How We Helped Businesses During Lockdown

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 04 Sep 2020 by Josh Cooper
Digital Strategy | Other | Social Media

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. For businesses, it certainly proved to be one of the most challenging times in years. Many businesses were forced to hit pause, furlough staff members, and in the worst cases, close for good.

Like many of us, the first few days of lockdown saw some of the biggest challenges. Having to pivot, logistics, working from home, and wellbeing were all factors that needed to be taken into consideration.

We saw a rise in enquiries with businesses who were overwhelmed by the number of online sales they were receiving, and also companies who needed to totally pivot digitally to ensure they could keep afloat. The challenges that smaller businesses faced with much smaller budgets got us thinking. How could we help?

An Increase in Video Consumption

As a result of having to stay at home, the consumption of video content and time spent on social media saw a gigantic rise. As a team we decided to give away as much free value we could on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. We started off by building YouTube content aimed at business owners, trainers, and influencers who would have certainly been affected by having to go into lockdown.

Instagram live dominated the stories feed on the app. Usage increased by 526% according to this report.

Ofcom also reported that one in three people were consuming online video more than traditional TV, with two in five making videos themselves. Ofcom provided this infographic which highlights the increase in average time spent online among UK adults.

YouTube Content & YouTube Live

We came up with topics that business owners, trainers, etc may have been struggling with: ‘How to get your online training courses up and running’, ‘adapting your content as an influencer’ and ‘how to adapt your online marketing right now’ are just some of the examples of free content we were making to support organisations.

As we couldn’t physically go into the office and film the videos together, we utilised the screen recording option on Zoom. This way we could even invite guests in to interview to share their advice which could help businesses. YouTube Live was another great way we could offer help and support with users being able to ask questions which we could answer in real-time. Head to our Youtube for all of the latest video content.

Social Media Hub

You might have had the best digital marketing plan in motion for this year but suddenly things changed, massively. We knew that lots would be experiencing similar situations that we could provide support for.

We decided to create the SocialB Digital Marketing Hub. A page on our website with the answers to questions like ‘My target audience has changed, what should I do?’ and ‘How can I upscale quickly and manage customers.’

The hub contains relevant blog posts, video content, and strategies that would support businesses needing digital questions answered.

What the Training Team were up to

On the training side of SocialB, we had to think outside the box. March onwards was (and still is) a very tricky time to be in the events industry and like so many businesses, we adapted FAST.

After we successfully moved all of our booked training to virtual sessions, we looked ahead to a scary-looking 2020 full of unknowns.

How we adapted came thick and fast as April started and we were helping businesses in any way we could. We hosted free webinars in conjunction with all of our amazing partner clients including the Department for International Trade, Hyve Retail, Content Marketing Association, and many more, some weekly and some one-off. We switched up the topics we covered each time, tapping into the questions that business owners have right now – like how to take your service virtual and how to pivot your marketing strategy. In these sessions, we offered free consultancy slots to a lucky handful each time, allowing us to help a specific business for 30 minutes but also learn more about the typical queries and stumbling blocks, to shape our future sessions.

These one-to-one sessions were so valuable for us, as marketing needs were so specific during lockdown – we helped with launching new products, keeping retailers front of mind for their customers, and handling marketing without your marketing team.

One audience that we helped as much as we could, was retail. Working with Hyve, who run huge events like Spring & Autumn Fairs and MODA, we were seeing up to 600 retailers tune in weekly to our webinars, and often we were able to run a session of pure Q&A to help business owners with their exact query.

Instead of demanding an instant return on investment for webinars we hosted, we went value-first. We created bitesize, actionable 45-minute sessions, focusing on what you need to do now to see results. This more direct approach is definitely something we will be continuing with – the title will be clear with the outcome of the session and that is what we will deliver for you.

Everything we made through lockdown went onto our Hub page – our way of creating a one-stop-shop for business owners and marketers. Every piece of content we made, we repurposed into video or podcasts or more blogs.

Like many businesses, we used this time to tackle those projects that we have been thinking about for ages. For us, it was online courses for delegates who want to learn at their own pace rather than take part in a day’s training. Or maybe they are juggling a full-time job and want to learn in the evenings or weekends – our online training courses are super flexible and aim to give you the tools to take your marketing to the next level. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to find out about our online courses.

Key learnings;

  • Value-first always wins
  • If you aren’t sure what your audience wants – just ask them
  • Write a blog and then make a video, podcast, social content, and email it all out!
  • Try a few virtual training packages – Zoom, Teams, GoTo Training, WebEx all have their advantages
  • 2.5 hours is the absolute max anyone can handle on a virtual training session!

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