Video During Crisis

Photo by Brian Mcgowan on Unsplash

Millions of lives are now disrupted and turned upside down due to the health crisis, the quarantine, and the restricted movement order. There is no telling when or how things would go back to some new normal. One thing for sure, though—the way we do business and how the world worked before is now a memory.

Businesses need to innovate fast. Schools and learning institutions need to leverage on e-learning. Small enterprises need to pivot, and individuals need to reframe their mindset as the world is experiencing a paradigm shift. Never thought I would say it, but there will be a new world order, and this is for real.

As a leader, business owner, entrepreneur, your job doesn’t change during the crisis. This is the time you’ll step up because no one else would. People look to you for answers. You may be the duck in the lake, calm and composed on water, but paddling like crazy under it. During these anxious and unusual times, bring unimaginable circumstances. But the best of human nature can rise to the challenge. The trick is first to stay positive. It is the core ingredient in the recipe of coping successfully. But staying positive is not easy when everything we got from social media and the news is just devastating.

That is why using video is so useful to counter all those negativity and the negative videos online. Watching one minute of it is the equivalent of hearing 1.8 million words. It is this basic fact that makes the video so shareable and as an effective communication channel when information is fluid. Be one step ahead to create opportunity and be your category leader. You should be proactive in making relevant videos because there is no better time than now.

Act Now, Fast
Eventually, despite the limitation, we’ll need to get things up and running, fast. This is where opportunity lies. With fewer channels at business’s disposal due to the restricted movement or lockdown in many countries, some are still struggling to maintain balance. Your creativity and your expertise become much more important as a force of balance to the uncertainty. Be the authoritative voice and become that symbol of stability and empathy within your category. Do share your expertise online using video as relevant information is possibly the best solution during time of disorientation. The keyword is share. Just don’t hard sell at a time like this or you’ll risk coming out as cold and money-minded. Not good for your business.

What to Share Using Video
Lead by Example
Hold regular meetings online with your key team player over Skype, Zoom, or whatever works for you. Find trusted delegates to disseminate updates for downline employees. This will help your team manage their anxiety and fend off confusion or fear. Be honest, be authentic, and be humble. This is not the time to play the blame game or ramp up rhetoric that isn’t helping anyone. If you are facing financial difficulty, be sensitively transparent. Be empathetic.


Expertise or How You Could Help (No Selling Please!)

You could dig within to uncover what makes you or your business different. What is your USP? Start from there. Let it flows. Do a simple SWOT analysis to refresh yourself. Find if there is an opportunity that may not have existed earlier. Work from there. From ‘how to manage your financials’, ‘digital marketing when no one is buying’ to ‘staying active and eating healthy’—we are all good at something. You need to make it relevant. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are already flooding the internet with seminars, training, or sharing their ‘wares’ subtly. The better ones sell less and give more.

With almost zero cost, John Krasinski of NBC’s The Office fame, started his YouTube Channel dedicated to announcing nothing but good news. That’s so sweet from a guy whose mind created the scary but very successful A Quiet Place. The trick here is knowing what to share is possibly the key to Krasinski’s idea and then go all out to entertain your audience. Making timely and entertaining content helps everyone gets by easier, resonate with your message and strengthens your brand. “Relax and do not panic… stay united but not too close together” is aptly said by Malaysian comedian Jason Leong over an interview.

Information to Help People Cope
YouTube will start displaying trustworthy coronavirus videos on its homepage for anyone trying to find authoritative news about COVID-19. There are just too many negative and fake news particularly on social media that may do more harm than good. You can create and share reliable and useful videos to help people cope with the anxiety and the lockdown boredom with verified and factual information. This is where you could come out being the authoritative brand and a reliable source online. YouTube, like other organizations, namely Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok are trying to combat misinformation. Make content that is relevant to your brand persona and what represents you business. Don’t try so hard to please. Just be genuine and be verified.

If none of the above are your cup of tea, you can always go with your industry’s best practices. Draw up a list and start rehearsing with your smartphone camera. Do it again and again, and you will have one that works. Share something about your business that others are not sharing. Make it your strength. Educate and support is possibly the way to start your video. Do it enough, and you’ll become better.

When you are lost, seek alternative based on data and behavior. Pivot your strategy if you must. Making a business video is not a fancy ‘nice-to-have’ anymore. It is the one digital strategy that may change your business forever. Cut media spending by companies somehow ironically has given a considerable rise in engagement with online videos. Small business owners and entrepreneurs are fighting back with social media, particularly using videos.

Forbes reported that 81% of your potential customers online are watching videos. Since there is almost zero offline customers for most businesses during this time of crisis, you do not have excuse anymore not to do video. If you want survival, you just got to do what you got to do. You might as well make something that your massive potential customers are already doing, watching video online.