The coronavirus happened to everyone, and plans went out the window.
At this point, it is okay to not know it all. It is fine to not know what the next step will be. No one will blame you for wanting to pull back and regroup too.
But then, your consumers and clients are facing the same storm too. We know that you have your challenges as a business right now, but you can be the shining light for them while you are trying to find your way back to normalcy too.
To do so would be to ask the following four questions.
What do We Say?
This is a very important question to ask.
These are sensitive times. A lot of people have been infected with the coronavirus from all over the world, and we are seeing deaths in record numbers daily. You must choose your words wisely to ensure your message is not seen as trivializing what’s happening.
Already, we have seen brands start pulling spots that they had on well before this pandemic gained ground. To them and the public, the messages in those spots were not suitable enough for the current clime, and they did well to take it away before they generated negative comments.
So, what do you say then?
This is where you do some soul-searching, so to speak.
Look at the clients that you serve, and consider how the pandemic might have affected them. Do some digging into what they do, and how their lives have had to change since they stopped doing such things.
From your point of view, look at what the disruption of your services might have caused to them too. Of course, they understand that it is nothing within your control, but it would be thoughtful of you to make mention of that in your message.
While we hope against this situation lasting longer than this, we also want to prepare for anything. Thus, make sure your message is one that you can stick through for this period and beyond.
This is one lesson we can learn from Nike who has quickly adopted the ‘Play inside, play for the world’ slogan. While they still support your dreams, like they always have done, they are also asking us all to be responsible for social distancing.
Who Do We Say It To?
Does this sound like the question with a straightforward answer? Well, congratulations.
You know that your consumers are the ones that deserve to hear from you at this time. However, that is just one-third of the people that you should reach with your message.
Of course, your clients and consumers will love to hear from you. One thing you might not have considered is that this pandemic has shown us all how we must come together as one to fight a common enemy. That is why you should reach out to even those outside of your target market with this message.
When marketing and creating content, the aim is to generate leads. If possible, please do not make this the core of your messaging to the non-clients of your brand. As much as you can, operate on a neutral ground. All you want is for them to come out of this fine, hale, hearty, happy and ready to move on as we build a better world.
That said, we have just covered two-thirds of who your message should go out to. The last section goes to your employees.
Best believe that many brands are making the mistake of only caring about the accounts they have on hand, and not the people working to make these accounts happen. They might show up to their remote work stations looking like they are ready to fire on all cylinders, but they have inner raging flames which they are trying to quench too.
As a business, it is your place to reach out to even them.
Let them know you see them. Let them know that they are appreciated. Let them know that they do not take the back seat in all of your plans. Above all, let them know that you are with them through the thick-and-thins too.
What Can We Offer Right Now?
Besides what you say, think also what you can do to better the situation.
You don’t have to go all out and start making ventilators like Tesla if you don’t have the resources for that. You also do not need to send shipments worth millions of dollars to countries.
You can focus on your immediate environment alone and you would still make an impact.
As safely as you can manage, help sensitize those that you can reach on how to practice safe social distancing. Let them know how the isolation period is for their good and that of the world too.
This is the time to reinforce to them that they can be heroes if they would stay at home. Of course, that might not be easy for those who have to work daily to make a living, but being a hero never came easy too.
Likewise, if you can make a difference with relief packages to those that need it, please do. Again, this is not a branding or marketing campaign, but the human side of your business coming to the fore.
In all you do, make sure you do not forget your members of staff too.
How Can We Reach Them?
It would be very irresponsible of you, as a business, to preach what you won’t practice. In other words, this is not the time to reach out to your audience in groups. Stay away from them physically unless it is very needed – like in the case of the relief packages which we mentioned up there.
Since everyone is at home right now, social media is a nice tool to leverage. If you have not been using your social media channels for a while, now is the time to dust it up and get it active again. Engage with the audience and let them know that your ear is never far away.
You can even use your credible voice to allay fears, dismiss fake news and reinforce the credible ones. Only if you have the means to make that happen, though.
Your email list should not suffer at this time too.
Many companies have started sending multiple messages to their leads too, so make sure your message is not just another one of the bunch. Nothing sales-y, but something unique anyways.
Go be their Hero
We can say it again that this is not an easy time for anyone, so you have to be strong to be there for anyone else. If there is a time to step up though, it is now.
Put in mind that people might not remember what you have been doing for them when the going was good, but they will remember your efforts – or lack thereof – when things put up a bleak front.
Do any of these trends jump out?
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