Practical Marketing Advice to Make Meaningful Connections During COVID
In speaking with a client yesterday, we talked about how during COVID we are still able to connect with one another, but we're not able to make connections. What's the distinction? To connect with each other, we use technology to make that happen. But to make an authentic connection with one another often takes years to really get to know them. Know how it is when you have a friend who you haven't spoken to in a year and you simply pick up the relationship where you last left off—that's having a true connection.
What is clearly an issue that needs attention, is that it is too easy to hide behind digital tools when engaging with people online. Here are the best actions to take for closer and more effective connections with your clients and colleagues.
1. Communicate often.
2. Communicate when you have doubts.
3. Communicate when you have questions.
4. Communicate when you have concerns.
5. Communicate when you have feedback.
6. Communicate when you have results or successes.
7. Communicate your schedule.
8. Communicate your updates.
9. Communicate eloquently.
10. Communicate clearly.
Because relationship building is a primary focus in business, it’s more critical now than ever before to let clients know that you're an essential resource for them. Here are some key ideas to keep yourself in their line of vision and to keep communication flowing.
Create a Content-Rich Newsletter
If you don’t already have a company email newsletter, start working on one today. Not everyone on your mailing list may read it, but if there’s ever a time for folks to check their inbox, it’s now. The average open rate is between 20 and 25%. If your list is around 500 email addresses, that's a minimum of 100 to 125 individuals who are interested and will take the time read about your company.
These statistics tell a true tale of the effectiveness of email newsletters.
1. Email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences.
2. 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes.
3. Click-through-rate (CTR) is 47% higher for B2B email campaigns than B2C.
4. The best day of the week to send out your newsletter is on a Tuesday.
5. 73% of millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication.
6. Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
To get started, consider these content ideas:
- Gear the content to support your business development initiatives. Are you targeting a particular vertical market, geographic area or marketing a new service? What specific clients are you trying to engage with? Connect with them on Linkedin, get their email and begin the relationship through your campaigns.
- Most importantly, clients and prospects want to know the value your service provides to them. Tell them exactly what that is. Do you have a unique process to get the job done more quickly, more effectively and with less errors? Merely stating that you provide quality with integrity is not enough.
- Talk with your colleagues about what's going on in your company—new projects and hires, awards or significant client collaborations.
- Conduct client interviews with your key staff members. This produces valuable client relations and positions your company as thought leaders.
- Visit a job site and/or have the project manager provide information about a project's progress and supply photos or video. It's always best to show rather than tell.
- What update do you have regarding COVID? Clients appreciate the transparency. Keep the tone positive and encouraging.
Virtual Togetherness is the Present Reality
We are all experts at Zoom, be it for internal meetings, with clients or staying in touch with family and friends. Nowadays, there are a plethora of ways to stay virtually connected—from Zoom, Slack, monday.com to Skype (remember that). Microsoft® Teams is also used at lot, with the capability to share multiple screens at the same time.
- For internal team building, we use Zoom for our internal stand-ups everyday, which keeps projects moving smoothing and helps us troubleshoot issues we may be having. Slack gives us quick answers to questions, for file sharing and to make internal calls.
- For client Zoom meetings, we have found it is optimal to prepare an agenda and outline the meeting's objectives. This keeps conversations on track and participants accountable.
Make sure to check out some of the webinars we’ve hosted here:
What's Coming...the Vaccine!
It may be hard to imagine what’s to come, but some groundwork can be laid in anticipation of a return to normalcy. Contact customers who have had to put their projects on hold and ask how they are doing. Work on an email list of customers to contact when the situation improves and offer added value for future services, but be careful to only offer what can be honored down the road. Investing a lot of effort into coming out on the other side of COVID-19 by showing flexibility and growth will give your business a much needed advantage, and we all know that we need something to look forward to.