This is the first post in our series, Building your Digital Marketing Plan in the time of Social Distancing. Make sure you read the other two posts in the series, Establish Yourself as a Subject Matter Expert and Share your Content.
I don’t know about you, but last week, many of us at LISI were all Googling the term “social distancing” to understand what it was. This week, as social distancing is the new normal, we are Googling things like “virtual field trips,” “fun family games,” and “how to survive home schooling.” (Me especially. Home schooling is NOT for the faint of heart!)
Because of social distancing, many of the marketing and business development activities we routinely participate in are now fundamentally changed. Conferences: postponed. Networking events: cancelled. Pitch meetings: moved online.
How do we pursue new business opportunities when we cannot meet face-to-face?
Digital marketing does not require you to be in a room full of people. It does not even require you to meet face-to-face. Digital marketing can be done from home, at any time of day – or night. You can brainstorm digital marketing ideas with your team in a Slack chat. Edits can be made via email.
All you really need for digital marketing is a computer, an internet connection, and some time.
And time is the one commodity we always seem to be running short on, often meaning we are pushing our marketing and business development efforts to the side when a client requests a meeting, or the courts change a deadline.
So now really is the perfect time to devote to your digital marketing plan. Step one? Start by creating content. A good digital marketing plan starts with solid content.
The first thing most people think of is writing a blog post. Not sure what to write on? Review your website analytics to see what pages or search terms people most often use to find you and create an article on one of those topics. Or consider the questions you are most often asked and write a blog post to address that topic. To add some business development efforts to your digital marketing ones, use this as an excuse to reach out and work with a client or prospect you cannot see face-to-face, and co-author an article or a blog post.
Blog Posts, Part Deux
Are you a prolific writer? Review some of your older blog posts, make the appropriate updates for it to be relevant today, make sure it is search engine optimized, and repost it on your blog. Or, take a past blog post, see if you can dig deeper into two or three separate topics, and use that as the material for several new posts. (Pro tip: Remember to link all the posts together.)
If you hate to write, but are more comfortable speaking, consider video. Spend a few minutes outlining a series of videos and then record them back to back. Release them every other week. If you have never created a video before, now is the perfect time to experiment. You do not need a fancy camera. Just use your phone, a makeshift tripod (a stack of books will do), and experiment with the natural lighting options in your space. If you are home with older children, make it a family project. Your teenager probably knows a thing or two about producing great looking video on a cell phone.
Case Studies and Briefs
Now is the perfect time to write up case studies or briefs on representative and/or important matters you have worked on. If your clients are confidential, make sure you generalize the content. If you have successfully handled several similar matters, create one case study and state that in the post.
Another option is to set aside time to create a longer form piece of content, such as a white paper. Or create several pieces of content around the same topic – some shorter blogs, some videos, some longer form pieces, and a couple case studies. Bundle this together to be shared with potential clients further into your business development process. (You can either create a centralized landing page with links to all the content or you can use your email program to aggregate the links to each of the pieces in one place.)
Finally, don’t forget about the impact of search engine optimization on your website. If you have been putting off optimizing your website for search, spend a few hours rewriting articles that align with the search terms for which you want to be found.