- Posted by Ioana Good
- On April 9, 2020
- business development, coronavirus, public relations, social media
Ever wonder why the stock prices of companies with strong brands, such as Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson, have historically fared better in recessions than other brands? The answer is simple: reputation is a form of currency, and successful companies know it. Strategic business leaders have invested in their brand during economic downturns to gain market share and position themselves for greater success in the long term. Conversely, other leaders slashed budgets and investment, leading to lost market share and revenue, and drastic long-term damage to their brands.
COVID-19 certainly has caused some companies to panic, but it will also expose new areas for growth. For instance, in law firms some practices will fare better than others, and some new practice groups will be formed to assist with client needs. Similarly, new product lines will evolve that open new opportunities. Here are three public relations tips to help ensure revenue flow and to drive your brand, both during and after economic downturn.
Build an online reputation
No one buys products or services from someone they don’t trust. Consumers almost always search online first before making any purchasing decision, even if their friend or colleague recommended something. Building an online reputation is key to the health of a business. While not all content is created equal, the most effective way to become an online authority is to contribute expert content as often as possible. This can be conquered in multiple ways. If, for instance, you can weigh in on a trending topic in your industry, write an article and post it. Go one step further and publish it in a reputable publication that has higher authority and followers to gain more traction. The key here is to beat others to the punch and deliver news-breaking content to position yourself as an expert leader.
Podcast to improve your brand
Did you know that more than 51% of the United States population is listening to podcasts and that every year since 2013 there has been a steady 20% increase? COVID-19 is creating new content demand as more people work remote and other face-to-face industry events are cancelled. There is opportunity to reach new audiences if you have fresh content. And the best part is that podcasts can be created from wherever your work location is. By organizing a timely topic and preparing and recording a successful session, your podcast can reach large audiences very rapidly.
Consider also all the marketing dollars you have allocated to seminars, speaking opportunities and networking events. During a time of social distancing, this goal is impossible to reach. But producing a podcast is not.
Build your social media presence
It’s obvious that social media has transformed how we communicate with one another, but this should also be a good reminder that social media should be a part of your viable business strategy. Social media channels allow businesses to connect directly with their consumers in a transparent way. For instance, if a consumer has a question about a product and you answer it, you automatically create trust. Additionally, social media allows you to learn more about your client base, what’s important to them and any new internal changes. Some businesses worry about giving things away for free on social media, but the reality is if you are an expert, you have to give some advice for free to build trust. Social media allows you to do just this. Additionally, it allows you to communicate with your consumers and learn about their business.
This crisis, like so many before, isn’t something we were all prepared for. While we must be vigilant with our health and the health of our families, it is also imperative that we remain vigilant with our business health in order to maintain a successful brand now and be poised for growth in the long term.
Ioana Good is vice president at Poston Communications, based in Orlando.