As I write this article, I’m watching businesses go through difficult times as the virus called COVID-19 rampages through the world.
In Italy, there are these images that were only seen in Hollywood movies:
COVID-19 has forced many businesses to stop operating because workers aren’t allowed outside. Many have never dealt with this situation before. And for many, it may be too late to make preventative measures.
Hopefully, this will all pass soon enough, but the question on many business owners’ minds should be:
How do I better prepare for the next pandemic like COVID-19?
One of the best ways to prepare for the next pandemic is to start using video in your business processes. Video can continue to operate even if you are not.
One of my specialties as a video producer is event videography. My team covers a lot of conferences in New York City. I have seen many have cancelled because attendees were starting to cancel. Conference organizers feared that the conference will not be worth it because there would be few attendees.
Eventually, it didn’t become a choice as New York City shut down all conferences. But what if it wasn’t a total lockdown?
Should your conference be stopped because international travel limited attendees from going to your conference.
This is why my team offers streaming video services as part of our event videography packages.
Consider the 2020 debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
This event had no live attendance but the debate continued. It was possible to continue because they have video streaming capabilities. The cameras were on and the debate was live streamed to a virtual audience.
This is why streaming video capabilities are important if you’re in the business of organizing events, trade shows and conferences.
Granted, non-attendees cannot interact with vendors and visit the kiosks. But they can still participate in the panelist discussions and learn from the experts.
What’s more —
Live videos are highly encouraged by the various social media platforms. If you live stream with their platforms, your video or videos will likely be pushed to the larger audience.
It could end up trending on YouTube, LinkedIn or Facebook, assuming you’re willing to open up the panelist discussions to a wider audience.
Live videos are easy to set up. It can be as easy as using a cell phone to capture the footage. However, for larger conferences or events, I highly suggest hiring professional video production specialists.
They can bring in the personnel, the equipment and the technical expertise to provide video streaming services so you can just focus on running a smooth event.
Now, with the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, this option would not have been possible because of the lockdowns and shutdowns of whole cities. However, in other cases when the stumbling block is just restricted travel, the show can still go on.
Provide video live streaming for your conference so even non-attendees can still participate even without being there in person.
I’ve discussed previously the power of video as a sales tool in this article.
During a pandemic or lockdown, your sales team is immobilized. If they do any door-to-door or client facing sales meetings, then you will be out of luck.
One of the best ways around this is to make a sales video about your business. A representative or even better — the business owner — can stand in front of camera and talk about the business:
Often the best salesman of any organization is the founder or CEO. No one is more passionate about the business than the actual head of the business.
Take a look at this guy presenting something called the iPhone:
Because of this video, Steve Jobs’ presentation is immortalized on the Internet. This is why Jobs’ legend continues to grow despite his passing in 2011.
If you’ve got an amazing salesperson, you can capture their essence on video. Have him or her stand in front of the camera and just talk about the company, the products and the brand ethos.
You can post this video on your website, on Facebook, on Instagram, on LinkedIn and other social media profiles. Promote these videos with hashtags. Share with your followers. Run PPC ad campaigns on these videos.
In time, these videos will make more sales than any living and breathing salesperson because these videos will continue to sell even if you are asleep or incapacitated in your home due to a lockdown or pandemic.
Then you’ve got SEO as well. Search engines love videos and will push your webpages higher on user search queries. This results in organic traffic to your landing pages. This then results in easy sales.
Videos are super powerful sales tools. When done right, they will continue to sell even if your sales team can’t.
One of the reasons organizations have big conferences or gatherings is for education. They bring in top experts in their fields, and they gather employees from around the world to attend these conferences. The experts then share their knowledge base with the employees in attendance.
In a pandemic scenario, this is not possible because travel is restricted.
However, this should not stop organizations from holding learning sessions with their employees. The best way to archive knowledge (where it is easily accessible) is with video.
Check out this article (and video) on this topic.
You already see this in many organizations. In the United States, many organizations are required to offer courses on harassment. These courses can be completed in one’s personal computer. They often include modules with videos and quizzes on those videos.
This same format can be used for many other topics.
For example, instead of flying in the experts to a midtown Manhattan hotel (where it’s super expensive), why not offer to film the experts instead.
Pay a one time fee to these experts. Consider professional corporate videography or use your in-house media team. Get a studio. Spend an entire day filming everything these experts have to say on the subject.
Develop a series of learning modules around these videos. Archive them in your network.
Now, you have an asset that’s forever archived in your network. Employees can then access these training courses at anyplace and at any time. They can take these courses in the comfort of their cubicles.
Or in the case of a pandemic or lockdown, they can peruse these trainings in the comfort of their home.
The COVID-19 crisis has been tough on many businesses. One of the takeaways from this situation should be the need for making business operations more virtual.
I’ve highlighted some steps organizations can take to be more virtual:
Businesses should not grind to a halt just because the world is in a lockdown. We live in a unique time in history, when people are spending more time in their virtual worlds.
People spend more and more time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram versus watching traditional media online. They prefer to ingest information and conduct activities in their virtual world.
As a business owner, it’s crucial to understand this and seek for ways to make your business operations more virtual.
It may be too late now to institute some of my tips, but once the coronavirus passes, business owners can start taking action to deal with this important question:
Start by leveraging the power of video to make your business operations more virtual.
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