The COVID-19 situation has certainly changed life as we know it. Things are going to be different for a while, especially for the immediate future. As folks are social distancing, working remotely and settling in to a new normal, the question of “What should we be saying in our marketing messaging?” naturally presents itself.
In an article we shared last week, What Covid-19 Means for Marketers, we discussed being proactive, transparent and flexible –all important components of marketing communications during this unprecedented and uncertain time.
This week, we’ll dive deeper into the messaging your company can share to connect with and engage your audience and nurture the powerful relationships your brand has worked hard to achieve.
When it comes to marketing messaging throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, most brands have 3 basic strategies they can employ. They can go quiet, stay the course with their regular communications and messaging or they can pivot their messaging.
Although we’ve seen some companies do it, going quiet is risky. With people social distancing and having more time at home, they are eager to engage in conversations and make connections. These conversations and connections will take place with or without your brand.
Staying the course with your standard messaging and communications can be even more risky. Your brand can take a chance of being perceived as insensitive and out-of-touch, and irreparable damage can be done to your brand’s reputation.
The best marketing messaging strategy for brands to take during the COVID-19 situation is to pivot their communications to share positive, inspirational and supportive messages with their audiences.
Pivoting Marketing Messaging for COVID-19
As marketers, we often ask ourselves, “What is going to resonate with our audience?” The challenge with COVID-19 is that what resonated with our audience a month ago or even a couple weeks ago may not hold true today, so brands have to pivot their messaging to be relevant and stay relevant during this time. This also means being more agile than ever.
We’ve put together some quick tips you can use as your brand pivots and develops marketing messaging to stay relevant, nurture relationships with your audience and navigate through this challenging environment.
1. Be Positive
Negative news is flooding people’s news feeds. It’s scary, it’s ugly and it can be really depressing. People are looking for a bright light and a breath of fresh air now more than ever. Share positive messages in your content.
2. Share Inspiration
Inspiring content resonates well with audiences, especially during this time. Again, there’s a lot of negative content out there. People want to see new ideas, hear motivational stories and experience triumphs to help them get through this new normal they’re adjusting to.
3. Be Compassionate and Empathetic
People are taking note of how brands are handling this crisis. Compassionate messages that show understanding and empathy will resonate well with your audience. Acknowledge the situation and show how your brand genuinely cares.
4. How Can Your Brand Be of Service?
This is a time where we need to come together and unite to get through to the other side. What can your brand do to help with the current situation? Sharing messages of unity and how your brand is going above and beyond for the health and safety of your customers, your employees and your community will be well-received. However, it’s important to be mindful to share these messages in a “we’re in this together way” rather than a “look at us” way.
5. Support over Sales
Stay away from hard-sell messages during this time. People do not want to be sold to. They are scared, stressed out and worried. Messages of support will go much further right now and will pay dividends later in the long-term development of your brand.
6. Educate Your Audience
Take this time to share educational content. Tell and show your audience things they may not know. How-to and DIY content will resonate well because people are eager for a distraction from current events and many now have more time on their hands to learn new things.
7. Share Messages of Gratitude
While many of us are working at home, there’s a lot of dedicated, hard-working people that don’t have that luxury. Our healthcare workers, our military and law enforcement officers and many other essential employees are having to continue business as usual, which can be really challenging for them and their families. Share messages of gratitude to these groups that are putting themselves in harm’s way for the greater good of our people and our country.
8. Be Attentive
Show your audience that you’re listening. Monitor conversations about your brand and answer questions. Be attentive to your audience’s needs and craft messaging that compassionately addresses those needs.
In summary, messaging is crucial for brands right now. Pivoting your company’s messaging to share positive, inspirational and supportive messages can help lead your brand through the uncertainty of COVID-19. We hope you find these tips helpful as you lead your team through this challenging time.
We’ll get through this together and will hopefully come away from this stronger than ever. Stay healthy and be safe.