The pandemic has brought a lot of negativity into the world, and gloomy headlines about unemployment, recessions and lockdown restrictions going on for months seem to be everywhere you look. Amid all this financial turbulence, consumers are spending less than ever, and this fall in demand for all but the most essential products and services has made trading conditions very tough for a lot of industries. As a result, our job as marketers has also gotten a lot more challenging.
One way that brands can cut through the noise and connect with their target audience during this unprecedented time is by focusing on the positive. Not only is this a very effective strategy for ensuring you stay on the map for the duration of the crisis, but it can also make a real difference in boosting the public perception of your brand. Plus, it’s also a valuable opportunity for companies to make their brands feel more personable, ethical and authentic. In this article, I've shared three of my top tips for taking a positive approach with your marketing.
Use your resources to do some good
We all need to do our bit to help fight the virus and support those who are struggling because of the crisis. Lots of brands have been able to use their resources to help the key workers and give back to their communities, and many brands have been able to net some fantastic publicity and material for their marketing campaigns, too. From breweries using their equipment to make hand sanitiser, to textile and fashion retailers pivoting to PPE, almost everyone has been able to help out in some way.
Even if you can't provide products that help in the frontline fight against the virus, there may still be other ways you can support your local community, such as offering discounts for medical staff, or donating to good causes in your area. However you decide to help, be sure to get the word out by sharing it on your social media, mailing lists, and by sending press releases to local media sites.
Harness social channels to connect with customers
Social channels provide a direct line of communication between you and your customers, so you should be relying on them to get your messaging out there more than ever during these tough times. Make sure you're answering comments, queries, and complaints as promptly as possible, and take the time to engage with your consumers directly. This will help make your business seem much more personable, and can build brand loyalty.
Lots of brands, such as Innocent, have been using their social channels to share jokes and 'lockdown challenges'. Providing your followers with a welcome break from the doom and gloom online will ensure they remember your brand, and could potentially lead to an uptick in sales once the crisis is over. So, if this is something that could work with your brand positioning, be sure to try it out, even if it's just sharing a few uplifting news stories.
Offer reassurance and frequent updates
There's a lot of disruption and uncertainty out there at the minute, and anxieties about delayed deliveries could be putting customers off making online purchases. Additionally, many consumers may feel concerned about whether or not ordering with your company is putting staff and drivers at risk. So, you can encourage them to shop with you by offering reassurance in your marketing campaigns.
Explain clearly what steps you're taking to keep everyone safe, and provide frequent updates with any info on delivery timeframes, or whether you're still operating as normal. Make sure this guidance is published in a prominent place on your website, and share regular updates on your socials and mailing lists whenever you can. Giving your customers one less thing to worry about will help to ensure that people feel comfortable shopping with you, and they're likely to appreciate that you took the time to update them, too.
With all the disruption and chaos going on at the moment, marketing your brand has never seemed tougher. But, by focusing on positive marketing strategies, you can help get your target customer’s attention and keep your business on the map for the duration of the crisis, as well as helping to make the world that little bit brighter.