While the pandemic has changed routines seemingly overnight as we’ve built our home offices and become accustomed to participating in meetings and fitness classes via video conferencing, I believe this time of uncertainty calls for businesses to reimagine how they talk to and connect with their customers.
I’ve written about today’s community-based ecosystems and how authenticity is the way to a consumer’s heart. Right now, it’s more important than ever for brands to be sincere in their communications to maintain that trust — and to simply be human. This means recognizing people’s priorities amid market shifts and taking a step back to listen to what they really need and value during this time.
Communicate With Care
While some people are looking for information and guidance on how to navigate this new and uncertain landscape, and certain products and services that can help, it seems less appropriate at this time to deliver unsolicited messages about products that may not be aligned with consumers’ needs, current spending habits or shifting behaviors.
This may impact sales for some industries, but with careful planning, you can use this time to bolster your brand’s reputation for future customer acquisition and growth. You can do this by offering goods or services, discounted or free, that can make for an easier transition for those of us working from home or otherwise affected by COVID-19.
For instance, some fitness businesses are offering free online workouts, and streaming services are offering longer free trials. These helpful offers can make our lives easier for the time being while we try to redefine how to be successful in business, at home and as a member of a shifted society. This can also help you reach new audiences or improve a consumer’s existing view of your brand.
Use Digital Where It Matters Most
Digital is having a shining moment given the increase in time people are spending inside and at home and relying on their phones and the internet to connect them to others. According to Verizon’s CEO, web traffic went up 20% in just one week.
Digital is serving as the primary source for experiences and entertainment. This has heightened the value of live-streaming tools like Facebook Live and Amazon Prime Video and content platforms like TikTok. Reaching your community with the right message depends on the channels they prefer to “live” in and consume information on. Some people want a distraction and others want a sense of belonging and connection, while some are looking for guidance and support.
Understanding what your audience wants is all about listening and observing their actions on the platforms you’d like to reach them on. For instance, it’s important to monitor what types of content they are engaging with and the sentiment of their response. It’s also vital to consider the function of the platform as well — whether it’s primarily used for information gathering, to connect with others or for escape and pleasure.
Another way to gather insights on what your audience wants is by simply asking the source directly — your most loyal customers— through an anonymous survey on how you can continue to best serve them.
While a looming recession or loss in revenue is weighing heavily on many business leaders’ minds, we are already seeing dramatic moves across customer acquisition budgets, most notably a shift away from channels that can’t provide a clear ROI. We are seeing marketing leaders capitalize on this digital moment by doubling down on channels with a cost-per-click or cost-per-action model to not only justify spending but to also avoid overpaying for customers by only paying for performance.
Having a clear payout model from the start allows companies to align on objectives and focus on ROI, without having to worry about straining the budget. This can be done by determining what performance measures result in payout, and what the payout will look like.
Adjust Your Partnerships
While partnerships can be one of the most authentic ways to reach people and an essential driver of business growth in times like these, it’s important to consider a few things before engaging in a campaign with a partner: Align with your partner’s priorities and messaging, understand their audience’s appetite for content and recognize and respect how they want to be approached in this new normal. Let your partner do what they do best: Let them connect with their audience or customers in their own unique, trusted and authentic way. Give them latitude to be their authentic self, and consider lowering restrictions on your typical brand message guidelines. In other words, trust your partners now more than ever.
Now may also be an ideal time to foster a growth plan. This can include:
• Fine-tuning campaign initiatives for a longer lead timeline that extends into the fall or even to the end of the year
• Re-evaluating investments in new types of technology that can help optimize campaigns when the market swells
• Considering different types of content that may resonate more with consumers when things return back to the normal we knew a few months ago
The Value Of Being Human
Regardless of the approach, the most critical characteristics for brands right now are being human and providing the right value to your community. We’re already seeing how a crisis can bring out the very best in humanity, and communication with our partners and customers should be no different.
Go to Source
Author: David Yovanno, CommunityVoice