Digital Marketing During Coronavirus

Since the first confirmed case in Wuhan in early January, the world has watched as the coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across the globe. As the number of confirmed cases increase, the severity of the virus’s ability to spread is felt by everyone. As families continue to hunker down and practice social distancing, brands have the opportunity to lend a helping hand, make life a little easier, and even distract people from the hysteria by adding value through ways of content, special offers, services and volunteering.

How brands are giving back

While the coronavirus has created unforeseeable hurdles for brands to overcome, many have found creative ways to use this time to give back and use their resources for the greater good. CVS, for example, has waived delivery expenses for medical supplies for those who are unable to leave their home. Uhaul has allowed displaced college students to occupy storage spaces for free for up to 30 days. Schools across the country have set up food pickups to help out families in need. Ford has stopped auto production and is offering payment assistance to potential buyers and current owners. Ford and GM are both looking to help with the medical supply shortage, by producing medical equipment. Tesla also answered the call by donating and shipping ventilators they purchased from China, to California. In NYC, Hertz is providing free car rentals for health-care workers in an effort to help nurses and doctors distance themselves and avoid public transportation.

Supplies aren’t the only way brands are giving back. With social isolation forcing parents and children to be at home, some brands are using visual content to entertain and lighten the mood. Fiona, everyone’s favorite hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo, is being featured in a “Live Safari” which has occupied the attention of kids and even many adults. Contrastingly, Pornhub is offering its premium service in Italy, for free? Loom, a video-recording and sharing service, has given free access to teachers so they can continue to teach kids while away from the classroom. Yale has even offered a free course centered around happiness and enjoying the simple things in life.

With what feels like the whole nonessential world working from home, now is the time to leverage increased screen time and build brand awareness with content that is relevant and serves a purpose.

How Brands should adjust digital marketing strategy

So what do we know as of right now? Industry conferences, sporting events, and face-to-face interactions are all being shutdown, cancelled, or moved to digital means. With what feels like the whole nonessential world working from home, now is the time to leverage increased screen time and build brand awareness with content that is relevant and serves a purpose.

Promote Corporate Social Responsibility

Now is the time to let your brands’ Corporate Social Responsibility shine? Like the brands mentioned before, giving back and providing aid will promote brand awareness and build brand equity, plus doing the right thing always feels good. And we can all use some of that right now.

Create Relevant Content

Moving forward with scheduled campaigns aren’t going to create a reaction or connection with current or potential customers. Brands need to stay relevant and create content that acknowledges the coronavirus and offers something that can ease the pain, boredom of being in isolation, or make life a little more tolerable in the short term. Ben and Jerry’s Jerusalem ran an advertisement that acknowledges how boring isolation can get, but with a delicious bowl of ice cream, all seems right again.

Utilize High Traffic Channels to Connect with Followers

While social and digital spend may feel like the last thing your brand should do, impressions have never been more cost effective with increased screen time globally. A recent research study conducted by IZEA insights, found that 66% of social media users believe their usage will increase amid isolation. Consumers are going to spend more time watching video-content. Brands able to curate video content in a short turnaround will benefit greatly from this. Video-content is engaging and captures your audience’s attention as they scroll through their feed. Leveraging video on YouTube, IGTV, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok will allow you keep brand awareness on the radar.

Engage with Followers

Use your social channels to tell your brand’s story and keep your followers updated. We all have a story to tell during these uncertain, unpredictable times (if you’re stuck at home). Keeping your followers informed of your current state and responding to comments will allow you to stay connected with your followers, create lasting relationships, and allow them to engage with your brand. If your company sent workers home, yet you are still operating, be sure to keep them up-to-date and let them know you are still in business.

Stay Positive

The Coronavirus has affected everyone in some way, shape, or form. While the end may not be in sight just yet, companies and individuals who go the extra mile by giving back, helping out, and making times easier, will not go unnoticed. Do not underestimate the power of staying positive?

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