The media your company produces is more important than ever. Here’s why.
As you manage your way through the COVID-19 crisis, hold these two thoughts always:
- You’ll use your network a lot more tomorrow than you did yesterday.
- Your company will die only when leadership quits.
The last three months have dislocated the biggest companies and the world’s most powerful economies. The disruption is made worse by lockdowns and large-scale community quarantines. Small-to-midsize companies are really taking it on the chin, too. Life is disrupted for all. As any good marketer does, I will quote a mentor: “This situation is an opportunity to succeed.”
Here’s a third thought that can activate the first two: Your content strategy and the media you produce are more important than ever, because they can help you lead your company.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
– American idiom
Opportunity in the Crisis
We don’t know where this is going. We can be prepared. To rise above the competition, define your message first. Then, put a program in place to achieve your objectives. Done right, your content strategy and media will lead you out of this crisis by leading others to solve their own problems.
You have no control over when COVID restrictions will be lifted and people can return to a “normal” social distance. However, do you control what your organization does now and what it will look like afterward — and the reality is that it must be different.
Take this time to rethink your priorities and approaches. Look at how things have changed so quickly. How much of the “old work” will make sense post-crisis? How much of the new work will endure? For instance:
- Brick and mortar retailers build out their virtual storefronts and offerings
- Marketing and sales departments are aligning in new ways to give customers what they want
- Manufacturers identify more efficient ways to retool factories in order to fulfill new market demands and safely onboard new employees to new procedures
- Customer service, onboarding and training are delivered by video webinars and virtual training rooms
- Communications departments tap digital media in order to ramp-up critical messages and roll out new initiatives across business functions
I’m particularly interested in the last point because to identify opportunities in this crisis, you must:
- Align your employees quickly
- Create content that informs and engages customers
- Help partners, shareholders and analysts understand the value presented by your changes
A Content Hub is a great way to align your sales and marketing teams, boost productivity, and increase sales. In good times and bad, nothing focuses attention from top to bottom like standing up a credible interactive media property that serves customers and stakeholders.
“Those who survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.”
– Charles Darwin
Media Production and Consumption are Virtual Experiences
As digital as your business processes were before the COVID crisis, they are more-so now. It’s not just individuals working at home; more teams are more remote now. Your teams need tools to maintain contact with each other, and stay aligned with your mission, vision and strategy.
“They’re all over the place” means something entirely different than it used to.
My team and I operate remotely at least 95 percent of the time. Our model works for us and our clients, because we use digital tools that are integral to our virtual office and media stack. We have templates that keep our own work on message and on task, so that we can deliver our unique results-focused blend of business advisory, marketing strategy, and content development. We offer these same tools to our clients in our services.
Of course, we are not the only team that succeeds with a solid digitally-remote first strategy. A lot of us like it that way. Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2020 reports that virtual workers overwhelmingly prefer to work remotely — at least some of the time — for their entire careers. Not only that, 97 percent of these workers would recommend remote work to others.
While the data shows they like the opportunity to work remotely, they do face some challenges. Remote teams can effectively produce content if they have resources. They change how you communicate with your workforce, and how you keep team members synchronized and effective. None of this ought to happen by accident. You need a method to create and implement your strategy.
A Seven-Step Content Strategy Development Method
I published “The New Content Culture,” an illuminating and practical book that provides a “50,000-foot view” of a team development experience that I call the Publisher’s M.O.™ One of the key features is its relentless focus on your ROI. It teaches you to think like a publisher and make money.
My book outlines a practical approach to help you think through your goals and strategy, and we have tools that help get your team on board with your return on investment objectives. This content publishing method works very well with any team, whether they’re in the same room or spread across the globe.
The Publisher’s M.O. also provides templates that help you define your strategy and the milestones you must achieve throughout the days, weeks and months to keep your team on track toward reaching your goals.
The Publisher’s M.O. begins with how to engage your team in creating and building a sustainable, goal oriented content strategy in seven steps.
Brand publishers, as some commentators call the companies that produce content for commercial gain, need to provide their team a structure to implement their strategy. This “seven buckets” approach, when supported by an agile, system of accountability will keep your marketing, sales and communications teams focused on achieving positive results for your company. The second element of The New Content Culture outlines another set of buckets, which we offer worksheets to clients to guide their implement efforts by coordinating all the moving pieces a strategic “all hands on deck” program entails.
We don’t know the extent of damage the COVID crisis will wreak upon our markets, nor when the crisis will abate. But you and I can control how our companies approach the opportunities. We can control how quickly we align our teams around the messages to each of our stakeholders. We can create a content strategy and supporting media that delivers a great experience to customers — no matter how bad things get. That’s where my team can help your team succeed.
Please let me know if this post strikes a chord, you have a question or comment, or you think the Publi.io team can help your company with a marketing and content strategy tp navigate these waters.
Stay safe, stay healthy… stay put. And stay productive.
|I feel it important to say thank you to all the people in healthcare, public safety, food service, grocery, essential manufacturers who are working out on the frontline to help us weather the coronavirus storm. I also recognize that many are not able to work from home right now. We’re all in this together. Speak up where you can.
Personally, I’m helping build a media channel for Stamford Innovation Week. It’s called, “L(a)unch – The Innovation at Lunch Show to help innovators – employees, entrepreneurs, technologists – adapt and grow in this crisis. It is live every Thursday at noon. I hope you will join us.