Every time we talk she always asks “What can I do to support you?’
Michelle also provides personal coaching to successful professional women who need help managing the balance between their business and personal lives and all the stress and issues that can arise. If you would like more information, please check out her website, Brave Balanced Women. She offers 6-month group coaching, and her next session begins in March, so now is the perfect time to check it out!
So I’m seriously excited about next week’s issue of Backstage Pass. We’re going to cover how your business can increase the skills of your current employees. This is so important, and often overlooked. Too often, employees get an annual performance review, maybe their boss tells them they have the potential to move up in the organization, but too often, the organization does little if anything to actually equip their employees with the skills and training they need to move up. It’s so important, it leads to increased productivity, it leads to employees staying with your business longer, and it reduces so many costs associated with HR and employment.
That’s in 7 days. I hope you have a wonderfully amazing weekend! Please remember, send this newsletter to just ONE person that you believe can benefit from what we discussed today. Thank you, and see you next Friday!