Digital Marketing During the Pandemic
The more you spend the better the chances your brand will survive the recession or even be better positioned. Does this advice hold any value anymore?
The pandemic is changing the marketing and branding industry to its core. Normally, during any recession, the wise choice would be to spend through it. The more you spend the better the chances your brand will survive the recession or even have a better position than it currently occupies. This is the usual tip that you will find on the internet or talking with anybody in digital marketing but does this advice hold any value anymore? This is a unique period in world history with the steepest learning curve of all our professional lives and the solution is not burning even more money on budgets, the solution is to adapt to this situation with creativity.
Retell your story
One of the first core steps should be re-introducing yourself to your audience. Even if you’re a big name in your field does your audience know what you stand for? This period offers a rare opening for companies to retell their stories and values. One part of this is your COVID-19 response: health and safety protocols for workers, supply chain continuity and so forth. But it’s also about finding the stories that reinforce that your corporate mission and values are more than just words on a page. This is also a great time to engage your employees and promote their authentic experiences that will retell your story for you.
Communicate with your audience
The virus changed the way we use the internet. The majority of people are stuck at home with movie theatres closed, no restaurants to dine in, concerts being postponed to the next year and working from home. People will always want to connect with other people thus humans across the globe have been spending more of their lives online. With the rise of social distancing, we are seeking out new ways to connect, mostly through video chat or social media platforms. We are now more than ever “hooked” to our devices since they are our windows to the outside world. This leaves the business community in a bit of a quandary as it sorts out how to market brands and products effectively while also being sensitive to the challenges people are facing right now. Instead of focusing on selling a specific product, businesses can benefit more from focusing on acts of kindness and generosity, as well as building relationships with customers, while also acknowledging what’s happening in the world without sounding forced. There are countless ways you can reach your audience since all of them are in the same place - their preferred device to scroll the internet.
Work on your employer brand
While your corporate brand is how buyers and the public perceive you, your employer brand reflects whether and how much people want to work for you. Every company needs people which will bring their knowledge as well as their expertise to the table. Marketing during a pandemic offers a very often forgotten opportunity to take a fresh look at your HR recruitment and working on messaging to ensure that it accurately communicates your company culture. This is not limited to how you are keeping workers safe, but the health of your working conditions, whether or not there is a crisis like the one we are experiencing now. To attract and retain top-performing talent, you need to have a strong employer brand that you can promote externally. Your social media is the perfect place where you can show to your candidates where they are going to work, with who they are going to work and on what projects they are going to work. People are now more than ever consuming content, why should they not consume your content?
Building an online presence
Now is the time to adapt to the new normal and as I have mentioned earlier that people are consuming content more than ever before. Giving out content in the form of blog posts, and data-driven information showed in a cool and new way your audience can use to vet your company’s smarts and the value of doing business with you. As you work on your content strategy, don’t forget that different people consume information in multiple ways and across different channels as well as platforms. So maybe this is the time to incorporate a podcast series into your marketing mix or to add more visual content. From socially distanced photos to people’s pets as they work from home. One of the superstars from this global pandemic is Tik-Tok. They skyrocketed in the number of users and a lot of companies that have never before heard of it are creating content with their employees to reach their targeted audience.
In this new normal it is not enough to just have a website, you need to be visible across all platforms and you need to work on your brand awareness
As we saw in the early stages of the pandemic, a lot of the trade shows started to be cancelled for some other future days but following the obvious idea that everybody is at home and we can all communicate through video, why not having an online conference? Virtual events offer a fresh way to get your team in front of prospects. Identifying opportunities to speak at virtual conferences or even better creating your own conference or webinar. Ask yourself can you bring together industry leaders for an online conversation about pandemic lessons learned? Take advantage of the intimacy of the small screen to talk to your key audiences.
The new normal will last
Some companies are being passive, thinking that things will be back to normal once the pandemic is done. I do not hold the same view. The first reason why you need to start adapting is that some scientists are predicting that some form of social distancing may need to happen until 2022 That’s a long time to put any type of marketing on hold. A more important reason is that the world will change and that it already is changing. It was unthinkable in 2019 that almost every company can operate with their workforce working from home, that almost everything regarding business can be done through a screen etc. After this pandemic comes to pass, companies can’t go back to their old playbooks and their old practices. Structuring, messaging and even your product strategy may need to evolve for the realities of the post-COVID-19 world. While it’s important to recognize the uncertainties and fears surrounding it, don’t let this crisis paralyze you into doing nothing. Enabling your team to evolve is key to navigating your way through this crisis both for your marketing team and your company.
This is a challenging time for everyone. On one side you have people that are stuck at home, distancing or isolating. On the other side businesses are closing down, profits are down and a lot of people are losing their jobs while economic uncertainty is growing. No one was ready for a global pandemic of this scale. It’s proving to be a real stress test for businesses of all sizes. The pandemic exposed weaknesses in business models and poor readiness for any potential shockwaves. One major weakness is not being ready for digital transformation and not having an online presence. You have a choice now to adapt to the new normal or unfortunately to close your doors. Transform and adapt to deliver your products or services safely to customers at homes. Using every social platform that can reach to your audience by delivering quality content that is easy to consume. To make it through the current crisis and thrive you need to be creative more than ever while building your online presence because remember, your whole audience is at the same place, attached to their screen waiting for you to grab this opportunity.
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