Navigating through this pandemic has had a boatload full of challenges not to mention the uncertainty. We know that there will be a ‘new’ normal slowly shaking out as businesses reopen. We just don’t know what that is going to look like or how rapidly that will evolve. How do you effectively communicate as a brand during the storm?
One mistake I see brands doing during this time is completely pulling back on their marketing. There are still ways to ensure you have content and visibility that won’t upset your budget. Take that team member who is always on Facebook and ask them to start posting to your social media accounts. Chances are their workload has decreased and this would be a good way to give it a small increase. If you’ve furloughed employees, finding a virtual assistant or marketing company who can provide you with a low cost alternative for social media content could also be a feasible strategy.
Expert brand strategist Meghan Lynch with Six-Point Creative, joined us recently on our small business podcast to discuss this topic. Her message was all about empathy and relevancy. Business owners need to think like consumers and identify what they need most right now. Remember, each business owner is also a consumer and the reality of this crisis is that it affects both work and home.
So, what does empathy look like in your marketing? It should address problems consumers are facing. Some local restaurants have offered a roll of toilet paper with a take-out order. They realize that take-out food may not be your highest priority right now but getting TP might be a bit higher on that priority list. It could also take the form of a private Facebook group for clients or employees to answer questions about how changes in your company will affect them. I know of a local nonprofit that did just that.
Besides empathy and relevancy, compassion for your fellow man are another way you can communicate about your brand beyond simply saying we are here during this crisis. State Farm recently announced they were giving back to their customers a 2 billion dollars mutual dividend. Their communication stated that they realized that people were driving less, and this has resulted in less claims. That communication showed immense empathy, relevancy, and a huge amount of compassion. State Farm did the right thing, and in doing so, strengthened an already recognizable brand image that people will remember.
These 3 steps will help you on your way to creating a strategy for the new normal.
- What communication is going out now, how does that need to change?
- How has my company been evolving and how do I share that with our clients?
- Who will send out your communications – reallocate staff, outsource or DIY?