The business world's response to Coronavirus is inspiring.
In the past few weeks we've seen companies offer payment breaks and extended free trials, and the marketing community is doing whatever they can to help out.
Don't get me wrong, this sucks. But it's incredible witnessing people come together.
I'm going to give you a few things I'm seeing in the content marketing world right now. After that, we've compiled a big list of resources to help your business.
What's happening in content marketing:
- This is not a time to be silent. There's a massive shift in attention happening to those who can genuinely help. More people are online right now, and more people are looking for answers and help.
- Be kind, help your audience however you can. You know the questions they're asking, what can you do to genuinely help and answer them?
- Just remember: People can see through opportunistic BS. There's a lot of "thought leaders" right now showing their true colors (many of which aren't pretty) and audiences are searching elsewhere for answers.
- The majority of your audience has moved down Maslow's Hierarchy of needs from wanting more time and freedom to needing safety and stability.
- Your message must be relevant or it'll get ignored. But that doesn't mean talking about Coronavirus 24/7. You can still talk about your expertise, just think about what would be most relevant for your audience in this context. Depending on your industry, that could mean giving them a distraction. It could mean helping them think about what to do when this is over. It could mean giving a free tool, template or process you may only use internally that'd help your audience. Just be sure to double-check your content before it goes out to ensure it's being taken the right way and is still relevant.
Here's a list of some the most helpful resources we’ve found for small- and medium-sized business owners.
Stay Sane Working From Home
Nothing’s easier than getting distracted.
As someone who’s managed a remote team for over a decade, I’m no stranger to getting things done while surrounded by home’s distractions. The first three resources below cover all the work-from-home bases on strategy, tactics and that all-important mindset.
Every interaction counts when managing a remote team. This article from Fast Company provides CEOs and managers insightful approaches to maintaining cohesion.
Trello’s eBook is beautifully designed, busts common work-from-home myths and is filled with practical advice on developing your remote-work culture.
I created a course a few years ago to help people working from home be more productive. Even if you’re experienced at remote work, you’ll probably find some new tactics here.
Stay Updated On the Rate of Infection
Many coronavirus tracking websites have sprung up since the crisis started. Monitoring the situation can help you plan ahead, so check in on these two websites daily to stay informed.
This has a highlighted world map showing infection hotspots and the raw numbers on confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries. The data points are segmented by country and ordered from highest to lowest, giving you the essentials at a glance.
For qualitative info, the World Health Organization’s Daily Situation Report has been our go-to resource. A few short paragraphs gives you the key takeaways on what’s happening, and what’s being done about it.
Improve Content & Communication
Strong communication always helps – especially when there’s a crisis and your customers are fearful. This short article from crisis management strategists highlights what you need to know about your messaging right now.
Now’s a good time to review and reconsider your content schedule to check if it’s still appropriate and relevant. Content that isn’t relevant to the current atmosphere will be ignored OR could be perceived the wrong way.
Wrike project management software is offering unlimited collaborators in its extended trial. It’s designed to optimize team communication, and it’s even got a procrastination-busting time track feature.
With people working remotely, you probably have more passwords to share with your team. LastPass is a free tool we use daily to share passwords both internally and externally.
Loom is a screen casting tool for recording and sending short videos and has a free plan extended through July. It’s ideal for creating processes, requesting help or giving feedback to someone as if you were standing over their shoulder.
I hear it's been tough to join FreeConferenceCall, probably because they're overloaded. UberConference is a great alternative. It's free for up to 10 people, easy to join, and offers essential features such as call recording and screen sharing.
If you're taking calls at home and have any background noise, I recommend Krisp.ai. It's a simple computer app that cancels out yelling kids, barking dogs, and just about anything else you can think of.
Other Extended Free Trials...
Humu is the brainchild of an ex-Googler that sends you direct message "nudges" to keep you stay focused on your goals. The messages are fully customizable, and the timing is handled by a machine learning algorithm.
PandaDoc is one of the most established eSignature companies in the game, and they’re offering a free eSign plan right now. Upload unlimited documents and your payments will get processed as soon as they’re signed.
If you have some less tech savvy employees working from home, this one’s for you. During the crisis, support.com is offering a free 30-day trial before the usual $10 a month.
Stay on Top of Your Google Marketing
If anything about your business has changed since the coronavirus outbreak, from opening hours to availability to phone numbers, update your GMB profile. This is especially important for local businesses.
Also know that as of March 23rd, GMB is taking longer than usual to update, so we recommend making any changes ASAP.
If you're running ads, you don't want them showing up on irrelevant news sites that waste your money. Here's a list of 4,167 sites and mobile app placements to exclude at the account level for Google Ads right now.
Let Me Know If I Can Help
Last thing... If you have a content marketing question, don’t hesitate to ask. Leave a comment right here on the site or on one of our social media feeds. I'd love to help.
Joel and the Fluxe Team