With so much uncertainty surrounding when the pandemic will end, and many restrictive measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many are experiencing uncertainty and worries around their financial security, consumer confidence is low and sales have dropped in many verticals. As a result, many businesses are experiencing a loss of income. In addition, with the media landscape focused on covering the pandemic, it is more difficult than ever for brands to reach their audience – plus, in such a serious situation when many are worried about health and finance, pushing your brand can be seen as insensitive.
Some brands are choosing to either cut back on marketing activity or stop it altogether during the pandemic. Rather than pausing activity, adapting your marketing during the pandemic can help you to bounce back stronger than ever when confidence returns. Our recent guide, How to stay productive during the COVID-19 crisis, runs through some behind the scene ways to get your digital ‘house in order’ and ensure your business is set up to be successful in the future.
Here, we talk through five ways you can effectively adapt your marketing activity to improve engagement and build brand trust during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adapt your brand messaging
It is crucial that all businesses right now adapt their brand messaging, whether they are in a position to sell or not. The consumer landscape is a vastly different place to what it was pre-pandemic, and it is important that your brand reacts sensitively to the issues your customers face. Consumers are concerned about their health, their family and friends, and their financial security. Using the pandemic as a hook to sell your products or cashing in on coronavirus is a sure way to lose trust and loyalty amongst your customer base.
Look at different ways you can provide value to your audience
Your business may be in a position where sales activity has slowed or even stopped, but this doesn’t mean you can’t provide value to your customers in other ways. If sales are suffering, focus instead on engagement. Identify opportunities for content that is both relevant to your brand and useful for customers. This will position your brand in a positive light and help promote a sense of trust – something that will be later remembered by consumers when they are ready to purchase.
Test different platforms for engagement
With so many now at home, online activity is increasing. If your business usually relies on face to face engagement, this is a good opportunity to trial different platforms and content formats to establish new ways of reaching customers. For fashion retailers, this might look
like hosting an Instagram live Q&A with a stylist on dressing for video conferences provides valuable content for consumers while maintaining positive engagement with your brand.
Manage your paid advertising
If your business is in a position to continue making sales, managing your paid advertising is key. With many brands reducing PPC spend during this time, there is an opportunity for smaller retailers to increase impressions and conversions in areas that are normally too competitive. Similarly, a drop in CPM across display, video and paid social means if you can still run campaigns, you can expect more reach for your budget.
Reassess your messaging, strategy, and budgets in line with the current landscape, monitoring where demand is falling and where you are seeing a rise in order to identify your focus areas. As with all marketing during this period, your paid campaigns must be sensitive to the situation. Avoid mentioning COVID-19 terms in ad copy or keywords, and instead focus on where you can genuinely add value for your customers.
Sort behind the scenes marketing, and plan ahead
Finally, now is the ideal time to tick off the jobs which have continually been pushed to the bottom of your list, such as optimising content, testing new landing pages, and organising your analytics.
Ensure your web analytics is capturing and tracking relevant data, then make informed decisions around what content works best for your customers. Use these insights to update your overall content strategy and plan ahead for key future dates such as Black Friday and Christmas. This will leave your business and your brand in a stronger position to bounce back once the pandemic is over.