With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, life as we know it has suddenly and dramatically changed. While effort and action, quite rightly, is focused on containing the spread of the coronavirus and saving lives by temporarily shutting down many industries, it has resulted in fluctuating markets and stock exchanges around the world, and a global recession seems inevitable. It can be difficult not to feel pessimistic or constrained.
In the finance industry, many of us are fortunate to be able to work remotely, and every day we see inspiring new stories of companies stepping up to support their teams, clients and communities in these challenging times. Many are getting creative with their PR and marketing strategies, finding new ways to deliver value to their clients and prospects, and in doing so, keeping their teams engaged and positive.
Recent examples include:
- Alt-Fi reported Linked Finance, Ireland’s largest peer-to-peer lending platform, launched a new “Deferred Start Loan” for businesses affected by the coronavirus. Read the story here.
- American Express is supporting organisations combatting COVID-19 with the launch of a donation-matching program to help feed local communities impacted in the U.S. Read the story on Finextra.
- Singapore VC Expara Ventures has launched an accelerator programme for startups around the world to find solutions to the social and economic problems which have either been revealed or exacerbated by the pandemic. Read more here.
- Forbes is maintaining a list of over 120 FinTechs from around the world who are providing free technology during the coronavirus crisis. See the list here.
Marketing and PR tactics to invest in now
Understandably it isn’t straightforward to focus entirely business as usual. However, concerted efforts on core marketing and PR activities will stand your business in good stead. Here are some of the marketing and PR activities we are supporting our clients with right now:
- Moving events online
Online events are not new, but the current environment is giving many companies not previously active in this area an excellent reason to focus on this channel. Whether delivered via Zoom, GoToWebinar, Skype or any of the other video conference apps out there, the most important thing is to stay focused on the strategy and planning for online events to ensure maximum engagement and results.
The following marketing and business development initiatives can be developed quickly and delivered easily online:
- Prospect meetings and product demonstrations, either 1-1 or to an open audience
- Client events that provide a deep dive into product or service, demonstrating how to get more value from existing or new features
- Educational sessions around timely industry issues, delivered by senior executives and maybe featuring external experts
2 . Sharing good news
Although COVID-19 is dominating the news headlines, even in trade publications, journalists are hungry for good news stories, while audiences are looking for them for hope and inspiration and confirmation that ‘business-as-usual’ does exist . With a strong news angle and solid pitch, these types of stories have a good chance of getting placed right now:
- A new customer or partnership announcement
- A new product or feature release that solves a current business pain
- A new executive hire or (virtual) expansion in a new market or region
- Creating new content
Content creation has always been a core area in which we support clients and we have found the sudden disruption has given business leaders even more time to pause and reflect on their agendas. One particular client with a wealth of experience delivering projects remotely via their hosted software offering has decided to specifically focus on this aspect of their business in terms of content sharing at the moment. It means they can raise awareness among clients and prospects of how to increase efficiencies and reduce operational risk in these uncertain and challenging times.
Whether delivered through a thought leadership paper, opinion piece, blog, webinar, or a mix of these channels, the key to successful content creation is to deliver value to your audience. Start by brainstorming content ideas using these three prompts:
- Actionable advice on how businesses can grow using your product or service
- Case studies demonstrating how your product or service solved pains that cost your clients the most
- How your product or service helps businesses operate more efficiently or effectively in this new environment.
- Pitching for awards
Awards are always great for increasing exposure and building trust in your brand. They also provide a great morale boost for your team. The good news is that while we won’t be dressing up for any live awards ceremonies anytime soon, industry awards are not being cancelled. In recent weeks we have received notifications from organisers that their awards ceremonies are being deferred until later in the year or that they will announce winners at virtual ceremonies. You will find a list of fintech awards to enter on our blog here. When applying for awards, consider how your business can demonstrate one or more of the following:
- Growth and expansion, through new clients, repeat business, new offerings, markets and/or regions
- Innovation, solving business pains through new technologies, products or services
- Partnerships, using client case studies or partner collaborations to create value
So while the current environment has thrown up many challenges for businesses around the world, for many it is has also provided opportunities to refocus and move business forward in new and creative ways.
If you think your FX or FinTech business would benefit from support in any of the above marketing or PR activities please get in touch with MD Consulting.