As any marketer would know, all campaigns take place in a context. Now more than ever, audiences experience marketing content in the context of their daily lives and whatever is going on in their surroundings. The reception of any campaign is largely determined by whether or not it sits well with the viewer and what it adds to their life. Marketing content that ignores context and relentlessly self-promotes is in bad taste and actively repels audiences.
So, at a time like this when the coronavirus pandemic is impacting communities all over the world, it is important to mold marketing strategies to not only acknowledge the circumstances but also be useful in some way.
Here are a few tips that may help brands market to protect the business and their employees, while still being sensitive to the situation.
Check Existing Content
Go through your scheduled content to decide what can be used in the new context and what must be halted immediately. Delay major video campaigns with high-cost production as they may be overshadowed by constant developments on the pandemic front and lead to loss. It also may be a bit crass to put out extravagant promotional campaigns at a time when there are several shortages around the world. Also hold back on videos promoting events, travel or other activities that break social distancing norms.
Instead, focus on more relationship building videos that build a sense of solidarity with the customers. Evaluate every bit of planned content and edit as much as possible in light of the situation. But don’t try to hold on to content and force it to fit. Consumers see it from a mile away and it’s just not worth it.
Use Appropriate Visuals
Make sure your brand isn’t inadvertently giving off the wrong message. In your videos, make sure you aren’t showing your employees working in the office or at social gatherings. Try not to use stock videos of large crowds or people touching when communicating a message or promoting a product. If you have any such visuals or animations in your upcoming campaigns, try to come up with clips that can say the same thing without them.
Play Your Part
You can replace one of your product or service video campaigns with a quick turn campaign aimed at providing a coronavirus relief service, or raising funds. If replacing an entire campaign is not possible, you can definitely create video content that helps spread correct information. IKEA’s I Stay at Home video campaign is a great example of a quick video message your company can use to deliver a responsible message while still staying somewhat relevant to your brand.
Look to your brand purpose, vision and mission statements and see how they apply to the current situation. This is the time to be as human as possible. Use videos that offer well wishes, motivation and advice on what people can do to spend time comfortably in quarantine. Present an optimistic view. That’s something that always has a market in troubling times.
Post Employee Generated Content
Connect with people by telling your stories. Create polls and surveys that ask employees about their quarantine experience and what books, movies and shows they’re enjoying. Let employees populate your social media by having them post stories about what they are doing in their free time, how they are working remotely and keeping morale up. Such casual videos exploring company culture will create a sense of human connection at a time when people are confined to their homes and often feeling isolated.
Talk About How Your Company Can Help
Tell people about the values your products or services can provide at this unusual time. If any of your services can benefit people during quarantine, make remote work easier or promote smaller businesses that might be suffering, this is the time to get them out there. You can use videos to show how these products can be advantageous to people instead of hard-selling them.
We can’t be sure when quarantine and other social restrictions will cease, but several areas of the world are seeing a decrease in the growth rate of new cases and vaccines are already being tested. We can remain hopeful and prepare for a transition to future normalcy, while simultaneously being cautious in the present. These are times when as marketers or business owners, you may feel like you’re pushed into a corner, but remember as long as you are empathetic and thoughtful in your discourse, things will work out.