COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s shopping habits. Thus, businesses need to re-evaluate their advertising, marketing, and social media strategies. Companies cannot keep on passing coronavirus related posts. Neither can they continue with old messaging and pretend all is well. Firms need a plan that can strike the right balance. Here’re aspects that can help in shaping a perfect strategy.
The conversation needs to be about “Them”
Businesses need to make money for survival. But, focusing on KPIs may not work during the pandemic. Everything that did work before the arrival of the epidemic may not be relevant today.
People may not be in a position to buy anything due to their economic condition. So, rather than selling, the goal should be maintaining relationships with consumers. Such a strategy can help a brand be the buyer’s first choice once they open their wallet.
Using social media influencers
Studies have also pointed out that people look for fun on social media. They wish to distract themselves from the COVID-19 situation seriousness.
Older social media users show interest in the content that they earlier looked at as silly. Now, they find the same content entertaining. Gen Z users prefer content with emotional messages. Thus, social media strategists need to change the company’s messages. Offer light messages that take the audience away from their difficulties.
A study conducted by Kantar Group on video ads highlights exciting insights. Video content can provide the highest-engagement. Audiences seek ads that are far away from reality. But, too much humor can be inappropriate. And this is where micro-influencers can prove to be useful. Engaging micro-influencers can be the best option to keep audiences engaged. Nielsen’s research highlighted that people trust micro-influencers more than movie stars. Thus, they offer the most credible and authentic form of advertising. Micro-influencers also form an excellent relationship with followers.
A shift from “Me” to “We”
Individualism and collectivism have contrasting dimensions. The latter focuses on the significance of community and group goals. Individualism, as the word implies, is about self achievements and personal freedom.
For ages, people in the east (Africa and Asia) tend to be collectivist. And, the population in the west shows individualistic behavior. But, it appears the coronavirus pandemic has improved social solidarity in the west. People are willing to unite, collaborate, and serve the needy ones. The shift from “Me” to “We” has an impact on customer behavior. The sense of community has increased. Thus, ads and messages about products and services need to be community-focused. Messages need to highlight how buyers should share products and services with others. The brand activity needs to portray prosocial behavior.
Don’t slash the social media marketing budget
The coronavirus fear, lockdowns, and movement restrictions have forced people to work online. They are engaging, spending more time on social media than before. Social networking sites offer a space to interact, find inspiration, and get entertained.
Global-Web-Index conducted a survey focusing on social media usage during the pandemic. The study’s findings highlighted a 10.5% rise in social media usage between July 2019 and July 2020. Both men and women rated social media usage as their second most popular online activity. People showed interest in new brands and entertainers during the time spent online.
Social media platforms have replaced social gatherings. From dance poses, baby photos to push-up challenges, people show interest in everything. They wish to escape from COVID-19 related news and discussions.
Stats released by J.P. Morgan suggest that FB Messenger saw an increase of 50 percent. Considerable numbers of users happen to be from areas affected most by the virus. Video and voice calling usage doubled on WhatsApp as well as Messenger. Group calling saw a spike of 1,000%. Twitter reported an increase in daily active users by 23 percent compared to last year. Snapchat and Pinterest also saw a similar hike in user activities. Thus, reducing the social media marketing budget is not a good idea. People may forget the brand if they do not see it during their social media conversations.
Adjust ad spend according to the new peak hours
As most people are working from home, social media peak times have changed. Earlier, the timeframe between 7 PM and 9 PM showed surges. Now, the window is between 10 AM and 12 PM.
Most users prefer relaxing during the evening after working online throughout the day. So, brands should try reaching their demographic during the morning. It is advisable to check when your target audiences are online. Keep track of social media trends. Adjust content distribution and ads according to the target market’s peak hours.
Social media messages about initiatives
Market research firm 4As conducted a study on what customers prefer to hear from brands. It highlighted that people show a keen interest in how firms are helping communities. Buyers want to make sure companies follow proper on-premise cleaning procedures. Respondents also focused on the initiatives taken by firms to help employees. Thus, firms should ensure their social media messages focus on these initiatives.
Focus on products that the world needs
Some nations have made it mandatory for firms to produce essential items. So, several companies worldwide have tweaked their product portfolio. Firms are giving priority to face masks, hand sanitizers, personal protective equipment. Auto giants have joined hands with medical companies for developing respiratory care devices. Brand’s social media messages should focus on these products.
The pandemic has caused a recession in some countries. Both small and large businesses are facing liquidity issues. Several people are in financial distress. Thus, companies are doing their part by helping consumers facing economic challenges. They are waiving-off late payment fees, product delivery charges, cancellation fees. It is advisable to share details about these benefits on social networking sites. Doing so can ensure the most number of customers can benefit.
People will continue working from home for a year more. Thus, focusing on these eight aspects can work in favor of business.