Over the past weeks, COVID – 19 pandemic has had an impact on people’s lives to the extent that all they see on the news feed are updates regarding the pandemic. The sad part of this situation is that the extent to which coronavirus will continue to affect lives is not yet defined. In such a situation, when every business or industry is affected, their marketing strategies are bound to get affected too. Even before the pandemic, social media marketing formed the majority part of any marketing strategy. In the current situation, the social media strategy will differ from brand to brand. However, there is also a lot of confusion about which approach can provide the maximum outcome. While there cannot be a precise answer to that, there are definitely some do’s and don’ts that the top advertising companies will recommend to any brand.
Here are some do’s and don’ts that will help to achieve some success with social media marketing in the current situation.
What The Marketers Can Do
Every brand plays a different role in a consumer’s life. In the time of crisis, if a brand thinks only of profits, then it won’t help in the long run. In fact, there are high chances of the plan being backfired. There is no single way of extending support in the current situation. It is entirely up to the owners. Either a donation can be made for the cause, or some products or services can be offered at discounted prices to the customers. In the times of coronavirus, copying the competitors’ actions is not going to help. Any step from a brand that brings its customers a sense of relief or convenience will be a welcome move.
Stop Irrelevant Automated Messages
Everyone is struggling in the times of COVID – 19. It only makes sense if a brand depending on its industry evaluates, and makes some changes in its creative copy for sensitivity reasons. For instance. Let’s take an example of the tourism or hospitality industry. If an airline or hotel sends a message to its customers asking to book at discounted prices, it will not leave a good brand impression. Therefore, it is recommended that brands analyze whether ad placement is appropriate for the current situation. If not, there are always ways to improvise and adapt the messages according to the existing environment.
Increase Brand’s Presence Through Owned Media
Almost all the businesses are affected, and naturally, the ad spend factor will also get affected. So, it is recommended that a brand should invest more in owned media like emails, blogs, and organic SEO. The marketing team can do keyword research on the top-ranking keywords and use them in the content. A brand can take advantage of the fact that people across the globe are at home. By publishing relevant content or sending it through emails will help increase the engagement rate. In reality, this is a great time to create an effective content marketing plan and implement it.
Add Digital Marketing To Crisis Management Plan
Sure, coronavirus is a global crisis right now, but it cannot be considered the last one. None of the brands were prepared for the impact of this pandemic on the business. So, if a brand already has a crisis communication plan, it is suggested that digital marketing plans are aligned with it. The factors like the company’s potential risks, what automated messages will be stopped or changed, and general response strategies, etc. should be considered. Even a trial run can be carried out to see whether the plan really works when the next crisis is looming on the business.
What The Marketers Should Not Do
Don’t Exploit The Situation
Many instances of certain individuals trying to exploit the fear of people have surfaced in the last few weeks. Supplies across the world are running low, and some marketers buy them and resell the same at 5-10 times higher price. Do not exploit the coronavirus pandemic to earn a quick buck. Even if a brand makes some extra bucks, it will not last long as customers will not return to it once the pandemic is over. Also, if a brand has nothing to offer in the current scenario, it is recommended that they refrain from posting anything at all. The beer company, Corona, chose not to talk about the COVID – 19 pandemic at all.
Don’t Eliminate Paid Advertising Completely
Every brand is re-evaluating their digital marketing strategies. Even in times of crisis, there are hidden opportunities. If a brand completely abandons paid advertising, they will be left behind when things start getting back to normal. The logic behind it is quite simple. Right now, people are spending time online more than ever. They are still looking for products and services. So, instead of putting a halt to all paid advertising, find out the most effective ones and channel the resources in that direction. The current global lockdown is also the perfect time to go creative. Check out the creative campaigns of other brands for inspiration.
Don’t Ignore Social Media Platforms
The newsfeed are lined up with coronavirus news across the globe. The brands can interrupt this news cycle by publishing relevant and timely posts about the brand. As social distancing has reduced the possibility of any physical contact, people are turning towards social media platforms to stay connected with their loved ones. So, this could be an excellent opportunity for brands to increase their following through these platforms. If it is not an essential supplies brand, the social media posts will make sure that the brand is not forgotten, and people will return to it once normal life resumes.
Don’t Be Hesitant To Ask For Help
For small or medium-sized businesses, depending on the industry, handling everything right now can become overwhelming. On the other hand, a marketing team can do the job perfectly. So, the business owners can hand over the task of managing their social media pages from their list to a dedicated digital marketing team. Although searching one initially will require some research, once a team is finalized, the business owners can leave the rest to them. Of course, this is just an example. A business owner should not hesitate to outsource any task right now, if possible.
To sum it up, the time of the coronavirus pandemic is equally confusing for both brands and consumers. There is no single proven way to maintain their relevance for the brands. It is because the way consumers spend their time online in the coming months will be highly unpredictable. The only sure shot way that a brand can stay relevant is by being sensitive to their customer’s situation while publishing any content online. Keeping track of the data of various social media platforms across the world might prove to be helpful too. Experiment with a few strategies and figure out what works best for your industry.