What a surreal time we’re living in right now. At this point, who hasn’t been impacted by the spread of COVID-19? The ramifications of the virus have upended many industries and have left many uncertain about whether their jobs or their businesses are safe.
The world’s a different place right now, and if your brand relies on its retail network to sell your product, you need to be thinking about how to convey the right message at the brand and retail levels to generate traffic toward your product while being mindful of today’s state of affairs.
Fortunately, individuals who have taken preventative measures like social distancing have turned to social media for news about the virus and updates from the brands they follow.
As we continue to traverse this new digital-first ecosystem, now is the perfect time to establish and maintain a social presence that promotes your business’s core values and helps you create genuine connections with the audience that cares about your brand.
Read The Room
Those marketing campaigns you’ve spent months on? Keep them shelved — for now.
Companies big and small have made abrupt changes to their marketing and advertising strategies in the months since COVID-19 began sweeping the country. Many states have recently rolled out plans to reopen, but this does not mean you should revert to business as usual. More importantly, you may need to find out how to keep your retailers from doing this, as they are likely focused on keeping the lights on. They probably need to refine their messages too.
Assure your customers and followers that you’re sympathetic to their situation and are here to support them. Ensure that insensitive campaigns are pulled from the rotation of your company’s content flow, and tailor current campaigns to reflect the gravity of today’s crisis. Sixty-eight percent of Americans are concerned about state governments lifting COVID-19 restrictions too quickly, so be mindful of what message you may be sending to your audience.
Let your customers lead your decision making. Email open rates increased by 17% in mid-March, plus overall web traffic and conversion rates for some online retailers also spiked. Consider kicking off promotions ahead of schedule and encourage your consumers to take advantage of deals they wouldn’t normally receive while in the comfort of their homes.
Stay Attuned To Your Industry
With more news being consumed on social channels, it’s imperative to keep your finger on the pulse of your industry at all times. Be sure to deliver timely updates to your retail network whenever you notice changes, both positive and negative, within your industry. In doing so, you are playing an active role in educating and guiding your retailers — who may need the most assistance and direction — throughout all phases of the pandemic.
Additionally, advise your retailers to take the time to funnel news to their followings to ensure that information flows from your business to the audiences interested in hearing from you. As you and your retailers make the effort to update your community, you’ll likely see a return on investment in the form of customer loyalty, brand awareness and customer engagement.
Get Your Retailers On The Ball
As officials begin rolling out plans to reopen their respective states, your followers will want to know what’s going on with your brand and your retailers. So make sure you let them know just that.
Reach out to your retailers and inform them about updating any pertinent information about your company. Additionally, determine whether there are any online processes that slow down the buyer’s journey to purchase your product or service. Even small updates to local listings and contact information can make a difference in getting your next customer to the checkout screen.
Make sure your online processes are free of bugs and that you update your digital channels to best meet the demands of your audience.
Problem Solve For Today’s Climate
Many businesses and people are going to continue to struggle before things get back to normal. Now is the time to focus on developing smart business strategies.
Approaching your business’s marketing strategy from a place of helpfulness and mindfulness but also promotion will likely be seen as more authentic and genuine to your following. Focus on ways to address your audience’s questions and engage in a constructive dialogue to build trust between company and consumer. This is the perfect time to allow your core values and beliefs to shine, rather than attempting to nab a quick buck.
It’s hard to believe that anyone is not worried about the current state of affairs. Even as the country begins to open up, we all must approach the next months with cautious optimism and compassion for the many individuals who help our businesses succeed.
For the sake of your business and its employees, take time to communicate to your social community in a genuine and engaging way, and let your consumers and fans lead your marketing through this time.
Go to Source
Author: Matthew Brown, Forbes Councils Member