The past few months have been far from ordinary for any business. Companies, even with thoughtful, developed marketing plans, are being challenged to sort through what to say, how often to say it, who to say it to, and what type of results to expect. Questions that we keep hearing from our clients are: What should we be doing? What should we do differently? What is a new way we can reach our audience without sounding like the same old COVID-19 response?
Let’s look at some ways to approach your communications during these uncertain times.
1: Revisit existing plans with a new lens
How can you connect with your audience during this time with more transparency? We find that the best types of outreach now are ‘open books,’ where audiences can resonate and connect to better understand what you, and by extension they, are going through. For example, sharing safe re-opening ideas for your staff and your audience, detailing how you’ve been helping the community, or ways that your company has pivoted to meet the needs and demands of the moment.
2. Find out where your audience is now
Your audience may not be readily accessible in their usual places, like trade shows or networking events. You will need to dig deeper to better understand their concerns and changing communication medium. Connect via webinars, online trainings, social media forums – the places they would find helpful – and either show up there or extract some helpful info to share with them.
3. Unite your community
If it’s possible, unite your community of customers or conjure up collective opinions and thoughts to share new ideas. Hearing and sharing what others in similar situations are thinking and feeling can bring collective insight and stability. If you’re able to facilitate those connections and form new communities, that can prove to be a valuable and lasting resource.
We’ve recently seen an example of this with one of our clients. Together, we created a survey and sent it to their full network, asking critical questions about predictions moving forward. While no answers were revealed or expected outside of our clients’ internal use, their audience responded in detail, and found the themes to be beneficial toward understanding paths and plans for moving forward.
4. Embrace the human side of your brand
Perhaps most importantly, now more than ever, clients can embrace the human side of their brand. People crave connection and authenticity. It can come in unusual and unexpected forms, such as videos of your team working together on a Zoom call, a more casual interview format, or sharing something personal. Now’s the time to try a novel approach and strive to be memorable. If you can share your brand personality in relatable, idiosyncratic, and even vulnerable terms, you will be more likely remembered fondly once the pandemic is over.
Here are some examples of our clients and other brands successfully embracing their personal side.