7 Tips for Digital Agencies to Stay Agile during the COVID-19 Crisis

Practical tips for agencies and web development shops to successfully overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Dorian Martin
Dorian Martin
May 14, 2020

Throughout history, we were sometimes hit with a global change which affected all facets of life as we know it. With the current COVID-19 situation still in development, most of the world has gone into quarantine and social distancing has become a reality. While advice from WHO is valid and should be followed, digital marketing, web development and other remote-first agencies can still find ways to operate safely.

However, surviving the current crisis from a business, financial and employment standpoint is a challenge in itself, making proper planning an imperative. With that, let’s discuss practical tips and ways in which agencies such as web development shops and digital startups can successfully overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

Lean toward Remote Collaboration

Luckily, web development and digital marketing sectors have been affected less than other industries which rely on retail shipping or brick-and-mortar operations. The first and most important piece of advice related to the current global situation is to limit your exposure to colleagues and employees.

Instead, use the opportunity to set up a sustainable remote work environment which can be utilized for continued operations. Set up a stack of tools which you can use to communicate project milestones and instructions between your coworkers from the comfort of your home. You can opt for a plethora of platforms such as Asana, communication tools like Skype, and writing tools such as Studicus or Evernote respectively.

Reach out to your Stakeholders

To say that everyone is affected by the COVID-19 crisis is an understatement. This means that your clients, B2B partners and anyone you’ve worked with as a digital agency has been hit by the situation in some form. In order to make the most out of it, you can create small notes, messages and letters of appreciation to send out to your contacts. Writing platforms like Grab My Essay and Readable offer a number of possibilities for content creation and formatting which can be utilized for that effort.

Make sure that your notes are personalized and addressed by name, as well as that they contain some form of call to action for communication. While your stakeholders may not be in the monetary position to invest into projects currently, once the situation subsides, they will surely remember your gesture.

Avoid Business Model Changes

As we’ve mentioned previously, both businesses and individuals with living costs have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis to some extent. It’s important both from a moral and business reputation standpoint not to take advantage of that aspect of the situation.

To that end, don’t make sudden and drastic changes to your pricing, service costs, business model or make other revenue-centric decisions. This will paint a negative image of your brand to current and future stakeholders, costing you far more than the current situation would in retrospect. Try to meet your existing clients and B2B network halfway to ensure everyone comes out of the current times as unscathed as possible.

Focus on Faster Content Strategy and Embrace Content First Philosohpy

Situations like this show us that unexpected things happen and your marketing team needs to be ready to turn revampo content strategy and create the whole new content pipeline. 

With social distancing and self-quarantine advice in place, now is the best time to focus on your content strategy and content marketing (do you know the difference?). Look into migrating into Headless CMS such as Agility CMS and embracing JAMstack. This tools will help you to be more agile, create new pages and new content faster.

According to Small Biz Genius, 55% of marketers stated that blogging has proven to be a high-performing inbound marketing channel. In addition, 49% of users said that text-based ads work well to attract their attention to a brand, making content marketing a good current investment.

Given that most people spend their time online and on social media as a result of quarantine, content marketing is a great channel to explore. You can utilize a number of marketing platforms including Google Ads, as well as content creation services such as Hemingway Editor, Supreme Dissertations and Grammarly.

Offer Loyalty Incentives

Monetary resources are tight no matter what aspect of the industry you might be focused on as a digital agency. The same applies to your stakeholders which may be inclined to call off big projects and investments as a last resort.

It’s important not to take these decisions personally and to offer loyalty incentives to your clients and B2B partners instead. Small incentives such as discounts, freebies or remote client support during the COVID-19 crisis will be more than welcome by your stakeholders. In addition, these symbols of good faith will ensure that your clients remain onboard and ready for collaboration as soon as the crisis is over.

Use Free Time to Ideate

While most day-to-day operations may become slower or need to be put on hold temporarily, that doesn’t mean your business’ development should stagnate. On the contrary, you can use the situation to run data analysis on past startup performance and ideate about future development. The plans you develop during the current situation can be implemented as soon as the opportunity rears its head, making the process more than welcome.

Jessica Timothy, Head of HR at Trust My Paper had this to say: “There’s no better time than now to reflect and brainstorm. Use the excess free time to perform team building, coaching and other professional development exercises in addition to online skill learning. If you use your time well, you can come out of the COVID-19 situation stronger than ever before as a company with a clear roadmap.”

Look into Relief Measures

If your client list becomes too short during the current crisis, you can reach out to local relief funds to make up for lost revenue. While it may not be ideal to ask for government-backed relief aid, these funds exist for a good reason and will ensure your agency’s survival. Funds such as USAID are available and their local counterparts exist across the globe – make sure to consider reaching out sooner rather than later.

Likewise, you can reach out to your B2B network and look for temporary relief with private investors, financial agencies or angel investors respectively. On the other hand, you as a digital agency and a corporate entity can help the situation pass by donating to official funds. As we’ve stated previously, we are all affected by the crisis in some form or another – let’s ensure that both B2B and B2C don’t suffer.

A Temporary Setback (Conclusion)

It may look like COVID-19 is here to stay and that there is no hope of things going back to normal anytime soon. However, the current situation is only a small setback in the larger scheme of things and both digital and retail agencies will resume operations soon.

Look at the situation as an opportunity to grow and develop your team while retaining the clients you’ve fought hard to win over. Shift your operations to remote collaboration platforms, avoid physical meetings and do your best to limit corporate expenses. Once the dust settles, you will look back at the crisis as an important stepping stone in your agency’s history – don’t give up prematurely.

About The Author: Dorian Martin is a Digital Marketing Specialist and Content Creator at WoWGrade and Best Essay Education writing services. His professional goals revolve around delivering high-quality content writing in a plethora of digital marketing niches to readers across the globe. In his spare time, Dorian contributes to his blog, listens to soft jazz and enjoys cooking for his friends.

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