The rapidly spreading coronavirus is causing major disruption, dominating the online space, where the world has come together to share information, stories, even memes on social media.
Just a few days ago, Starbucks was communicating on how people can play their augmented reality game, Starland, to win prizes or the potential to be entered into a raffle to win a greater prize; today Starbucks is communicating about how caring for its community remains their top priority.
The team prepared coffee for travelers, with personalised messages of thanks and encouragement, to bring comfort to COVID-19 front-line responders in these times of uncertainty.
Brands are under quarantine, their messages are changing. The brand’s purpose and focus are more evident than ever. Here are some thoughts for brands to navigate this social journey amidst those harrowing times:
You have to know your brand's purpose and focus, and listen to what your audiences are saying. Think of the positive impact your brand can make to help in those times or lead by example where it makes sense for your business. Know your brand values, be authentic in your approach and consider ways where your brand can help, ways where your actions truly match your vision.
Your brand’s tone of voice is key during those times in every communication asset. Assess your organic social and paid content, social media posts, product content, emailer content, influencer partnerships among others. Empathy, transparency and understanding are key and will go a long way, hence make sure you listen to what your audience is saying and how you can reflect that in your content strategy and communicate openly.
In these unprecedented times, we are submerged with information everyday, ranging from state measures, relief plans, social schemes for small businesses, unemployment benefits and so much more. It can be very helpful for people to find all useful content in a single hub - that makes your brand useful and supportive.
Keep monitoring the analytics; social listening is a fast and easy way to see how brands are engaging with their audiences. Review your brand’s mentions, find out about your peers’ mentions and observe how they are reacting / engaging, scan social feeds of your industry and study the engagement approach to help you revisit your content.
Modular content only works when bits and pieces are blended to ultimately lead to a unique journey for customers. Now that all the earned media opportunities are focused on the pandemic, brands can start spending more time on a long-term strategy and think of designing their owned content assets (infographics, podcasts, storytelling, teasers, blog posts, whitepapers, etc.) that will be relevant in the long-run to organise their brand conversations around new needs / behaviours and/or focus on evolving consumer mindsets.
These are harrowing times and brands have an opportunity to make a positive impact. Hoping these few thoughts will be useful as you navigate through the pandemic to make a positive difference for your business and stakeholders, and ultimately survive a brand quarantine.