Marketing Through COVID-19: What People Don’t Need To Hear On Social

May 27, 2020

If there’s one thing Black Mirror has taught us, it’s that invasive ads aren’t the way to go. Especially not in a situation that requires careful messaging i.e. in a world that’s been largely hovering on the pause button ever since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your consumers’ lifestyles and needs have changed, and homebound consumption is the new normal. Accordingly, brands will have to take a step into the customer’s world to figure out what messaging is appropriate for the situation at hand.

This includes changing up marketing strategies, and adopting the right tones for your messaging. It isn’t business-as-usual, even though more people are spending time on social media.

Rather than hopping on the bandwagon and coming up with quirky, irrelevant ads, it’s important that you portray your products or services in a way that’s highly relevant and helpful for your consumers now.

But marketing in the time of a pandemic also doesn’t have to be dreary. It doesn’t mean that all of your marketing efforts should be canned, or that all your content should reflect the depressive state of the economy.

Currently, the best are value-adding to the conversation by using their platform to provide friendly reminders to social distance, for example, or disseminating other helpful information.

Here are some tips you could use to guide you when planning your content strategy!

💪 Avoid pushing your product into the limelight

We’re no stranger to fast and responsive websites, and chatbots are no exception.

The worst thing brands can do now is appear to be cashing in on a crisis. At best, your brand might appear insensitive, and at worst, your consumers might consider you aloof and tone-deaf to the current situation. 

Ideally, your messaging should be emotionally resonant and speak to your consumers’ needs in this time of crisis. 

While it may go against its usual creative flair, try to keep your copywriting from being too casual or sounding too witty and humorous. It’s better to come off as being too serious than to seem too lighthearted and dismissive! A positive, inspirational tone should be what you’re aiming for in this case.

Copywriters have to choose their words more carefully now, too. Words like “take advantage,” “opportunity,” and “profit” might be deemed inappropriate, so be extra careful when you think about using them!

💬 Instead of just saying, actually do

If you have products and services that could help people, do offer your help to make things a little easier for everyone.

If your brand is only contributing to the noise and not really doing anything that could benefit people, you might be doing yourself a disservice in the long run, since companies are actively using their services to provide aid to people or customers in general.

Now is the time to focus on brand-building, instead of short term sales goals. Have your consumers’ interests in mind and see how your business can truly provide for them during this time! Think about the true benefits you can provide that will make people’s lives better.

🎁 Use your platform to value-add to the community

Organise and adapt your marketing around their changing needs. It’s a time for value-adding.

Think about how you can use your influence as a brand to offer real benefits to your audience, like how Nike is pushing out Public Service Announcement styled ads encouraging people to stay home!

👌 Adopt an appropriate tone

People are looking at how brands are handling the crisis, and it’s important that your messaging comes across as confident but not dismissive, and definitely not panicky.

The tone that you should be looking for is calm and reassuring. You should make your consumers feel like you’re ready and available to help! These posts by IKEA and HP Singapore are good examples.

But also, not all of your content has to be sombre. Positivity goes a long way, and sharing content about how you’re taking effort to protect your staff, or sharing stories about how you’re helping the relief efforts could give people the optimism they need to tide through this difficult time!

That’s all for now! We hope we got your creative juices flowing with this article, if not, we have some to spare. Need some ideas on how you can spice up your next campaign? Your competitor’s market share getting you down? Got a great product that you know would sell if people just knew about it?

Get in touch with the most creative minds on the 6th level of Delta House! In the meantime, take a look at some of our past works for a little inspiration.

About the Author

Nicholas Chen

Nicholas Chen

With a background in the editorial industry, Nicholas has written for some of Singapore's leading web publications including The Smart Local and Tech in Asia. He now works with Clickr to provide clients with localised social media content solutions and strategies to fulfil business goals. He believes in providing users with high quality and relevant content through data-driven processes to deliver the best results for campaigns. He believes in providing users with high quality and relevant content through data-driven processes to deliver the best results for campaigns.