As upsetting as it may sound, it took an entire pandemic for businesses to begin focussing on relationships over social media. Brands have recognized the volatile situation in the post-COVID or post-lockdown scenario where the internet still seems to be the only space not bound to quarantine. “We are witnessing what will surely be remembered as a historic deployment of remote work and digital access to services across every domain,” remarked one tech CEO. With no apparent cure to the virus, times may seem hopeless but the new normal brings new opportunities to explore.
- Recheck your goal
The new normal demands a new course of action. Campaigns that would have otherwise been a hit will probably be a miss now. It is time that brands recheck their goals and create a fresh mindset. An adequate plan to action with steps to resolve and reimagine their business model will not only place businesses in a better position to confront the challenges but also explore the upcoming opportunities. The most favourable move as stated by McKinsey would be, “action over research, and testing over analysis.”
The most important change that all businesses must incorporate is shifting to e-commerce. This shift was inevitable but the virus has hastened the process. “Every business is now a technology business, and what matters most is a deep understanding of the customer, which is enabled by technology,” remarked a retail CEO. Adaptability is the key and companies must be quick to adapt to the digital platforms and come up with digital solutions. For some retailers, it may mean coming up with a smooth e-business experience, enabling clients to explore, research, purchase, return and avail all other services over the internet. For the aviation industry, it would include enabling safety measure with contactless and possibly online check-in, boarding and other experiences.
- Optimism is the Key
It is only natural that in such trying times, people seek positivity and upliftment. More mindfulness and empathy are expected from businesses rather than being insensitive opportunists. One would expect that as opposed to depending on product push strategies, brands will incline toward sympathetic communication. It is unethical to exploit the situation, hoard and sell essential goods. Brands must reach out to their audience and offer clear and systematic method of how the current situation will affect the manner in which they avail your products/services. The easiest channel to address any myths or rumours and communicate supportive words is digital platforms. A number of brands have launched missions to support the ones in need. Offering back to the society is truly a positive development and with social media platforms these charitable acts reach out to a larger base of people. Providing aid in whichever way it relates to your business will surely leave an impact.
Audiences are definitely avoiding anything related to risks, infections and sanitizers. Instead are looking to cheer up with fresh positive content. John Krasinski’s YouTube series ‘Some Good News’ had over 70 million views in mid-May. As the actor himself puts it, “It was so much fun to celebrate good things during this really weird time.” A digital marketing strategy incorporating optimism is sure to go a long way.
- Create a community
With no social contact, people are desperate to connect with others in any way possible. A digital community allows brands to connect with their consumers on a deeper level. Google trends shows a spike in ‘watch party’ searches since mid-March which further shows people’s desire to connect with each other. Marketers would do well if they can create a community with innovative content. It would generate comforting spirits and overcome the feeling of loneliness during tough times. Statistics by Marketing Dive show that 42% of the millennials are “bored” and looking for content described as “fun”. Marketers must explore innovative ways to engage with the community rather than being a constant reminder of the morose circumstances.
There is an abundance of technological facilities on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, Google and LinkedIn that brands can utilise to connect with the audience. Collaborating with popular content creators over these digital platforms has become a popular trend. Many restaurants have come up with virtual cooking classes and tutorials. Sharing recipes and live cooking shows is a wonderful way to engage with the audience. Although gyms have reopened, many are still not willing to enter a gym. This apprehension may continue until a vaccine is developed. However, many fitness institutions have come up virtual training sessions and yoga classes over Zoom.
In moments of crisis, what genuinely matters becomes clearer- health. Although the economy has started to recover and business operations have already begun, adequate safety measures must be kept in mind which still involves social surveillance. Social media marketing remains effective during this time of crisis and will also remain at the forefront of post COVID. If you are a business unable to cope with the circumstances, now is the best time to hire a professional digital marketing agency.
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