While COVID-19 acquires the status of a global health emergency, its impact on businesses cannot be undermined. Companies of all sizes are struggling to stay afloat with all sorts of strategies, from embracing remote models to realigning their operations. Marketing is one area you cannot overlook because going slack today means that you may lose customers tomorrow. The key lies in making a shift towards digital, which is something you may have already done in the last few years.
But now is the time to realign your digital marketing strategies as you stare in the face of uncertainties ahead. Even though you will have to follow the basics of digital marketing, a new perspective is what you really need to do more with less and have a campaign that drives sustainable growth for your business. Here are some pieces of advice you can follow to come up with successful campaigns even amid this crisis.
Reassess the scheduled timelines and strategy
Even if you had a timeline and strategy in place before the pandemic, you will need to audit and reassess it right now. Check the digital content which is currently in the pipeline, for the coming few months at least. Identify the parts you would want to put on hold for now, such as your major brand launch campaigns that may have to be pushed back. Of course, you need not cancel them altogether but going ahead in times of crisis does not make sense. While holding some campaigns is a good idea, you may consider prioritizing or pivoting others. For example, you could pivot messaging that helps in disseminating health information and crisis response plan in some way. Think strategically because focusing on the right strategies at the right time can give your brand leverage to stay visible and connected with the audience.
Evaluate your brand’s imagery and tone of voice
Right now, you must have a look at your digital assets (mainly website and social media pages) and work on the visuals and messaging they have. Both elements have the potential to serve as powerful branding tools, especially in times of uncertainty. Experts at Falcon Digital Marketing recommend being mindful of your brand’s message and checking what your digital presence conveys. Avoid visuals of crowds as they do not promote social distancing and rephrase your marketing messages that denote close interactions. Switch to imagery and tone of voice that highlights the value of collaborating even while being at a distance. This will present your brand as a responsible, socially-conscious entity that cares about the well-being of its customers.
Don’t capitalize on the situation
Taking the responsible attitude one step ahead, make sure that your digital strategy does not capitalize on the anxiety of the consumers. Keep the consumers informed about your company’s COVID-19 response plan, whether it is about ensuring health and safety of your employees or maintaining continuity of your products or services in the market (while taking care of the safety of the consumers- think contactless delivery, for example!). Though keeping people informed is necessary, it is vital that you do not add to their panic and anxieties. Rather, align your marketing messages to reassure customers that nothing catastrophic lies ahead.
Highlight how your brand can help
The secret to successful brands lies in providing value to its consumers. When it comes to realigning your digital marketing strategies during this crisis situation, go the extra mile to highlight how you can help enhance their lives when they are quarantined. For example, retail brands can send customers free personal care products while delivering essentials. Creating helpful content is a great idea if you cannot offer something directly. Consider creating immersive content resources and posts that can entertain, inspire, and educate the audience while they are at home. Don’t think about selling with your online tactics at this time, focus on serving instead.
Be positive and spread light
Apart from going above and beyond to help consumers in any way you can, embracing a positive attitude helps. It is natural for people to become uneasy during a health crisis and the worse that businesses can do is to feed into that negativity. Now is the time to live the core values of your brand which you have always been talking about. Talk positively and personally rather than sending across robotic messages and mailers during a health crisis. When people are distanced, personalized interactions can make all the difference and they will probably remember your brand for spreading light, even after the crisis is over.
Digital marketers need to think human and that is how they can fit in their strategies and plans in the current situation. Right now, customers will probably not be in a mood to buy and businesses should also not try to sell. Rather, just be there and be connected!