Many retail businesses across the country and world have had to abruptly adjust its sales strategies over the last year due to concerns over covid. Local and state restrictions in most areas have impacted capacity and in many areas businesses aren’t allowed to have customers in store other than to pick up an order.
This has also impacted businesses’ content creation efforts. What happens when your content strategy was to highlight the in-store experience, and suddenly your store isn’t open to the public?
The answer is you adjust. In this post I’ll give you some ideas you can use to boost your content creation efforts even if your business isn’t open to customers. Additionally, this will be the topic of tonight’s #ContentCircus on Twitter, starting at 7pm Central. So this post will give you plenty of tactics to get you started, then you can join #ContentCircus tonight and get even more ideas.
Bring the Backstage to the Front of the Stage
Whenever I work with clients on developing advocacy programs, such as a Voice of the Customer, Loyalty or Brand Ambassador Program, one of the discussions we have is what type of content they should create to support these initiatives. I always explain to the client that your ‘fans’ want content that goes ‘behind the scenes’ or that gives them ‘special access’. This content is a great way for the brand to develop deeper ties to the customer, and customers who are your fans, want this type of connection and content.
For the purposes of this post, let’s assume our business is a bakery called Sally’s Sweet Tooth. Sally’s content has been mostly focused on pictures of her cakes, pies and pastries, maybe a mention of new creations or sales. She posts the pictures on Instagram and Facebook, and has some pictures up of all her offerings on her website, but she isn’t updating the content there as often as she should be. Sally likes to also highlight her store in her photos, as well as the happy customers. But she’s at a loss now as to how to keep creating content at the same pace since her bakery is closed to the public and can only accept pickup orders. Without customers in the store, Sally can’t figure out how to create content at the same clip as she has been and her engagement on social is starting to fall.
The key for Sally is to take her content backstage. Before, Sally’s content focused completely on the store itself and the products being sold in the store. But there’s so many more sources of content that Sally could showcase:
- The history of Sally’s Sweet Tooth
- The baking process
- The bakers who work for Sally
- Sally’s customers
The History of Sally’s Sweet Tooth. Sally can create content create content that shows how and why she got into baking, why she wanted to make a career out of it. If her bakery has been in business for a long time, she can show pictures of the bakery in current and previous locations, if applicable. This is very effective if the business has a long history, because it helps speak to the success of the business. Plus, we all love nostalgia, we all love ‘origin stories’. Any content Sally can create about herself and her business and its history simply helps to humanize the business and it makes it easier for customers to connect with her.
The Baking Process. Here, Sally can go inside her kitchen and show how she and her bakers make the delicious sweets and pastries that her customers love. This would also be a wonderful opportunity for Sally to create content that educates her customers on the precautions she and her bakers take to ensure a clean and safe environment. Sally can help put her customers’ worries over covid at ease by demonstrating the precautions Sally’s Sweet Tooth is taking to ensure that her customer’s health and well-being is protected. Plus, customers love this type of content, it helps establish the baker’s expertise and makes the customer more comfortable buying the product being created.
The Bakers Who Work For Sally. Sally should regularly create content that gives customers an idea of who her bakers are as people. Let the bakers talk about why they love baking, what makes them want to create food for other people. Have them talk about their favorite cake or pastry to make, and what it means to them. Also, don’t be afraid to let your employees talk about how they are dealing with covid and the change its made in their lives. For many employees, this can actually be helpful for them to share their stories, and for your customers, it gives them a better understanding of the people behind the name badge. When we better understand the people we do business with, it makes us more likely to want to continue to buy from them.
Sally’s Customers. Finally, Sally would be smart to create content that focuses on her customers. She can talk about long-time customers who have stuck by her for years. She can talk about creating a special cake for Megan’s wedding and what it meant to create it. And don’t be afraid to create content that promotes your customers. We are all facing hardships right now, feel free to create content that champions your customers and promotes them as the rock stars that they are. They will appreciate it, and you will feel good about putting the spotlight on the people that keep you in business.