April 9, 2020 Christian Ravanal

Practising Responsible Marketing Amid COVID19

While the pandemic is shaking up business and consumer behaviour on a huge scale, as a business you may be asking yourself, what is my customer/audience looking for?

In short, while most of us are confined to our homes, what we want most is to be informed and entertained. If you’re providing a service or selling a product online and are looking for respectable ways to connect with your customer base its necessary to recognise that people will listen more closely to what you have to say about your service or product when they feel trust, connectivity and entertained.

Use social media to tell stories.
Stories enable us to build personality and create a connection with our customers. And right now people are looking to brands who share content that is genuine, informative and just plain enjoyable. So if you’re a business looking to replicate these sentiments for your audience, try these strategies

  • Try documenting short videos or photos of behind-the-scenes WFH content.
  • Record your team meeting and share snippets with your community.
  • Go Live – Being real is a key aspect of storytelling, and there’s no other way to be more “real” than going live to engage with your audience now that we’re all stuck at home.
  • A quick way to entertain that doesn’t require substantial effort is to turn one of your recent blog posts into a series of Instagram content. You can use a mix of photos and videos of yourself talking or create graphics.
  • Amidst all the different types of content; video is the type of content that most people consume thoroughly, so if you’re looking for more content ideas try recording Interview some of your customers and share their stories and experiences with your company in a video – upload to different platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin & youtube)

Re-frame your marketing strategy during this time.
If you’re a service orientated business you need to reframe your focus, tone and message around ‘what can we do for you’. Now more than ever you need to be empathetic within your marketing and try to get inside your consumers head. Consumers are looking for brands they trust and can detect when businesses are exploiting their situation or more broadly the current COVID-19 global crisis – that means never use language like “unbeatable COVID-19 sales!” or other vulgar messaging.
Our own OITC marketing brainstorm sent us back to the purpose, vision and heart of our business for ideas and from there we were able to create a list of dos and donts.
DO: Be personable, vulnerable and entertaining in your messaging.
DONT: Don’t be an alarmist. It’s important to keep people informed, but don’t add to the panic.

Unite with your audience
It’s most likely your customers are doing the same thing you are right now. No matter how big your online audience is, your goal is to make everyone feel like you are speaking with them 1-on-1.
Here are a few simple ways to wholeheartedly connect with your audience.

  • Share the stories from those within your community or business partners; through photos and short videos on your Instagram profile. Think of relatable topics such as ‘How are people working together at the moment?” “What are people doing to stay mentally healthy and strong?” Now is a unique opportunity to spotlight your people and your culture and have it relate to a much wider community given were all going through the same thing.
  • Inspiration is great and at other times productive, but right now, it really benefits if you have something valuable to offer that your audience can apply their days right now.
  • Never forget that people will listen firmly to what you have to say when they’re having a good time – so make your interaction refreshing and informal.
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