Because of the novel coronavirus, caused by COVID-19, many companies around the world are struggling with the challenge of economic downturn, as well as locked-down cities. However, this can also be a period of great opportunities, as companies like Zoom, Netflix and Amazon have proven.
As a Marketing Consultancy Agency, the team at Mind the Gap are always keeping our ears on the ground, our eyes on the sky and our noses on the ‘scent’ of where things are going, branding-wise, for all our various clients.
These are indeed times of rapid change, so we have compiled a list of best practices that businesses large and small can follow, during this situation.
Here are some of the most important takeaways, leveraging social media:
- Brands doing extra engagement with their customers in this period will be rewarded in the short term, but even more in the long run.
Top Tip — Talk to your customers often, not just about offers, but general engagement, and they will remember you. As most people seek comfort and community, you can be a part of that process, too.
- E-commerce sites should increase the number of emails they send out, following up each order. If a user usually receives one email per order status change, it’s recommended now to send more than one.
Top Tip — Send an email for each delivery step, for example, “we are preparing your shipment”, “your package has left our warehouse”, “your delivery will arrive today”, etc. This will serve to reassure them.
- Ads making claims about health or medical benefits related to coronavirus are penalised by social media, like Facebook. They are using a global network of 3rd party fact-checkers for this purpose.
Top Tip — If your company has health and wellbeing benefits, which can really benefit people’s immune systems, don’t directly (or even indirectly) mention coronavirus or COVID-19 on your Facebook ads.
- It’s not a bad idea to create an article describing how your company is facing the crisis. You can then display an alert on the header of your website, with a link to that article. This is highly recommended.
Top Tip — Most businesses are already doing this, so you can keep your writeup relatively short and to the point. The idea is to show your customers you are aware of the situation, and have taken steps.
- With most businesses going online, creating live videos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is a great chance to connect with customers in a more personal way. It can be a fantastic engagement opportunity.
Top Tip — You can spotlight different team members, to discuss the various ways your brand will focus during the coronavirus situation.
- Companies must show how careful they are in processing the sales logistics, and not just the product manufacturing and packaging. Food brands for example are expected to use many precautions for hygiene, when packing the products, but what about other sectors?
Top Tip — The more reassurance you can give in terms of safety and health practices, the more your customers will trust you and feel safe buying your products. It can be a clear and concise set of guidelines.
- If you can also show how your supply chain works (from source to salepoint) and describe how all processes are kept virus-free, then you have an excellent opportunity to gain the public’s trust this way.
Top Tip — Some industries will have this more difficult, such as cars or electronics, where the parts and assembly may come from around the world. However, having the latter stages kept virus-free helps too.
- Start thinking about a long-term crisis management plan as soon as possible, just in case global governments continue limiting industry production and country-wide lockdowns, to contain the virus spread.
Top Tip — Make the plan as thorough as you can. It won’t be easy without knowing how this situation will go, but it might prove useful.
- For some businesses, this is a good time to renegotiate a different deal with the logistic companies, or to work on the supply chain.
Top Tip — Most people down and up the supply chain, will be scrounging to keep their current work, as well as trying to find new ways to bring in revenue. Maybe there are better deals to be found?
- What about the warehousing strategies: Are supplies big enough to sustain the potential increased demand of users? Today, there are far more people shopping online, than in retail brick and mortar stores.
Top Tip — As mentioned, many companies are thriving because they were already set up as online businesses. This could be you. Make sure your warehouse and other steps of your business are ready for it.
- Is your brand doing anything in the local community to help prevent the spread, or supporting others during the crisis? For example, sending supplies to medical centers, or assisting those less fortunate.
Top Tip — It’s important this is not done for marketing purposes, but to communicate these actions to your customers. That way, those receiving the message will know you’re not taking these measures to show off, but instead to humbly lead the way in these times of chaos.