Coronavirus (COVID-19) has seemed to take over the world as of late its everywhere on TV, on social media newsfeeds and in everyday life but with all the shocking and devastating headlines it’s important to keep calm and to remember there are lots of ways we can make a difference. As a business, we’re currently meeting with our clients to review their existing marketing and communications strategies to help trade through this period of uncertainty to minimise the long-term impact.
Most of us have never lived a pandemic not to mention experienced one so many of us weren’t prepared when COVID-19 knocked on our door, it has affected us in so many ways and some cases quite severe. Some businesses have started to see a decline in sales and others starting to prepare precautionary options, here are a few tips to help you market and continue developing your brand throughout this crisis.
Review your scheduled content
Take a moment to review your previously scheduled content, you will need to do this ASAP.
Consider how this content will be perceived in the current situation, were you promoting an event that no longer may be happening? A joke post that may be insensitive? If you find any content that you think might hurt your brand pause the content, most can be used after the pandemic has passed.
Try preventing the spread of miscommunication and don’t contribute to the panic
Every app and platform are currently filled with posts about the Coronavirus however not all are trustworthy and share the correct information. When sharing medical advice please ensure you are receiving information from a reliable source, unless you are in fact of the medical profession.
Everything you share online can have unintended consequences, so when you see your feed full of posts of people fighting over toilet paper and empty supermarket shelves it creates a panic in people that otherwise had no idea so make sure you aren’t sharing information that can contribute to a sense of panic, this also means checking that you are sharing information from reliable sources.
Pick your communication channels and continue to communicate with your audience
You can try dedicating a webpage, creating a newsletter or email to post updates regarding the crisis and how you as a business plan on managing your business throughout the pandemic, this can include information for stakeholders on how you shall enforce precautions and what will occur if someone from your organisation was to be infected.
You can also regularly communicate information about the crisis and your business through social media accounts, this is not going to address every question so you will need to dedicate staff to community engagement and proactively responding and reaching out to clients on any of their feedback, questions or complaints.
Try creating content for distraction and use the opportunity to create a connection and community
In a time of social distancing due to the spread of COVID-19 people will turn to social media for entertainment and for a type of connection and/or sense of community, use this to celebrate good news and with newsfeeds filled with bad news don’t be afraid to have a little fun to lighten things up a bit on your social media channels. Do of course be careful and make sure the content is respectful as not to damage your reputation.
Develop marketing contingency plans
In times of crisis audiences are unexpected, the market is volatile and organisations face uncertainty. Evaluate and predict short and long-term behaviours of your market and plan your content accordingly, make sure to regularly evaluate engagement on posts and develop alternatives if your strategy needs adapting.
Empathy should always be shown throughout your marketing strategy and content, however you should always be mindful of people’s emotions and experiences during a crisis or pandemic. Before you post always think about the message you would like to say and how it may be perceived by your audience and other people within the community.
If you’re a business facing uncertain times and not sure of the best way to move forward from here, please contact our CEO directly at firstname.lastname@example.org she can offer some free advice about the best way forward for your business.