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Times of crisis can really be moments when innovation is at its finest. We have to move faster and think on our feet. So how does one navigate through it? Most of us are used to dealing with short-term PR disasters or small crisis matters. As marketers, we need to understand what worked last week may not work this week and adapt to the new changes every day.
Brands need to be careful about what they are posting. That monthly content calendar you created… maybe it’s time hit the pause button. We cannot continue to pretend we are living in a pre-coronavirus digital environment. Do not let your brand become tone-deaf to what’s going on. Now is a time to pause and think. A good PR strategy is not just about when to post, it’s about when to stay silent. Now is not the time to use cheap marketing ploys to get more customers for your brand. If your brand doesn’t have anything to contribute to the conversation, don’t contribute. It is better to stay quiet than contribute to noise.
How do we market during this time when our feeds are flooded with coronavirus posts? Brands can’t stay silent forever. When is a good time for them to post and what should they be posting?
First, we need to understand the changing needs of consumers and their emotional state of mind. That needs to be taken into consideration with new marketing plans. We cannot pretend what is going on isn’t happening. Now more than ever is the time to ramp up your customer service on social media and answer your customers' questions. Stay transparent with your audience. When posting, keep your messages light, happy and inspirational while staying true to your brand.
Some brands are taking the approach of what they offer and how they can help. For example, Orange Theory is offering free at-home workouts, Verizon is offering free live stream concerts, and Instagram has added a new co-watching feature that enables people to view posts together while they video chat. What can your brand do?
Let your customers know what you are doing to help them in whatever way makes the most sense for your brand. Be concise with your communication and continue to offer follow up resources. Be available to your consumers and put social listening tools in place to capture any queries directed at your brand. Be patient with customers with a lot of questions.
Most importantly, share positivity. Positive stories are always appreciated during stressful times, these will help give your audience hope and reassurance. Keep up the thoughtful communications, so your brand will be seen as a trusted source of information for your industry during this time.
We’re in this together.