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Leading the conversation to come out on the front foot


Victoria Usher

Published On:

April 17, 2020

Published In:

Business | PR & Communications

Leading the conversation to come out on the front foot

Covid-19 is changing the way nearly all companies operate, whether that’s simply because their employees are working from home or because of a temporary downturn in business. While it is easy to focus on the negative outcomes of the current crisis, businesses can take a more positive approach and see this upheaval as a chance to reflect, reform, and refocus on where their organisation is heading. There are a number of opportunities that can be explored during this time, from social media and SEO to thought leadership, to ensure businesses hold a strong industry position and are leading the conversation when the situation improves:

From social distancing to social media

The isolation made necessary by the Coronavirus outbreak is causing a significant increase in social media use. Daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts saw a 76% increase over two weeks in March, while Instagram campaign impressions rose 22% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020. At the same time Facebook has reported a 50% increase in platform use in countries that are hardest hit by the crisis. In the current climate, social media is proving itself a key marketing and communication tool. As Mae Karwowski, founder and CEO of influencer agency Obviously, explains “Community is more important than ever, and social media is a powerful tool in building and maintaining our connections.”

Businesses can use this time to explore creative ways of enhancing their social media profiles, whether through regular posts, blogs, video interviews, or interaction with other businesses. They can review the current social channels they use to determine whether these are still relevant and appropriate for their target audience or whether they need to consider new and emerging platforms. This isn’t a time to be salesy or pushy with messaging, but people do crave content in times of crisis so it is an opportunity for companies to lead the conversation, connect with audiences in a sensitive and appropriate way and keep their brand top of mind.

Put the thought in thought leadership

We all have tasks we put on the back-burner, waiting for that mythical day when things get less busy. But now people aren’t commuting to the office or travelling to meetings, they may find there really are more hours in the day. These weeks at home may be the perfect time to finally tackle some of those bigger projects and give them full attention.

Business leaders can use the opportunity to focus on their thought leadership strategies and the direction in which they want to drive the industry conversation. Lockdown is the ideal opportunity to get that research project done, write that landmark whitepaper, create new digital content for the company website, or rework the brand messaging to reflect its future direction. Making the most of this chance to refocus on what the business wants to say will ensure it is one step ahead as things improve.

Get to know your website traffic

The needs of both customers and the wider industry are inevitably changing at this time and, in addition to direct communication, businesses can find out a great deal about these changes from analysing their website traffic. Using tools such as Google Analytics to log changes in traffic and identify patterns in user behaviour can help companies determine what type of content their customers are looking at in the current climate and what the new priorities are. This analysis can help them develop products or services to cater to the new needs of their customers moving forward.

Businesses can take time to review their SEO strategy, ensuring that target keywords are up to date and relevant, and that content is fully optimised for search with the necessary tags and metadata in place. They can check their backlinking strategy is working and put some time into organic and authentic link building, ultimately helping them achieve high search engine rankings and increase organic traffic.  

It’s vital for businesses to look beyond the current situation and discuss opportunities after the pandemic to prepare for a post-Covid world. Most importantly, they mustn’t go quiet. All business are impacted in some shape or form, but they must keep talking and listening to their current customer base, as well as the wider industry. While it is easy to focus on short-term goals, long-term social, thought leadership and SEO strategies will keep businesses at the forefront of the conversation, leading their industry in a strong direction, and will ensure they come out on the front foot when the fog begins to clear and normality returns.

To find out more about how your business can lead the conversation feel free to contact us at

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