It seems that all anyone is talking about right now is CoronaVirus (COVID-19).
Globally it is filling the news headlines and our social media feeds. There’s good news, bad news, fake news and a lot of general ‘WTF are we supposed to be doing right now?’ feeling in the air.
If you are a small business owner, or a marketer in any company, there’s the added layer of questioning around - how should we be marketing right now. SHOULD we even be marketing right now?
Firstly, yes. You should absolutely be continuing your marketing right now. The financial and economical impact that loss of revenue or businesses shutting down could have, may linger far beyond the actual health crisis. So you need to ensure that consumers who CAN continue to buy do, and that those who don’t still build a relationship with your brand through this time.
So how DO you market to customers, in a time like this?
If you happen to be a toilet paper or hand sanitiser product, lucky for you fear has done the marketing for you.
For the rest of us, we might just need to get creative. Be sensitive. But get creative.
So what kind of brands/products should be doubling down on marketing right now?
1. What products are essential to consumers when they are ‘self-isolating’?
- Connectivity and Productivity Products - phones, internet, devices/AV, apps, home office supplies.
- Kitchen items - food, coffee, appliances/gadgets, prep & storage items, styling (flowers, tea towels etc).
- Pet supplies - both food and entertainment.
- Health + Wellness
- Home workouts
- Arts + crafts
- Streaming services
- Wine 🍷
- Interior styling - plants, artwork, linen
- Gifts - flowers, dessert boxes, gift vouchers, stationery, photo gifts, anything to lighten the mood!
What channels should you leverage?
When it comes to the ‘where’ you should invest your time and money, these are our top picks:
1. Think social
More than ever, consumers are on their mobile phones, their most personal device. People are turning to these devices seeking information, entertainment and connection. Be where they are. Ensure you have a continued stream of organic content on your social channels that balances both value and product information.
Media consumption has reportedly risen 300% across some social media channels, which means the eyeballs are there for the taking. Long form and video content will have particular cut-through as people spend more time on their devices.
2. Think influencers
Influencers are being looked to more and more as an example to the rest of the world on how to think, act and what to buy. And influencers are TRUSTED. People choose to follow them to hear their thoughts & perspective on multiple topics. Engaging with the right (read: do your homework first on their audience so you don’t waste money!) influencers to talk about your brand and how it’s keeping them sane through this time is a softer way to encourage sales, rather than directly from a brand.
Know any influencers in your niche self-isolating? Send them your product as a gift to entertain them!
Positive word-of-mouth marketing now, will be next-level powerful!
3. Think virtual events
If you had an event scheduled that has been cancelled - why not go virtual? Platforms like Zoom give you the ability to host thousands of guests to live stream content.
If you hadn’t planned an event, or had been holding off, think about how you can engage your community through a virtual event.
What kind of messaging is sensitive, clever and converts?1. Stay home
Can you encourage consumers to stay home and #stopthespread by making it easy for them to work and play at home?
2. Stay safe
Cosmetics company Lush Cosmetics recently transformed their shop windows and invited consumers in to wash their hands, and spread the message to social media as well. Yep, you guessed it… they also sell soap.
What can you do to encourage consumers to stay healthy and hygienic that also aligns to your product or service?
3. Stay entertained
You don’t have to directly reference CoronaVirus to illustrate to consumers that they can still have a great time in the comfort of their lounge room.
Suggesting your product to pass the time or as an opportunity to connect with your partner or house mates is a great way to break the tension. #hangathome
4. #JOMO - the Joy Of Missing Out
Seriously, this is like the ultimate #selfcare time… no parties to worry about saying ‘no’ to, no family lunches you wanted to get out of anyway. Now let’s fill the time with soul enriching activities.
5. Look after your immune system
Does your product keep consumers fit and healthy? Again, you don’t have to directly mention CoronaVirus - people get it - but reinforcing how important it is to stay healthy and strong will resonate.
6. Be funny
People want to feel less anxious, how can you use your content to take the edge off? A Wallace Bishop store recently advertised a deal for a $3,990 roll of toilet paper, with a Diamond engagement ring thrown in for free!
Consumers understand that these are strange times, and will welcome the break in serious news.
7. Be helpful
Show you understand that there are some challenges associated with this “new normal” of being at home more than your customers bargained for, and offer ideas and suggestions that could help - without directly pushing your product. For example, if you are a kitchen accessories brand, you could offer meal prep tips and publish your top 5 “3:30-itis” recipes.
The clear message is that even if there is a decrease in consumer spending in the immediate term, spending will resume again. The question is, which brands have they developed a relationship with during that time. Now is the time to drive brand loyalty and capture the revenue that you can.
Finally, from the Scrunch family to yours, wash your hands, stay home and stay safe.