When you customers buy a product or service, they want to know that you’ll be able to deliver and as we enter a period of uncertainty they ultimately want to know how their needs will be affected.
With governments around the world enforcing bans on large scale gatherings and community events we’ve seen the cancellation of the NBA season, the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne and Disney Land has closed. Businesses are assessing the potential threats of litigation or liability they open themselves to if they run their events, workshops, seminars or meetings. Businesses also want to be good corporate citizens and not contribute to the problem.
As COVID-19 increases it’s grip on the world’s population, the World Health Organisation has declared the virus a pandemic. We’re facing uncertain times, and the great news is we’ve never been better prepared to deal with the effects of the measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus.
Our video production house, Shot Imagery, has begun to see the effects of COVID-19 on our business, and it’s not all bad. Some jobs have been cancelled, and some have been postponed, but overwhelmingly businesses are engaging us to help them mitigate the risks while continuing to provide value to their customers.
With government restrictions on large gatherings and an abundance of caution, we’re seeing businesses seek different opportunities to continue to engage with their audience. COVID-19 has made two things abundantly clear.
The declaration of a pandemic and the implications on people, businesses and the economy as more and more people are forced to self-isolate is forcing businesses to concentrate on; virtual presence and trust.
As businesses cancel AGMs, awards, workshops, training and even meetings, we’ve been flooded with requests to provide virtual solutions. We’ve seen requests for two key options:
- Live-streaming. This option has been requested by companies who had workshops scheduled, which, have been cancelled, as a physical event. For these clients, interaction with the audience is critical; the events require audience interaction for the customer to get the full value of the offering. So we’ve been providing live broadcasts, using platforms like Vimeo Live Stream, YouTube or Facebook Live. Using these platforms, the majority of the global audience can access the event. In some cases, the reach of the business has increased using these distribution platforms.
- Curated content. Where direct audience interaction isn’t required for the value of the content to be delivered, we have been creating videos that remove or reduce human to human interaction. This isn’t a new concept; we’ve been doing this for years to make businesses more efficient, and to ensure human hours are spent doing things only humans can do. We’ve experienced an increased demand for instructional videos; content that shows your audience how to use a product, undertake a procedure etc. We’ve also seen an increase in the demand for video-based training manuals, allowing training to be delivered remotely without the need to bring large numbers of people together in a confined space.
Whether your business requires live-streamed content or curated content, the tools exist to support both options. While COVID-19 has created risks and problems for businesses, we have been implementing a large number of workarounds. Some of the workarounds are opportunities to improve systems and processes that otherwise may not have had the attention they deserve. The need for virtual presence will not diminish as the COVID-19 threat reduces, it is the future of work and human interaction, it’s just been forced on some a little harder than they had planned for.
At this moment in time, your audience wants assurance; they want to feel safe. They want to know how you’re going to protect yourself and unlimitedly their goals and desires.
Remember that as a business, we support our customers. We all contribute to them achieving their life goals and desires. Whether we source the mortgage to buy their dream home or style their hair so that they tackle the world every day with confidence.
So every one of your customers wants to feel secure, to feel confident that you’re going to continue to support them on their journey.
How can I build trust?
At this moment your customers want to know how this situation may affect your business. They want to see what you’re doing to prepare and what risks and opportunities may present themselves. Ultimately they want to know how it is going to affect them.
For small to mid-size enterprise, this presents an opportunity to address your audience through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Put a face to the business and talk to your audience, do it through video. Look into the eyes of your audience and share the journey with them. It will build trust in your brand and ensure you have a loyal following.
Continue to build trust by using video testimonials.
There is no better advocate for your business than a customer who has spent money with you and is willing to speak on behalf of your business.
Video testimonials are incredibly powerful tools for building trust. In times of uncertainty, herd-mentality kicks in, people follow others; make sure they are following people to you and your products or services.
Meet the team
Let your team speak. Introduce them, let them tell your audience what they love about their jobs and what it means to make a product or deliver a service to them. Customers will develop a virtual relationship and feel a bond with your brand and the people who make it real. When times are tough, people will support brands and people they ‘know, like and trust’.
This follows the same principle as video testimonials; in times of uncertainty, herd-mentality is likely (have you seen the toilet paper aisles lately). If you can show people using your product or service, others will follow. UGC is also a powerful marketing tool because it has no production costs and makes your audience the hero.
Supported by technology and digital culture, we all have the tools to continue meaningful engagement with our customers or audience through video and virtual presence. Your audience wants to feel secure, so use the power of video to engage with them, explain how you are going to deliver on your promises to them and continue to build a virtual relationship. The businesses that adapt to this new environment will emerge better prepared to tackle the continued growth of the digital culture.