COVID19 has had a major impact on how businesses have been presenting themselves in the past month. Crisis management has always been treated as a worst-case scenario marketing plan. But this virus has proved how essential it is for the brands to brace themselves for a challenge – It isn’t a matter of if. It is a matter of when and how you will respond. And crisis can put the tenuous alignment of your sales and marketing organizations to the test.
If handled badly, news and bad media can now go viral on social media in a matter of minutes which can have extremely damaging consequences for any brand. Such social media mistakes have happened in forms of an ill-timed post, poorly thought out joke, or a planned marketing campaign that has to be delayed infinitely. External and internal communication
Any gaps in communication with the media can be the worst possible move. Communicating with the media is good when done early. That is accomplished through regular updates of incremental progress with a relentless pursual of the facts.
Internal communication is one of the key aspects of keeping all your stakeholders calm and collected with proper information flow. Brief managers and all employees with how they can communicate about your brand externally. You also don’t want word-of-mouth rumors and PR disasters about your brand.
Social media marketing
Social media is a great tool for every brand’s expression. It is unwise for brands to halt campaigns and content posting completely. What happens once your brand comes out of this crisis? Are you going to lose the momentum you gained over the past few months with hard work? Instead of a complete halt, the brand needs to pivot its strategy.
What should you be pausing? – Scheduled posts that occurred before the event/ PR disaster, paid campaigns that could point out your brand as being insensitive and marketing emails (wise to stay low for a while).
Tips to salvage a social media disaster
If the situation seems dire, acknowledge and issue a quick public apology. In an environment where you are giving updates to the market or press every few hours or seeing an unfolding situation that is likely to take months to resolve, it can be tempting to lean on one-way communications, but that can also damage trust and undermine the ongoing effectiveness of the crisis management.
Business Planning for Future Growth
The current situation demands that your brand has to respond to COVID-19 pandemic with the right messaging – for eg, if you are a travel brand, do not encourage your audience to travel or visit exotic places. It is also important that you don’t get tunnel vision when it comes to your marketing strategy and ad money.
Pivot, pivot, pivot (Ross Geller) – While this is not an ideal scenario for your brand, consumers are spending more time online than ever. While some brands have been feeling constrained, the scope for content is huge since consumers are deliberately seeking out content that could keep them entertained during this self-isolation period.
Do not thrust marketing on your audience that pushes them to make long-term decisions. Through such campaigns, your conversion rate will suffer during the outbreak. The same content and ads that raked in customers and traffic before the pandemic will not work currently.
It is completely okay to mention the current pandemic in your content. Is your product or service helping the current situation in any way? Some brands have done an incredible job in keeping up audience’s interests.
Bru, for instance, picked up on the recent viral craze on social media – Dalgona coffee and did a fantastic job by collaborating with influencers.
Another day, another one of our favourites, Nisha Ganesh just Bru’d herself a Bru Dalgona Coffee! Have you tried this delicious creamy coffee already? Tag us and watch us share your lip-smacking dalgona coffees on our stories. Watch @prettysunshine28 prepare her version of #brudalgonacoffee : https://www.instagram.com/p/B-rUBAADbdq/?igshid=zzlfc6y6lxuq
A post shared by Bru Coffee India (@brucoffeein) on Apr 7, 2020 at 4:10am PDT
Influencers resorting to live stream
No influencer out there has stopped creating content. During our conversation with Aswathi Balakrishnan , she talks about how important it is for influencers to not get lazy and give up on their current feed.
“Live streaming platform, Twitch, saw a rise in viewership of 10% during the weekend of March 14th, as viewers increase time spent on gaming and other forms of digital entertainment.”
Live streams, which were initially used to promote content on Instagram, has now become an influencer and brand favorite. This lockdown has both audience and influencers alike looking to make human connections. So it comes as no surprise that a surge of this type of content happening online. Live streaming platform, Twitch, saw a rise in viewership of 10% during the weekend of March 14th, as viewers increase time spent on gaming and other forms of digital entertainment.
Fitness influencers have capitalized on this lockdown extensively by creating content and live sessions. Even big brands like Cure.fit have collaborated with huge influencers like Mandira Bedi, Mary Kom, Yasmin Karachiwala and Vijender Singh to create content for their platform.
Not only brands, but the World Health Organisation enlisted a number of global influencers for the ‘Safe Hands Challenge’ – its campaign to encourage people across the world wash their hands properly in the fight against coronavirus.
I accept the #SafeHands challenge 🧼@DrTedros. One of the main takeaways from our IG live chat yesterday was the importance of washing your hands properly. It’s a simple action that can help save lives and flatten the curve. And here's a song to ensure you're doing this for at least 20 seconds.🎵 co-written by @nickjonas. I nominate @katebosworth, @mindykaling, @nickjonas, @parineetichopra and @amitabhbachchan. Namaste 🙏🏽
A post shared by Priyanka Chopra Jonas (@priyankachopra) on Mar 25, 2020 at 1:03pm PDT
The #StayHome video challenge has also been doing the rounds among influencers. A lot of brands have happily collaborated with influencers in these tough times to promote initiatives through their services, spread positive messages and generate funds for those in need as well.
Regardless of the circumstances, marketing has always evolved through ages. Which brand is creating content that you like? Do let us know below in the comments section and start a conversation with us about which brand has helped you the most in these tough times. You can also visit our website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages to reach out to us.