Like many of you, the Walker team is following the current restrictive landscape and its impact on every aspect of business today. The opportunity to be heartfelt and truly helpful is greater than ever. And brands that see this time to re-strategize, to innovate and inspire, are those that will come out stronger in the end.

Continuing to engage your audiences with meaningful information is key to staying relevant and positioned for growth. Investing time and resources in strategic planning to not only navigate this new normal, but plan for the needs of tomorrow when this critical situation passes, will not only help you survive, but thrive.

So, what can place brands do right now?

1. Have a Plan

Rather than stopping communication, it’s time to shift and pivot. Audiences will be evaluating their options and if you go dark, others will take your market share. With more screen time than ever, it’s time to communicate beyond what’s cancelled and engage your audiences with how your community is alive today, and what audiences can look forward to. Careful planning will ensure that what you do during this time is integrated, able to be tested, ripe for analysis and positioned for tomorrow. The world is going to come back, but NOT the same as it was yesterday. Your plan should reflect this.

2. Turn on the Thought Leadership

Leadership has a unique perspective that others in the trenches don’t always have access to. Create content with insights into your industry, your asset class, or your very own place. People are seeking answers and expertise to guide their decisions now more than ever. Access to leadership offers a direct line to knowledge, including past, present and future in a personalized and valuable way.

For inspiration, watch this Ted Talk with over 11M viewers: How great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek

Temporary signage concept that not only communicates information, but packages it, on-brand.

3. Amplify Your Brand

At the core of every brand is a heart. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with an authentic, unifying or emotionally resonate message. Take this time to revisit your brand essence and use it as a filter to create content that reinforces your brand with examples of how you have (or plan to) execute on it. Whet the appetite of audiences not only with what you’re doing but WHY you’re doing it, which ultimately communicates authentic and distinctive value. And make sure your brand positioning and personality comes through.

4. Diversify Your Engagement

Technology offers many ways to engage with your audience today – blog posts, live chats, webinars, live streaming, and so on. Now’s the time to experiment with new ways to reach your customers online. Careful planning will allow you to connect as many dots as possible, using all your channels to not only reach audiences but bring them back for more. Offer links to other resources, product information, or registration opportunities to receive future content. And, with analytics, you’ll have the data to help shape your next move.

5. Survey Your Audiences

Surveys are great tools to use in gaining audience insights that help to optimize your communication, products and services. Today’s survey instruments are easy and efficient and can be added to any communication. Even the collection of answers for a few important questions about what your customers are looking for, or how their needs have changed, will provide real-time data, uncover opportunities, and create another way to engage customers during the current limits of physical visitation.