In this very dramatic moment of the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever to understand that context is very important in marketing. Ensuring mindful and proper marketing is very important for your brand to stay relevant and not risking alienating (or, offending) your audience.
Here, we will share our general tips on how we can implement our marketing strategy and improve our marketing protocol during this crisis. Let us begin with the first one.
1. Maintain Your Team’s Morale
One of the key challenges in today’s marketing with COVID-19 ’s impact is your team. Many companies have announced layoffs, and of course today’s situation is far less than ideal. So, it’s understandable that our team and personnels are low in morale.
On the other hand, our marketing efforts—no matter what they are— are only as strong as who’s executing it. So, the key here is to communicate well.
While you might not be able to discuss every element of your strategic plans, be as open and honest as possible. Use technologies to engage as many people as you can and reassure them. Also, encourage them to stay in touch with one another.
Maintaining good communications here is the key. Arrange group games and fun activities (via remote meeting apps, etc.) Stay positive, and listen to everyone’s concerns.
Also, don’t forget that your own morale is also very important, so do everything you can to stay motivated.
2. Evaluate Your Brand Messages
It’s important to adjust your brand’s visual communication to cater to today’s post COVID-19 world’s standard, such as:
- Avoid messages that describe close interaction. This also includes phrases like “hand in hand”, “get closer to…”, “get in touch”, and so on. Reframe messages that are encouraging immediate interaction.
- Avoid visuals of crowds: including people touching, social gatherings, and so on.
If necessary, revise the visuals altogether or push the campaign later after this quarantine period.
For obvious pre-existing content (i.e. with dates on them), in most cases your visitors are going to forgive them. This will also include your more permanent elements like your logo or your website’s background. However, it is better to swap out what you can change since it can help your overall branding.
3. Adjust Your Campaign Timelines
Audit what campaigns you currently have running including pre-scheduled campaigns and content with imminent launch dates. You should consider:
- Which content should be stopped immediately: you might need to push timelines back on content which content is inappropriate (or if you are not sure), and also campaigns that will likely to be eclipsed by the current situation. Also, in some campaigns with inappropriate elements, rescheduling them might be okay and you don’t really need to scrap it altogether.
- Consider your priority and which to pivot: you might want to re-prioritize some content (and launch them later) or pivot some messaging (see tip #2 above). Don’t forget to also reconsider copywriting and visual elements.
Don’t forget to plan ahead for your post-quarantine initiatives (yes, it will happen, so stay positive). Think of ways you can leverage on the post-quarantine period and determine what kinds of content will be the most impactful at that moment.
4. Rework Your Marketing Plan
Use best, worst, and moderate case scenarios to adjust your marketing plan for the next three to six months period. Here are some tips that marketing consultant Mike Korev on how you can do it:
- Content marketing: during this quarantine period, more people will be spending time at home and naturally will consume more content. It is time to leverage content marketing and try to provide fun, engaging, and encouraging content. If you can offer interactive content forms like VR or AR, it’s also a good time to experiment.
- Leverage your employees’ social media: you can encourage employees to use social media to share their experiences during the crisis, and especially share the positive work your company is doing during this quarantine period. This can also help employees’ morale (see tip #1) and also in building customers’ trusts.
- Events: spring and summer are usually the best time for events, but most likely we are going to miss this timing window this year. So, if you usually theme your campaigns around these events (i.e. the cancelled olympics), then you shouldn’t wait until the event is canceled to develop your plan.
5. Maximize WFH
For most of your employees, working from home is a brand new experience and many of them simply don’t know what to do with it.
So, commit to improving the WFH experience for your team by:
- Instill some simple but effective routine. It can be a simple daily catch-up meeting to weekly group events.
- Help your team to set a daily schedule for your work day, including breaks.
- Always remind your team to avoid distractions and choose a proper workplace
- Create a system to help monitor each of your team member’s productivity, not to scold them but to help them improve.
6. Be Proactive
There are many ways businesses can respond to this crisis, but you can be proactive and resourceful in order to provide more value for your existing customer base (and probably new ones).
Be pragmatic. Reach out to your audience and be honest in asking about what they actually need and what you can do to help. You can, for example, use your social media profiles to engage your followers or even conduct a survey. Ask them what you can do to help, and if it’s possible, do it.
This might mean pivoting your whole business altogether, like how some distilleries have pivoted to make hand sanitizers or how some gyms offer live-streamed class sessions. Don’t be afraid to be creative and take drastic measures.
7. Don’t Capitalize on The Crisis
Remember that this is a time of crisis, and be very careful not to (accidentally) capitalize on this crisis:
- Don’t add to the anxiety: don’t be an alarmist and be mindful about your language. Make sure all information you are sharing is credible and accurate.
- Maintain communications: yet, it’s important to keep people informed. Communicate in response to the crisis like the store closures, policy updates, and proactive measures you are taking.
- Maintain empathy: again, remember a lot of people are genuinely in fear in this period. Maintain empathy and humility in your messages and.
Above anything else, avoid tactless messaging like “Only During COVID-19” or other potentially offensive promotional messages. Update your website and social media profiles accordingly to be more in-tune with the current COVID-19 crisis.
Although we can’t speculate about the end of this crisis, it’s important to stay positive and remember that it’s only going to be temporary. Instead of sulking in the face of crisis, we can instead plan ahead and prepare the transition proactively.
We wish everyone safety and most importantly, health during this crisis, and we encourage everyone to stay motivated.