The first wave of COVID-19 hit like a storm that no one knew was coming. Additionally, there was no contingency plan put in place for a pandemic that spread like wildfire across the globe. One of the key economic factors that were and still greatly affected by the pandemic are the business sectors. Due to lockdowns, self-quarantine and controlled social movements, businesses aren’t doing too well; some have also closed their doors permanently. Normal marketing strategies now are not as effective and revenues have dropped tremendously. This is because the pandemic has led to new consumer thoughts and behaviors.
Consumers are spending more time online than ever before. They have also resorted to online shopping to get goods and services as physical stores remain close or that social movements have been controlled in certain states or districts.
As a business owner, it is crucial to discover ways to survive the wave in this new normal. Accredited websites have suggested the following tips to maintain brand presence during these tough times of COVID-19:
1. Display empathy
People feel vulnerable right now and empathy is critical. Many people are greatly affected by the pandemic; some have lost their source of income, separated from loved ones and more. In times of much uncertainty and constant change, it is important to show humility to your audience to let them know that you are there for them. An example below is a visual post from McDonald’s Malaysia; including other fast food chains in the visual, it shares the message of togetherness during these tough times.
2. Adapt your communication accordingly on social media
Brands would usually use their social media channels to share messages and updates on events, promotions as well as engaging posts to stay connected to your audience. With the current pandemic crisis, brands must change the way they communicate, and spread the same message that is shared across the globe: stay safe, practice social distance and stay at home. Here is an example from Nike, the message in their Instagram post is to encourage their audience to play inside instead of outside.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9_440DAyvZ/
Brands can also craft interesting content that is relevant to the current situation. IKEA have crafted a series of creative postings for their quarantine campaign that invites their audience to relive their childhood by illustrating ways to make furniture forts at home using their products, here are two visuals from the campaign:
3. Ensure consistency
As people are now online more than ever, brands can’t miss out on grabbing their attention through the channels they are most active on. Content should be posted at a frequent rate so that your audience will know that you are still active. When crafting content, be sure of what results you are looking to gain from your social media presence and how to monitor and respond to changes. Set clear guidelines on what type of messaging you want to broadcast to your audience.
Customers value thoughtful posts and consistency. Create brand awareness by asking yourself how you will add value to your social media page. Remember, consistency builds trust.
We are all weathering the storm together, and although it is difficult, it is not impossible to get back on track. Instilling empathy to show compassion, crafting relevant content and ensuring consistency will definitely make your brand memorable and gain continuous loyalty towards your audience during this unprecedented time. Re-evaluating strategies and enhancing online presence will definitely help during these times, and it will also aid in preparing for what’s to come in the near future.
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