AMPR managing director Sarah Gale reveals her tips for brand messaging during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Like everyone, we are still navigating our way through these unchartered, and totally unforeseen, waters.
Many retailers are closed, thousands have lost their jobs, we are stuck at home and discretionary spending has dramatically reduced.
And the million-dollar question is; how long will it all go on for?
Whilst there is no doubt the impact of COVID-19 will be widespread and significant for us all, we firmly believe that brands can’t just sit back and do nothing.
If you look at history, adversity almost always creates new opportunities - a surprising amount of household brands started off by supplying products to the armed forces or discovered the products that made them famous during times of hardship.
Think Jeep, Ray Ban, M&Ms, Hugo Boss and Fanta to name a few. Brands that are brave reap the rewards.
And, when faced with challenges, we are forced to look at new ways of doing things.
So that’s exactly what we are doing. We are using this moment of stillness to get creative, find opportunity to evolve and to work with brands to build brand affinity.
Here are some tips to keep your brand healthy throughout the COVID-19 crisis:
Conscious Content - As marketers and content creators, we have a responsibility to be conscious of the content that we create. Consumers expect support from the brands they love and trust, and social media is a great vehicle to deliver this.
We need to lead the way and deliver content that shows real consideration for the end consumer. Content to keep them busy, optimistic and excited about the future, as well as keeping them fit and healthy, is crucial as we collectively navigate through this topsy-turvy time.
Role models not influencers - Influencer marketing is still important, but we recommend brands partner with trusted content creators or role models who positively inspire and motivate their customers and align with their brand values. Authenticity and credibility are more important than ever.
Shift the focus - Rather than focussing marketing efforts purely on sales, we encourage brands to dedicate resources to growing deeper personal connections, trust and brand love.
Demonstrating empathy, humour and generosity goes a long way.
Content doesn’t need to be professionally produced (in fact, often the more natural, raw and uncut the better) - but it does need to be well planned.
Connect with your community - Let’s face it, we all need a little support at the moment. Take this opportunity to build and expand relationships with your industry peers and local communities.
Show kindness, give where you can and share people’s personal triumphs. After all, we’re all in this together.
Reinvent and innovate - Question how you do what you do, bring consumers new alternatives, new value and, in the process, reinvent your own brand. Don’t let innovation stop, this could be the window of opportunity.
Find your USP and develop the right messaging and paths to execute.
Educate and motivate - Keep your customers mentally stimulated and offer valuable insights into the industry, what you do best, your team and what success looks like to your brand.
Reflect on what you can offer the younger generation by creating aspirational content and continuing industry dialogue.
So, whilst the future is uncertain, people’s consumption of both traditional and social media is greater than ever.
Maintain communication, keep your consumers engaged, try to find opportunity amongst the chaos and stay optimistic, because there will be a happy ending for us all.