These are challenging times! It is so encouraging to see several communities adopt new ways and new thinking to 'keep things moving'. The association and nonprofit world is no different. Every day we have clients approaching us about how they can better help their communities, and how they can improve their communications. This post will help answer those questions and give you tips on how to better utilize your existing online presence.
1: Amplify and Personalize your COVID-19 Related Messaging
What may be most relevant (and comforting) to your audiences right now is to share how you are responding. If possible, use video to share your key message, which can provide a humanizing element, so important during this time. Share how your operations have been impacted and how you are pivoting to adapt to this environment. Let your communities and members know what they can expect, especially with turnaround for various programs and services. For associations who have key events and conferences on the horizon, clarify your plan. Use a site-wide alert (ticker) to draw people to your messaging. Finally, now more than ever, is a great time to tell the right stories, especially if your members are directly or indirectly involved with fighting the virus.
Caption: Candid (www.candid.org) does a great job highlighting key messaging up-front, including guidance to users on how they can quickly reach support teams.
2: Create a COVID-19 focused Landing page or Topic Hub
This may be an obvious one. Leverage landing page templates you already have, re-purpose them, or call us to help with creating something custom. Use an easy to remember URL (www.example.org/covid19). If you have a topical taxonomy based aggregation system, consider creating a primary topic hub for Covid-19, and tag all relevant new and old content.
Caption: BF RED helped the Commonwealth Fund repurpose existing topic-based landing pages to create a special Covid-19 topic hub (https://www.commonwealthfund.org/covid-19).
3: Lower your Paywall
While larger news outlets are completely removing any paywall or login barrier for Covid-relevant content topics, albeit temporarily, that may not be the best option for Associations or Non-Profits. While you want to show goodwill, you also want to be able to tag new prospects and reach out to them at a later time. You can still reduce the barrier but ask users to login for free content. Once they are registered, tag them as prospects and send them into a marketing funnel, for now or later. If sending someone through the Registration process is too difficult or represents a higher-than ideal threshold, then maybe just ask for Name and Email.
4: Leverage your web properties to reduce the burden on your Help Desks
It's quite possible that phone lines to your Help Desks are getting pummeled. Promoting your Contact information more aggressively in the short-term makes sense. Create FAQs for critical questions that you are being asked, and consider a separate FAQ question bank for Covid-19. Several organizations are doing a fantastic job leveraging Facebook Live for virtual Conference Calls or Town Halls. But they may be failing to promote these actively on websites, social, or email. At most times, a chat-bot may not be very helpful if not properly tuned. But if your organization is now being inundated with Covid-related questions, you can absolutely fine tune a bot to point to relevant online resources, or funnel to a human resource as applicable.
Caption: The American Kidney Fund does a great job creating a top-line question & answers bank that may assist a majority of their users coming in with Covid-related questions (https://www.kidneyfund.org/covid-19/)
5: Associations should be promoting e-Learning & Certification opportunities
As you look for ways to provide more virtual experiences for your audiences, don't forget the tools and products that can already be reached virtually. And considering some folks may have some additional time to spare, promote any e-Learning or Certification opportunities.
If you have more specific challenges or ares of need, please reach out. Stay Safe!