We are currently living in a crisis, also known as global pandemic: COVID-19. The state of the world right now is unpredictable and uncertain, which therefore is affecting all kinds of businesses.
It’s an especially difficult, yet interesting time for marketers to take a step back and evaluate their short and long-term marketing plans.
The truth is, marketers could never have expected a global pandemic to happen so suddenly, but there’s a lot that can be learnt from this going forward.
The important thing is to adapt! Be open to change and be prepared to start from scratch.
Keep reading to discover our 5 tips on being mindful with your marketing in times of a crisis.
This is probably the most important thing that you as a brand can do in a time of crisis. Be open, be transparent, and be willing to change and adapt to the changing circumstances by finding different ways to communicate your brand message to your clients.
Do offer support.
Whilst we don’t recommend “selling”, you could let your customers know you’re there by offering support, without being too pushy.
Simply acknowledge the current situation, and genuinely show gratitude to your clients who you’ve worked with in the past.
Let your clients know that if they need anything in terms of the services you offer, you are there to help!
Do offer resources.
We all need a little support these days, and offering tools or services is a great way to show people you care.
A good way to help spread positive and useful information is to share these resources on your website and social media pages.
For example, share informative blog posts and links about marketing, home life, or mindfulness.
Talk about ideas and post different tools or apps people can use in their home life and work life to connect and also be entertained.
Write about funny stories, or lighthearted messages and videos to put a smile on people’s faces.
The goal is to be present and maintain your online presence by being of help and spreading positivity, so that people will want to continue engaging with your brand.
In this time of uncertainty, worldwide decisions are being made left and right, and your marketing strategy must reflect this.
This means taking a look and evaluating your short-term and long-term business objectives, because chances are, these will have to change.
Have a meeting with your team to brainstorm new business objectives going forward, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
In fact, it’s important to have frequent meetings to allow for more collaboration in these uncertain times.
Formal meetings are also just as important as informal meetings.
Set up formal strategy meetings for different areas of the business, eg. To discuss business strategy, your marketing and communications strategy, work from home strategy, and client strategies.
Also schedule informal catch-ups or coffee breaks.
These are a great time to connect back with your colleagues, as you’d normally have some in-office friendly chats, so why not have them online too?
Informal meetings will allow your creative ideas to flow as you won’t be directly thinking about your business objectives.
When you’re relaxed and your mind is able to wander in an informal setting, you may even come up with some great ideas for solutions that will end up tying into your next formal meeting about strategy.
Since a lot of re-strategising will be taking place during these times, it’s important to take this experience and apply it to the future of your business, by looking back at how you were able to divert your short-term and long-term objectives at short notice.
This also paves the way to develop a crisis plan for the future, so you’re prepared for when the next major event happens.
In times like these, your potential leads and current clients may do a complete 180 in terms of their needs and what they are looking for in your brand.
This is ok.
Building relationships with your current and potential clients is key because it shows you are maintaining genuine connections with people.
Like we’ve stated before, you want to be a transparent brand and let your users know that you are there and happy to help.
Keep in touch.
A personalised email- not a mass send out, will do wonders in keeping people happy.
But it’s important to reiterate that you should not use this tactic to sell.
In fact, a phone call goes a long way too, especially if you have a close personal relationship.
At the end of the day, put your energy into maintaining positive relationships because you never know where a good connection can lead your business in the future.
As your social media accounts are a personal snapchat about the workings of your business, your content and messaging must reflect being transparent as well.
Many of us marketers have social media strategies set in place well in advance.
However, when life gets a curve ball thrown at it, it’s important that this change is reflected in all future messaging and future posts.
Pre-scheduled posts must be screened and will likely have to be changed or deleted.
Brands and marketers must be sensitive to the times, which means paying close attention to their consumers and directly altering messaging to complement their customer’s current needs.
This is tricky because what you’re offering as a marketer, may not be relevant to what people want right now, which is why it’s important to get creative.
Focus on creating content that is of benefit to your consumers, without selling.
Maybe you’re sharing personal snapshots and stories about your team or previous work? Or creating blogs and other free resources to provide useful information.
Whatever your new content strategy is, be creative, offer support, and be transparent.
Without realising it, the visual content you post, including photos, graphics, or other imagery, can unknowingly send the wrong message, even if the copy that goes alongside it is on point.
Take a look at the imagery you have scheduled and consider if it promotes something other than self-isolation and staying at home.
- Avoid photos of people touching, shaking hands, or hugging.
- Avoid visuals of people touching their face.
- Avoid pictures of groups, large crowds, or events.
- Avoid images of social activities: bars, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, bowling, etc.
While it may seem difficult to source visual content that does not include the above points, it’s a great opportunity to get creative.
- Create infographics with helpful marketing tips or resources.
- Choose pictures of nature: landscapes, empty parks, mountains, etc.
- Highlight different home office spaces, including personal snapshots of your co-worker’s spaces.
- Use images of solo activities, such as home workouts, baking, yoga, video games, etc.
- Make text-only graphics with short snippets of information, quotes, tips, etc.
At the end of the day, the global circumstances are uncertain, but your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be!
- Be a transparent brand.
- Adapt and be prepared to re-strategise your short and long term goals.
- Focus on relationship building.
- Be mindful of your written and visual content, and change this when needed.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog post and we hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful to use in your future marketing strategies.