If you’re marketing team is “business as usual” right now, it’s time to assess your marketing approach so you do not alienate your brand. When the world is changing around you, your marketing approach has to bend so your brand doesn’t break in times of crisis. This IS a time to entertain consumers, give them hope, and let them know how your brand is helping the situation. This is NOT the time to ask consumers to spend more money, encourage them to take part in activities that go against the CDC, or create extra panic. Here are some do’s and don’ts of marketing during COVID-19:
When it comes to email…
Do: Keep up communication
We are all searching for human connection and entertainment right now, leaving an opportunity for your brand to answer the call. Many of us are flocking to our email inboxes more than ever at the moment, whether we are fortunate enough to still be able to shop online and are looking for deals or just trying to find entertainment while we’re stuck inside. Now isn’t the time to go dark on your customers. Send out newsletters with engaging content, recipes, DIY projects, and heart-warming human-interest stories to help keep your audience positive and occupied and your brand top-of-mind when the dust settles.
Don’t: Ignore your automated emails
If you have automated drip email campaigns set up, check to make sure they are still sending the right message to consumers considering the times. Automation is the most used marketing technique. And with good reason- it's effective! But there is no marketing tactic that is effective when you set it & forget it, especially during a national crisis. Comb your emails to make sure you aren’t marketing anything that violates orders from the CDC. Be sensitive to the fact that unemployment is climbing and be more careful about blanketed sales messages. For example, a retailer sending out a 20% off coupon with a message of “here is something to brighten your day” is better than that same retailer sending an email that sends the message “new spring sweaters, stock up before they’re gone." Some people still want to shop from home, but not everyone has the means, so make sure you are being sensitive to that.
When it comes to blogging…
Do: Consider the current situation
If your brand has something constructive to blog about in regards to COVID-19, consider sharing this with your audience, as most likely they will appreciate it. For example, we created a blog post last week on tips for managing a remote team. This blog was a way we could give back during a trying time for many. We have years of experience in remote work and wanted to help others during this time of need. But remember, people are content-hungry right now and you don’t have to stop blogging just because you don’t have anything to say/ teach about the current situation. Keep producing content! But just like with your emails, be sensitive regarding the messages in your blog content and don’t forget what everyone is going through.
Don’t: Scare people or stress them out more, people’s emotions are activated!
We are likely all stressed over the current situation and are inundated with information about the COVID-19 spread. Don’t write doom and gloom content, no one needs that right now. You can be sensitive to the times without adding more fear and panic for your readers. If your brand has something constructive to say that educates or entertains your followers in a positive way, go for it! If you’re putting COVID-19 blog content out there because you feel like you have to address it, remember no one is forgetting what is currently happening and you should air on the side of providing a welcomed break from the anxiety.
When it comes to social media…
Do: Give them something to do
Social media users are sure to be experiencing increased screen time while confined to their homes! Social media can be a welcome distraction and source of entertainment right now. In fact, 45% of global consumers are spending more time on social media during the spread of COVID-19. As users flock to all social media channels, your brand can give them something to look at, and they will probably digest more than they normally would because there aren’t as many outside distractions.
Don’t: Take advantage
Don’t be opportunistic. Balance your give verses take messaging and give more than you ask of your audience. Giving will build trust and a relationship, while only asking your customer to give to you, will lead them to ignore your messaging. Trade out some of those sales messages for positive quotes, ways in which your brand is supporting COVID-19 relief efforts, or even a bit of tasteful humor. Use this as a chance to position your brand as an authority within your space and post educational content related to what you do.
The virus is front-and-center in most people’s minds right now. So, brands have to strike a delicate balance between acknowledging the existence of heightened anxiety in many of their consumers and avoiding creating more distress. If you are a travel destination, send a message to potential customers that if they book now, they will be refunded if the situation doesn’t improve prior to their trip. If you’re a restaurant, market deals on take out or delivery and send out fun recipes families can make at home.
This is a confusing time and makes marketing for brands far from streamlined. We get it. 10 Pound Gorilla is here to help with your marketing strategy, contact us today for guidance. We’re all in this together!