The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new landscape for brands and branding, and no one is excluded from the impact.
Since March of 2020, when this crisis erupted in the U.S., consumers began to change their spending habits, as job uncertainty and a weakening economy kept them from spending as they had just a month prior.
As consumers became tighter with their dollars, brands learned that they needed to pivot their marketing efforts to build and ensure consumer trust. They also discovered that being there for consumers is a necessity.
Surviving in a pandemic is tough. Thriving during a pandemic is even tougher. If you heed the following advice, you and your brand may likely be able to do both.
How Can You Build Rapport and Brand Affinity via Brand Marketing In COVID?
During this time of devastation, businesses, as well as consumers, are feeling the tightening of budgets.
What does that mean for brands? Sometimes our fight-or-flight reaction tells us to try to save as much as we can across the board. We assume you’ve heard the word “non-essential” thrown around about a million times this year. Many things fall into the “non-essential” category, however, marketing is not one of them.
So, how can you adjust your marketing strategy to pivot during this crisis?
Connect With Your Audience
First, connect with your audience.
Now is NOT the time to go radio silent or give up. Now IS the time to communicate honestly about your brand and keep your consumers in-the-loop with transparent updates.
- 77% of consumers want advertisers to talk about how brands are helping out with everyday life
- 75% of consumers want brands to keep them in the loop about their efforts to “face the situation.”
Brand affinity means building a long-term relationship with your consumers. How is that achieved during COVID? By understanding your customers and speaking to their values during a time that the entire globe is turning inward. These are the brands that will keep their services front and center and top of mind.
Tap Into The Lifeline Of Social Media
This is a very unique time where screen time is going through the roof. We are all in the same boat. TAP INTO the fact that we’re all at home. Now is a time where your message is reaching a group of people who are starving to connect. Don’t leave them hanging on the other end.
Take a look at new platforms or new ways to use familiar platforms. Create reels on Instagram. Write blogs on LinkedIn. Start a podcast. Keep your branding consistent to develop rapport and trust.
Rethink your thought leadership strategy.
Look at brand marketing in COVID, not as a limitation, but rather as a springboard that’s opening up a whole new way to communicate with those in need of your products or services. It is not only an incredible time to connect with customers you already have, but to develop relationships with new customers who may devour content in a different way than your current consumers.
Lean an ear into how the platforms you use are constantly updating. These new features are a perfect opportunity to broaden your reach.
Quit Overthinking. Start Videoing
Video: A fan favorite for as long as we can remember.
It comes down to this: Would you rather your brand see you as a flat piece of paper, or a moving, evolving, glorious masterpiece, exploding with color, life, and a story?
It’s as simple as that. Your viewers want to know who’s behind the screen. This is a time to show your brand identity and brand strategy in living, breathing form. It’s like watching an entire episode of a TV show instead of only getting to look at the cover page. Show that brand voice, loud and proud.
If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that being adaptable pays off.
Show your viewers body language, expression, tone, dare we say it: EMOTION. Show them you’re human and hit them with a compelling message.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, and, no, you don’t have to leave your home.
So, study what kind of content your audience is craving, break out that iPhone, and embody the message and beating heart behind your brand. Written text, while we will always treasure, can only go so far in this day and age!
Video must be in your 2021 marketing strategy.
Find Virtual Events To Take Part In and Network, Network, Network
To write off this time as an “impossible time to network” is just simply untrue, and believing it would be doing a disservice to yourself and your business.
Many in-person events have been canceled, but guess what, the internet isn’t. And it’s always on, always going, with an endless amount of people to connect with on the other end.
So, start researching. Think bigger. What virtual events are going on in your industry? What expertise of yours do you feel that you could publicly speak about online? Find webinars.
Connect with crowds. Practice in front of the mirror and represent your message. Teach others. Learn from others. Laugh at your mistakes (like the times you awkwardly wave goodbye on a Zoom call.)
Join industry groups on Linked in and share your thought leadership strategy content with them!
Dare we say it: Have fun with it. Think less, do more, and find ways to network virtually amid this pandemic!
Maintain Both Consistency + Professionalism
Hey, times are rough. Your face wash hasn’t come in the mail yet, and you haven’t left the house in 16 days and counting. We’re with you.
However, as tempting as it is to allow sloppiness to creep in. Don’t. Keep a routine (as rigid or nonrigid as you’d like), but a routine. We’re all complaining about “normalcy,” right? So, do yourself and your brand a favor, and regain some control by creating your own norm during this abnormal time.
Show up + show out. Be on your Zoom call five minutes early. Feel good about yourself everyday. Maintain consistency + professionalism with yourself, colleagues, clients, and beyond.
Doing this, whether you have a video call or not, will help you have consistency.
The same goes for your workload. Meet your deadlines and do not allow COVID to affect your quality of work.
Stay constant for yourself first and foremost, and then your colleagues, users, viewers. Not doing so could mean leaving a lasting impression of your brand. Try not to look at this as an overbearing amount of pressure, but rather a way to stay healthy in yourself that pours out into your brand as an after effect!
Take any preconceived notions about how you thought your business would be and lovingly toss ‘em in the trash along with all of your empty mini hand sanitizer bottles and single-use surgical masks.
No one could have seen what this year threw our way coming, but evolving with the changes has shown us a special type of resilience we never knew we had.
If you have any questions at all about how to not only survive during this pandemic but thrive, give us a shout because, as a digital marketing agency, we have to admit: We kinda have this whole online thing down pat. Yeah, you could say we have thoroughly practiced, rehearsed, and even, mastered doing our business online.
So, go ahead and bookmark this blog + show your viewers that you aren’t messing around when it comes to brand marketing during COVID.