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Digital first - support ideas during COVID-19

by Peter Hinchliffe Director

 Posted on March 23, 2020


It's been a crazy couple of weeks. Business and personal live's changed indefinitely. But we all know one thing, we've had to evolve to this new process and adapt quickly to update our communications and business strategies to survive.  With the Government led lock-down on Monday 23rd March 2020, the whole economy is feeling the ripples of this critical decision. Non-essential businesses being forced to work at home or not at all.

At NXT, we've been busy supporting our clients strategy in implementing digital ideas to help adapt their applications to a total virtual audience. We wanted to share some simple tips and tools to consider. Now is your chance to take stock and provide an update to clients and provide visitors practical ways to interact with your business. 


Increase in web traffic and online exposure

We've already seen this week server traffic spikes and generally an increase in web traffic across most of our clients websites. With more visitors at home and increased access to social channels you're now more exposed online than before. With this increased potential traffic, use this time to position your communications for priority business. It's essential to sign-post users from the homepage clearly, this is great opportunity for an update or to show you're on the ball. If your business is focused on data acquisition or eCommerce, sponsored social engagement may work well. Point users to one-off landing pages, tailoring and personalising your messaging or offering incentives such as free delivery / discount codes specifically during this period. Give visitors a reason to want to interact with you.


Convert to online events

With the conference/event and exhibition market currently shut down and at risk for months to come, it's time to embrace online events and functionality. Integrations with some awesome third party tools are ready to use and offer marketeers/IT pro's multiple integration options. Online networking through well constructed and planned live webinars built within existing websites are a straightforward way of giving an event a focal point not to mention a great return on investment. These aren’t the same as live events but must be considered. We've been creating a POC (proof of concept) with GoToWebinar this week and the results have been really positive.

A more cost effective option would be considering tools for live chat or live chat forums built within webpages. We've also been playing with some options linked with Azure but social chat tools such as WhatsApp and Facebook's Messenger can easily support authentication and integration easily, reducing any access and or cost barriers. 


Video Conference and Chat Integration

It goes without saying utilisation of online chat / telephone and video conference software has revolutionised remote working. As with all teams, communication is key. We've listed some useful tools that we are using to maximise collaboration (if you don't already use these now).  

Microsoft Teams (which replaced Skype for Business)
MS Teams has been the go-to for most businesses with Office 365 licenses. It integrates perfectly with the Office suite. The only key weakness we've found has been external visitors wishing to dial in to calls.

This is a great alternative to Teams and can host (for free) up to 100 participants for 40 minute and offers mobile dial-in features. As with Teams, it offers great screen-sharing.

Brought to you by the Logmein team, this is similar to the above and has useful functionality like recording and screen access, white-boarding, presenter sharing with a handy trail period try. 

This is a face to face social network with access to Chrome extensions but primarily managed and accessed via native mobile app. 


And Finally,

Mental well being of everyone is still very important. From virus anxiety, business pressures, those of us home schooling and general claustrophobia. Being mindful of #BeKind, let's all try and be there professionally and personally. It's a difficult time for all of us and it's important to take the time to listen and help.

So, If you need NXT, we're here to chat or if have some ideas on how your business can diversify but not sure how it can be delivered, please do get in touch - we could have a Teams Call! 

About the Author


Peter heads up our client liaison side of NXT, supporting everything from new business and strategy opportunities, client and project liaison, through to project training and handover. Peter's key interests lie in digital marketing and technical development strategy and planning. Keep track of Peter's updates on the NXT Twitter feed. Don't follow his personal account unless you are into rugby, football, golf, F1, carp fishing or general customer service complaints to brands. 

  • Virtual Agency
  • Coronavirus Support
  • Digital Agency