Don't use the coronavirus as a marketing hook, don’t use the situation as an opportunity to push product, and don’t start branding things with terms (such as “social distancing”) related to the current situation, the article recommends. It has the potential to reek of opportunism and can permanently damage a brand.
Its even acceptable for companies to just stay silent, prioritizing communications with employees or to have targeted outreach to specific customers impacted by the situation rather than a mass outreach to all customers.
Social selling may be a better idea than push marketing in the current environment. That means getting creative on social media rather than doing push marketing campaigns. But, it needs to be genuine and may not even mention a specific product. Some executives are simply choosing to share some of their personal life or inspirational, yet genuine, messages, seeking to create a human connection without a direct tie-in to a sale or company.
WWD also published an article about influencer marketing during the coronavirus.
“Influencers offer brands a way to assure consumers they can continue to have access to products and services they rely on while staying safe and following CDC guidelines,” the publication notes. “Content from influencers will be increasingly impactful in marketing efforts, leveraging their earned emotional connections and recommendation reliance with people who comprise their audience.”
At a time when shopping and social habits are being changed, at least temporarily, and more likely in some permanent ways, there are some key takeaways for brands. Its important to stay in the conversation at this time, but not be the conversation.
Understanding Your Audience
Most brands have had to pause their marketing plans from before the outbreak. And, they’re reevaluating how to move ahead. A recent article from Blue Book Services has a few pointers for marketers:
- Engage people where they are–and right now, many people are at home… stuck at home.
- Be aware some people may have news fatigue and are looking for an escape.
- Stay authentic, transparent, and be empathetic.
- Help people navigate the unknown and don’t focus too much on selling right now.