Podcast Episode 1: Communicating During a Pandemic

How are you communicating with your customers during COVID-19? What do customers want to hear from the brands they follow? In this episode, Ryan and Chris discuss what is working for business and what isn’t while communicating during a pandemic.

  • [00:03:05] Ryan Smith: What we’re seeing is a lot of the small to medium sized businesses have begun to obviously recess right there. You can say the recession, people are pulling back. They’re not spending money. Some are doing it out of fear. Others are doing it because they’re in areas where nobody is going outside. So they have to resign from advertising. And even just doing those marketing messages, maybe an occasional tweet or Facebook post, but seeing a lot of businesses, the reaction is not everywhere, but just they’re pulling back and they’re even being silent. Now, that’s not that’s not everywhere across the board, but we are seeing that from a lot of places.” 
  • [00:03:49] Chris Casale: And I think that’s the first obvious rule. Right? The world has changed. You need to change with it. If you are exhibiting the same behaviors that you showed before, you’re going to get left behind throughout all of this. The most recent example that I can think of is if you, you know, if you’re trying to sell throughout all of this, you’re missing the mark completely.”

How should businesses communicate to their audience when there is so much economic turmoil? 

  • Ryan Smith: [00:06:00] if you’re a B2B, there’s a good chance that your customer, that company, they might have people that are employed there. Their budget just got slashed, half their staff is furloughed. Maybe the whole company just got furloughed. You know, you have to change your messaging. 
  • Ryan Smith: [00:07:06] So one thing you need to do when people are going through these times is to be empathetic. And I think that’s first and foremost is number one is kind of going to your point. Don’t just sell hard to them, be empathetic 
  • Ryan Smith: [00:07:41] So you have to be empathetic. And I know people are trying to drive and get business back into their retail places, their shops and so forth. But just to be straight out sales, I think is is the problem. We’re seeing where we have found in a lot of research has gone into this is through being educational, you know, giving people the ability to listen to them, understand them less self promotional, more educational. You know, if you’re a restaurant, give them some of your recipes. Doesn’t have to be the secret sauce. Give them your recipes. Showed videos of how you create your food. You know, I think it those are at a very, you know, restaurant type way. But I think those are ways that you can stay top of mind to be empathetic so that when the time is right and your customer is ready to spend their money, you’re the person they think of in their community that they want to spend that money to.

In times of economic downturn doesn’t everybody stop advertising?

  • Ryan Smith: [00:12:48] It comes back to that inbound marketing. So if you don’t have the means to do paid search ads for social media ads, that’s OK. We get it. But that’s not an excuse to not communicate, to not create content on a daily basis. So, again, just to recap, if you have to eliminate or cut back on advertising, you should never eliminate your marketing. Never stop marketing.
  • Ryan Smith: [00:15:44] So I think at the end of the day, content marketing will never go away. Inbound marketing is still bigger today than it was before. And creating this content and posting on the different platforms, I think can never be no more important than it’s ever been. But at the end of the day, there’s, I don’t know of an excuse, unless you shut your business down and shut the lights out. You can still create some form of content, you know, to reach your customers and to reach your stakeholders.

Chris Casale: [00:17:35] If you wanted to give people one takeaway from today’s show, Ryan, what would it be?

Ryan Smith: [00:17:39] Never stop marketing. No matter what’s going on in the world (or) how your company is being affected. There are still ways that you can reach your audience. But the big thing is that’s part one and part two to the that is don’t just be a sales person. Well, yes, sales is at the end of the day, what drives your revenue? I think it’s important to be empathetic. And when people are ready to spend their money, whether it’s your B2C company, it’s your consumer or it’s another business in B2B when they’re ready. The big thing is for you to stay top of mind. So to me, it’s never stop marketing and an ounce of empathy goes a long way.

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