The context within which businesses promote their products and services holds great importance when there’s a change in the business environment. Covid-19 has made people change their strategies while at the same time ensuring that they remain competitive in the market.
Businesses should play a role in protecting the interests of customers and employees during a crisis. The marketing team is faced with a unique crisis during COVID-19 so they are expected to adjust accordingly. Here are six ways to do smart and responsible marketing during Covid-19.
#1 Focus on social media marketing
Many people have felt the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in one way or another. The containment measures that have been put in place to curb the spread of the disease have made people develop innovative ways of doing business.
There is a lot of uncertainty concerning how long lockdown will continue. Customers need to buy goods and services to sustain their livelihoods, although it is not business as usual.
One of the most effective ways to connect with your customers so that they don’t feel abandoned is by connecting with them on social media. Many people are now using social media to buy goods and services from small and established businesses. Social media for small businesses can be impactful if people focus on knowing their audience before deciding which message to communicate.
This is a great time for you to express empathy using relevant posts rather than focusing on product promotion. The current crisis is an opportunity for your brand to gain recognition and be sustainable in the long-run. During difficult times, customers believe in relatable brands and not sales.
#2 Retarget your existing customers
Retargeting your existing customers can be impactful, just like acquiring new ones. It is easier to influence the existing customers to buy again than getting new ones. The existing customers have interacted with your brand and thus, they are aware that the product or service can meet their needs.
During the COVID-19 crisis, focus on being customer-oriented through incentive campaigns and marketing automation peaked. Marketing automation is all about using high-quality software to undertake digital marketing campaigns and perform repetitive tasks.
After doing market segmentation, you can send personalized messages targeting each category of the audience. This strategy aims to nurture customers and turn them into repeat buyers. Through market automation, you can save time, make customers happy and boost sales.
Marketing automation includes sending newsletters, reminder emails, and customized product recommendations. Text messaging and personalized emails are effective tools to improve relationships and engage leads with products.
#3 Remain positive and avoid being ignorant
During a crisis, you don’t have to assume that things are normal. Instead, cultivate the habit of making your customers know that things will get better. Use your brand heart such as the values, principles, mission, and vision as a reminder of who you are and what it means for you to exist even amid COVID-19.
Be personable by using the appropriate images in your marketing campaigns. For instance, showing images of people smiling or celebrating an event can be refreshing as it can make people optimistic that the lockdown could end soon.
Develop employee-generated content by allowing your team to participate in important activities when others are working from home. Find out what your employees like doing in their free time. Post some content on social media to keep the employees engaged and motivated in their free time. Plan for future messaging to promote hope, optimism, and humanity.
#4 Avoid paying attention to the crisis
Keep people informed and ensure that your brand communicates in response to the crisis. For example, alert people about the measures you are taking, such as policy updates and changes in business closing hours. Avoid relying on the fact that people could be getting such information through social media.
If you wish to create news-centric content, avoid writing things that are not related to your brand. Even if something is popular in the world, it may not be relevant to your customers. Avoid tackling sensitive subjects, including tragedies and controversial topics
When you keep customers informed of what is going on, you add value to the relationships, hence promoting your brand. As you keep people informed, avoid creating panic, Mind the language you use and ensure that the information you want to share is credible.
Using the “COVID-19” slogan in your advertising may not be a good tone because it may make customers feel like you are capitalizing on the crisis rather than the brand. Even if your business is not significantly affected, this is not the time to brag. Remember, some people have closed down their businesses and they are worried about their future.
#5 Adjust your marketing campaigns
Evaluate your current marketing strategies and the prescheduled content you intend to launch. Determine what you need to pause immediately. If you are not sure about the appropriateness of your marketing content, you can postpone releasing it.
Determine what you need to give priority to. When you take a content break, this may be beneficial to your business when things normalize. For now, prepare for the next cause of action post-crisis and determine what will be the most relevant content during that time.
Choose marketing campaigns based on your brands and what you want to achieve. A strong marketing campaign can help you to achieve brand-related goals. As you plan to adjust the campaign, ensure that the message is clear and that it supports a given brand goal.
The key to influencing customers to buy from you is creating a marketing campaign with a memorable message. Ask yourself if people can relate to your brand based on your marketing content. Consider if the message is entertaining, educational, and inspirational.
#6 Evaluate your language and imagery
Visual communication plays an important role in influencing the customers’ buying behavior. Avoid images of people gathered in large groups or shaking hands. This includes people in social gatherings or working in crowded offices. Even if you are operating remotely, you need to pay attention to cultivating social bonds with your customers.
If you have any marketing language that describes people closely interacting with each other, consider reframing it. It is easier to reframe content that may be sent via emails or social media. Use figurative language that may not be easily scrutinized. You can also reschedule any campaign visuals that look tricky.
Encourage the workers working remotely to ask questions regarding the kind of images and language being adopted in the marketing campaigns. This can make the marketing campaigns more impactful.
Since the COVID-19 period is expected to end soon, visitors may not pay close attention to the pre-existing content. Brand elements such as the home page or business logo can remain unchanged and yet impactful.
It is not clear when the COVID-19 crisis may be fully contained. Working at home does not mean ignoring brand awareness. This crisis period represents an opportunity for marketers to be proactive in their marketing endeavors. Be a responsible marketer by implementing the above tips and, you may be able to adjust well after the lockdowns. Focus on strengthening your brand and let your customers know that you are sensitive to their needs.
Arthur Evans is a UK-based professional academic writer and proofreader who currently works at Easy Essay, an online essay writing service. He shares his knowledge in writing and researching with student writers through blogs and YouTube videos. His future plans include launching a self-publishing crowdfunding platform.