Digital Marketing during COVID-19: Agam Chaudhary, CMO, Digitalabs
How your brand rises through all of this storm is the way your values and morals will be tested and established writes Agam Chaudhary.
It caught us blindsided, didn't it? One moment things were normal, and just in a matter of weeks, a certain virus has hit the pause button on the world until further notice. COVID-19 hit the world and the economy like a truck on the highway and we are all trying to find our foot in this mayhem. People worldwide are coping in their own ways, whether it is by doing 100 push-ups or making banana bread. However, if you are a business owner or a marketeer, the concerns are a little wider than staying safe and missing the outdoors. The future of your business and also of the employees lay on your sanitized hands. There is no rulebook or manual in the world which prepares you for something like this. On top of keeping your employees and your brand afloat in these turbulent times, being present and relatable to your clients is still equally pertinent, more so now than ever before!
Your approach in Digital Marketing for your brand needs to be handled tactfully. How your brand rises through all of this storm is the way your values and morals will be tested and established.
This is unlike any other crisis and tiny nuances like setting the wrong tone or saying the wrong thing can put your brand in the wrong light. If you happen to rub your clients the wrong way now, they will always remember and will hold it against you. Let us go through some of the things which will help your brand not only survive, but potentially thrive amidst the crisis.
Empathy is your friend
Whether your brand has a stoic personality or a strictly formal one, it all goes out the window in times like this. COVID-19 is a global crisis, not a mere inconvenience. Showing empathy and your brand’s vulnerable side is not something that you should avoid doing. It will let the customers see the humane side of the brand. Businesses must move forward but the key is to do so with genuine empathy. Keeping the communication doors open, reiterating that you understand their concerns and that the concerns are valid, and being a beacon of understanding in these dark times, this is something which is priceless and will bring in brand loyalty as a result. This is the time to proactively monitor the changes in customer behaviors and their purchasing needs and step up accordingly. Brands need to shift their digital marketing priorities towards certain advocacies that will help improve the lives of their consumers, while also safeguarding their employees' well-being.
Match pace with the new normal
Some say things will never go back to normal, while others say some version of social distancing will continue until 2022. This is the new normal. Some versions of the physical and mental impact of COVID-19 will forever change the consumer landscape, and rather than selling the idea of, ‘when the world goes back to normal’, the brands should rather make peace with this new normalcy. Don't be surprised if the old rulebook, the old marketing bible doesn't work anymore, understandably enough. Everything from your communication channels, your brand persona, to your product strategy might need a revisit so that it can coexist in the same world as COVID-19 did.
People are browsing, and scrolling and liking more now than ever before. People are looking for entertainment, wishlisting things, window-shopping in the e-commerce aisles. If there was a time
to be visible online, this is it! Be seen, and be active, because out of sight is out of mind. If you haven't considered a website or an app until now, get aboard! Or if you are already there, be found and communicate! Use search engine optimization strategies to climb your way to Google's SERPs. Be vocal in social media channels. This is certainly not the time to let the reigns go, because the world is up, and watching!
Brace for Bounce-Back Surge
The world will be back to some version of normal soon. People will purchase again. The markets will see traffic again. Make sure that when that bounce-back strikes, which it will, your brand is ready, all weapons ablaze! This means, prepare now, to be ready for tomorrow. Don't let your strategies go haywire. SEO is a long-term strategy, so trying a campaign now will show results only a few months from now. While social media is all about right-this-second and tomorrow, SEO is a more slow brewing process. We suggest you are prepared for when the market revolves. If you stop the momentum now, you won’t see the results you want. Do your homework. Be prepared. And when the world is set right again, you will see results in your favor.
Special Crisis Offer
What better way to show support than to let your customers know you have their backs? Offering special discounts will not only strengthen the bond, but it will also keep your revenue stream flowing. The key is to first identify your product-market fit, because relevance is important, and create a special offer. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is to not come across as though you are capitalizing on the crisis. Empathy in communication should be consistent, and the offer should not be glorified beyond morals. The truth is while most people are at home, browsing through sites anyways, they are hesitant and even guilty of consuming during a crisis. So the offer should make sense to the customer and not feel like an indulgence.
Digital Marketing is imperative now, more so than ever. The internet is the only thing keeping the people and the markets connected. Coming up with a fool-proof digital marketing strategy can help your brand reserve a special place in the hearts of the customers. The world is going through a huge shift, and being there for each other is the greatest gift one can give right now. Being the lighthouse to your customers during the stormy seas will ensure that you have their trust and loyalty in tomorrow’s calm water.
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