Marketing is hard enough during the best of times, requiring research, communication skills and a great platform or medium to market through. But during a virus pandemic? Now there’s a real challenge. Truthfully, we all want to be thoughtful and measured in our messaging during such an unprecedented climate, but also continue marketing so that our businesses can remain strong. We’ve put together some simple ideas you can implement in your marketing campaigns to help you market effectively and thoughtfully in the midst of the unique challenges this situation brings.
First, think about your choice of words. This is perhaps the most important factor to consider right now, but luckily, it might also be the easiest place to affect change in your marketing efforts. It’s of paramount importance that we use appropriate language when talking about our products and services during times of fear and financial strain. Think about word choice, and strictly avoid using phrases or jargon that could be associated even tangentially with illness or death. No “killer deals,” no “contagious products,” no promises of going “viral.” Customers may be turned off by the apparent insensitivity. Additionally, monitor the tone of your advertisements to ensure you don’t seem out of touch with the reality people are dealing with in real time. Reach for a reverent, considerate tone that reminds customers that you’re there for them to engage with, not a hurried or excited tone that seems to overlook problems they might be facing.
Put simply, err on the side of caution with your marketing language. Get branded as trying to “capitalize” on a crisis and marketing strategy will be the least of your worries.
But there’s more to be done than just avoiding poorly worded ideas or an inappropriate tone. Think outside the box, and reflect on how much your customers mean to your company and its employees. Find a way to be encouraging, and remind your customers that you value the relationship you have with them. Remind them that your business is still standing, and that it’s here to meet their needs now and going forward just as it has in the past. If you can strike a balance between encouragement and sympathy with a clear message of reassurance and determination, your customers will know they can place their faith in your business, come what may.
It’s also important to consider which of your products to “lean” on during this time. Consider the scope of your products and services. Which ones are the most “essential?” Which ones are staples to your customer base? Create marketing content with your bread-and-butter products that customers need the most – that’s putting your best foot forward. If you can offer discounted prices or other perks during this time as a show of customer appreciation, all the better. Also consider prioritizing convenience, comfort and ease-of-use in your marketing, since many customers are looking for any little break from the harsh realities of financial instability or a frightening news cycle.
Finally, don’t forget about community. Whether it’s found in a sprawling city or a small country town, remember the importance of community. If your business can do something to help your community, whether through deeds, donations or simple reassurance and encouragement, that just might prove to be a more valuable marketing tactic than all the content you can write.