There is no doubt that difficult times are coming for us as individuals, businesses, countries, and as the world. In times like these it can be difficult to talk about your products and services without giving the impression of being insensitive to the delicateness of our current situation. Here are some tips to improve your marketing communication during a pandemic.
Don’t: Virtue signaling:
During times of uncertainty it is normal for brands and businesses to want to state the ways in which they are contributing to a greater cause. After all, who doesn’t want to look good? But you have to be very careful not to fall into the trap of virtue signaling. What do I mean by this?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines virtue signaling as an effort to publicly show how good you are. But virtue signaling goes a little further than simply showing off one’s virtues. It also refers to those who don’t back their words up with actions.
If your brand is considering taking a stand on COVID-19, either through e-mail or social media, it’s important that your main message goes beyond the image of your brand. Instead it should offer real value to your consumer.
A widespread message acknowledging and reacting to the pandemic is not enough, as Social Media Today states, since many brands have been sending the same message over and over to their audiences.
To craft a valuable message, it’s important to address any concerns that your consumer might have that is specific to your business and how changes in the industry will impact their lives. As Social Media Today says, it is important that your message is essential for your consumer.
DO: Consumer-centric content:
Now, more than ever, it’s important to ask yourself, what does my consumer need in this moment? What do they expect from me? Figure out how you can contribute useful content for your consumer. Right now may not be the best time for self-promotion. Instead use this time to develop stronger relationships with your audience, be present and engaging, and form a community.
Don’t: Put your consumer at risk.
The economic impact that Coronavirus will have on business can be tough, as many industries require the physical presence of their consumers. Some businesses may adapt better than others to the circumstances at hand, others may not. It can be tempting to want to stay positive, remain calm, and carry on as usual by continuing to drive traffic to physical stores, but it is crucial to not put your consumer at risk and always follow the measures recommended by official sources, not going against them.
DO: Watch out for the details in your content.
This can be anything from the images you use, the availability of your products, or the general message of your advertising or content. For example, a few days ago I saw a post with a message about the importance of unity during these difficult times.
You would think this message would be well accepted, but it caused controversy since the image they used for this post consisted of many people holding hands – something that contradicts the recommended measures to prevent the spread of the virus. We must be very aware and consistent with the messages that exist all around us.