Marketing During the COVID-19 Era
Now that states are starting to reopen and businesses are trying to get back to normal during COVID-19, marketing and the tone it takes is becoming more important than ever. COVID-19 is still a very serious issue and a polarizing one. This is why your marketing efforts need to take people’s feelings into account.
Multiple marketing agencies have already beat me to the punch when it comes to marketing advice during the COVID-19 crisis, so I thought it would be interesting to bring some of the best advice together in one blog post.
Think with Google points out that things seem to change every day so with a new context, comes a possible change in sentiment for your marketing campaign.
“We’re asking ourselves every day, ‘Is this creative or ad placement right for this moment and in this context?’ And when the answer is no, we pivot,” said the Think with Google post. “For instance, we’ve had an Android campaign running that referenced being ‘out and about.’ Was that OK in the U.S. market a few weeks ago? Sure. Today? Not so much.”
They say hindsight is 20/20, so use that hindsight to make sure that you’re doing things right and you continue to do things right moving forward.
Audit Your Content
One of the first things you want to do after reassessing your marketing campaign is to look at your old content and make sure that it achieves your new goals.
Big Commerce says then you can take it one step further, “…think about what kinds of content would be useful to your customers now, and if you have anything relevant you can update and re-release. There are some common threads running through the reactions to the COVID-19 crisis that can be served by content that’s not at all related to the virus. If you have articles on working from home, dealing with stress or anxiety, or how to entertain children stuck inside, for example, those may well become very valuable.”
The online marketing team at WordStream lists sensitivity as the top concern when it comes to writing copy.
According to WordStream, it’s better to be too serious than sorry.
“While it’s normally common and effective for brands to keep a conversational tone, it’s best to steer clear of using humor or wit to accomplish that right now. Even being overly casual can be off-putting. Your content may not be as colorful or aligned with your brand personality, but it’s far better to be more serious than you want to be than to be more sorry than you can express.”
Another key to sensitivity is word selection. Avoid phrases that have to do with health, such as “Breathe new life into your wardrobe” or “A pulse check on the community”. “A killer deal” is also a no-no. Avoid words like “infectious”, “contagious” and “viral” because they may be off-putting.
Prepare for the New Normal
An article in Entrepreneur suggests that consumer businesses should accept and be prepared for the new normal.
“Some scientists are predicting that some form of social distancing may need to happen until 2022. That’s a long time to put any type of marketing on hold,” wrote Andrew Reid in the article. “A more important consideration is the fact that the pandemic will have a long-term effect on the psyche and outlook of consumers. In our own COVID-19 study, 86% of Americans and 81% of Canadians agreed that the crisis will create a new normal and have a lasting impact on society.”
In other words, stop saying it will get better and start thinking about what you can do to accommodate this new way of thinking. Even if government officials give the all-clear for everything to go back to normal, it doesn’t mean all of your customers will want things to go back to the way they were before COVID-19.
Help Others Selflessly
Blogger Neil Patel says now is a great time to give selflessly, especially if you have a skill or service that you can share with others. Patel says he offers more of the premium features on his Ubersuggest platform for free because he knows that people need it.
He says if you have a skill, you could offer educational training. Millions of Americans are currently out of work and many of them are looking to learn new skills to help them get further ahead in the job market.
Just because you don’t have a tangible good to offer, does not mean that you cannot offer something to others. People tend to remember businesses that help them along the way, especially when they’re struggling.
Navigating this new normal is going to be tough, but I do not doubt that if you continue to stay educated and informed, your marketing efforts will eventually pay off.
Written by Erika Towne