The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a shadow on many businesses worldwide. While many startups and companies had a hard time dealing with unanticipated losses, some were quick to navigate on the challenges and were able to pivot their business models for the new normal.
When the circuit breaker was announced in Singapore in April, I thought 2020 would be a very tough year for my business, but lucky enough, the lockdown has put my company in an advantageous position. A lot of businesses were forced to digitize their services, webinars and online events become a staple tool for them to market their products and services. Thus, my digital marketing services became in-demand.
My digital marketing agency, Get Customers was fortunate enough to be able to take this pandemic as an opportunity to expand our horizon and close more projects. Together with Malaysia-based Vertex Mastery, we forged a collaboration on a virtual summit called “Unstoppable” that has convened 5,000 participants coming from Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and from other countries in Southeast Asia.
We collaborated with a total of 3-5 companies together, and I was the head of marketing for the Singapore team. I managed to get at least 500 participants from Singapore alone, and together with another 3,000+ people worldwide.
In this article, I will share to you how we made it possible through these four digital marketing tips that businesses can apply too as they digitize their marketing efforts to cope up with the new normal.
1.Write a copy that inspires people to act
The biggest project I handled when the pandemic hit was the “Unstoppable” virtual summit organized by my good friend, David Chua. The event claims that it is the only virtual live summit on the planet that focuses on how business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs can shift their thinking from fear to clarity and courage and reveals how they can pivot their marketing so they go from zero to hero online.
When I personally promote this event via social media, it requires a copy that will encourage our target audience to take action immediately by buying tickets for our event.
For example, the copy must be something that people will find that it’s worth taking a shot at or simply by just putting the benefits. This will make people go “How?” or “Is it even possible?” Not forgetting the call to action at the end.
Great copy is what many of the most engaging posts on social media share in common. This is particularly true for memes, which elevate mundane images to viral status with emotional copy that runs the gamut from hilarious, ironic, to nostalgic.
One specific copywriting that I did for Unstoppable Virtual Summit campaign would be how they can make full use of their time during the lockdown in Singapore and Malaysia, using the free time that they have to attend the summit. From the summit, they are able to learn skill sets such as social media marketing, video making skills, branding and they get to learn from the experts in the industry.
From the campaigns that we did, we managed to get more than thousands of participants to the virtual summit.
When I first started my cooking school which is my first business, the traditional approach was we have to get participants from word-of-mouth, referrals or walk-ins. However, we wanted to get online traffic but that requires a good copywriting.
So what we did was to story sell and crafted a copy where we focus a lot on the story of the trainer which is the chef, sharing how she managed to serve up to thousands of people in the past for events.
From there, people would come in not only because of how good the food looks like, but also because they are sold on her story. That’s how we sell the cooking classes!
As for the bakery business that I collaborated with as well, we focus on who are the trainers and current products which are trending and we put a lot of emphasis on that.
From there, we sold a story on how the trainers spent years of training learning how to bake the cakes and therefore the product or service that you are buying into is worth it.
2. Produce a video that amuses people.
Let’s face it. People browse through Facebook to view news, viral videos or even funny videos of cats and dogs. People love humour. Therefore if you can incorporate funny ideas and concepts into the video, people will definitely watch. Rather than boring straight forward selling. Just like some Malaysians and Thais are doing. They incorporate a funny or sad skit that people will watch and at the end, they will show the product they are selling.
The campaigns that I did above, example one would be about an athlete with cerebral palsy, who struggled from young and had to overcome challenges of being disabled. He managed to become a speaker and his dream is to impact 50 million people and we covered a story about it, injecting both humour and inspirational content in just two minutes.
Another video would be about a disabled dog, how it was abandoned by the streets and was saved by someone by the streets who turns out to be his benefactor. From there, we portray an inspirational angle that hooks people’s attention and people get amused by the story. It doesn’t necessarily have to be funny to be amusing, the key is attention-grabbing. You could do this in your e-commerce site as well, where you can sell your story of the products that you are selling.
Take a look at Harmon Brothers, their products like Fibre Fix all revolve around stories and their views can go into the millions. Many e-commerce products rely on video advertisements to sell, and using stories with impactful messages can translate into sales.
3. Have a clear creative direction and be consistent
A creative direction that I have taken is to have a strong copy and emphasise on a good creative, either video or image. These 2 elements are very important, to capture the audience’s attention. For this marketing campaign, the direction I headed was more on the image and videos. The speaker for the summit itself has a big brand, therefore putting them in the creatives made the marketing a success. (*You can refer to the figure below)
During the Unstoppable virtual summit, the creative direction we took is to engage impactful speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk, Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank and get them to have a snippet to speak directly to the audience. Not only that, we also cut out specific snippets and segments that they talk about what they can do during the pandemic, so being relevant is also extremely important.
We will also get the creative team to do different compilations, it can be cinematic or eye-catching using attention-grabbing videos such as using lockdown related footage.
If you are selling t-shirts online, for example, you need to have a stand out point.
What makes your t-shirts so special? What is the story behind your t-shirt?
From there, you can craft your creative direction and have a unique voice in the market – how can you be #1 compared to the rest of the market?
4. Maximize Instagram, YouTube and Facebook Ads
For myself, I implemented Facebook, Instagram and Youtube ads for me and my clients. Different Social Media platforms require different strategies. For example, for Facebook ads, you will need a good headline and creatives, either picture or video that can capture the audience’s attention. For Youtube wise, your first 3 seconds of the video must be interesting enough to capture the attention of the audience. Instagram you will need to be a bit more “Colourful”. Your colours must attract attention.
The huge difference between running campaigns and media buying for virtual and physical events is the scalability. You will need much more logistics when it comes to holding thousands of participants, but when it comes to virtual, your cost goes down even if you have thousands of participants. Take a look at Anthony Robbins’ Unleash The Power Within virtual webinar, it all happened in a room that holds no more than a hundred pax with only Anthony Robbins and his crews in it.