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How increasing marcomms can give agencies a competitive edge post COVID-19

Stephanie King, associate director at BlueSky PR

It’s easy to understand why companies have a tendency to shy away from ramping up their marketing initiatives in times of crisis. The need to ensure content is appropriate and that there are enough resources internally to create it, often means that marketing efforts slow done, or in some cases, stop all together. And this is something we’ve been talking a lot about with recruitment agencies in the past few weeks. Many have faced the unfortunate task of furloughing staff – including marcomms professionals – and consequently lack the very people who are responsible for both ensuring that content is created, and that it is has appropriate messaging.

However, it is perhaps more important than ever that agencies are creating content on a regular basis. By doing so, firms can not only ensure that they are visible to their target audiences now, but that they will also be remembered once we emerge from this crisis as a business that didn’t simply disappear when the going got tough, and instead actively sought to help and engage with clients and candidates. So what type of content is best and how can you use it to keep clients and candidates engaged with your brand?

First and foremost, it’s key to establish what topics your content is going to be based on. And remember that the themes that were pertinent to clients and candidates a few short weeks ago may not be appropriate at the moment. Think about the conversations you are having with candidates and clients at the moment. Are you advising employers on onboarding remotely or using video interviewing, for example? Or are you providing candidates with information on how they can upskill themselves while they are on furlough? These are the exact topics that your content should be shaped around and can offer a fantastic way to add value. You want to be viewed as a consultancy that not only understands what your stakeholders are going through, but one that is also taking steps to help them through this period of uncertainty. 

Once you have a good understanding of the subjects that will shape your content, it’s vital that you establish what platforms are best to disseminate your messages. Writing blogs, eBooks or sending out mailers to keep in touch are always going to be good options. However in the current climate, where we are confined to our homes for large parts of the day – with little face to face interaction outside of immediate family -  the use of video is a great way to offer engaging content.  Think about what videos you could be producing to highlight a blog or resource you have created which can be used to interact with stakeholders on social media. Or perhaps host a live event discussing one of your chosen subjects – such as a Twitter Q&A or via Zoom where you can invite guests to take part. By doing so you will not only encourage your clients and candidates to engage with you at the time, but the conversations that take place can then also be used to provide post event content.  

While times are undoubtedly challenging, by keeping the momentum up through tailored marketing communications, you can not only provide added value content throughout the crisis, but your brand will also undoubtedly be a familiar entity to clients and candidates in the future. Get it right now, and you will reap the rewards when the market picks up. Get it wrong and you run the risk of your clients and candidates gravitating to your competitors.

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