The COVID-19 pandemic is the only crisis many generations have experienced, and the federal, state and local governments’ stay-at-home mandates are challenging for many marketers and businesses. Marketing during this time can be difficult, but can also strengthen authentic connections to your customers during a time they need it most. Just as many of us remember where we were on 9/11, customers will remember how brands helped them handle this crisis.
Here are some tips for marketers to put into practice during this crisis:
1. Share relevant content.
When the pandemic hit, you didn’t immediately think it would be relevant for brands — apparel, consumer electronics, etc. But at JLab, we created new, unique content — e.g., how to clean your headphones, tips for working from home, and ways our team members were social distancing. We did this as a service to our customers and to connect further with them, sharing our stories, too. This relevant content performed anywhere from 2.2 times to five times better in organic engagement on social media than the week prior.
2. Be timely and authentic.
Early into the pandemic we focused on content that was relevant, and because JLab kicked it off without a sales focus, customers were more receptive to our next sale. Knowing many were now working from home and navigating work and home life, we offered a discount sitewide for consumers to get whatever headphone gear they needed. We called it a productivity discount, and it generated a more than 100 percent increase in online sales from the previous week.
I’ve seen other brands — like LOFT — sharing a “we care about you” message that feels real and authentic. LOFT told its customers that they know it’s a scary time, but it would continue to spread its brand message of positivity during this time.
3. Connect with your customers.
During this time, it’s harder to create the perfectly branded and finely edited photos and videos that many brands are accustomed to using. That’s OK. Take the less produced approach and go live on your social media platforms with some key people in the organization. Send email updates as you face challenges in your distribution or add notes to your website that your support team is working from home too. These simple updates help the customer understand what you’re going through also.
Adidas encouraged its athletes to show how they “Stay Home” with home workouts and the hashtag #STAYHOME. Another great way to connect with customers is through social influencers.
These are some ideas that worked for JLab as well as other brands. Make sure that all your messaging includes relevant content, timely updates and ultimately looks to connect authentically with your customer.
Sending best wishes for you and your brand’s health during this challenging time.