Apr 30, 2020, Scott Hirsch
Scott Hirsch, CEO of Media Direct, is an internet marketing pioneer widely recognized as an expert in e-commerce and the online marketplace.
With more people being instructed to shelter at home, work from home and stay in to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, there has been a huge surge in internet traffic.
But during these times of uncertainty, it can be difficult for marketers to navigate the digital landscape. Being empathetic toward your audience and maintaining the integrity of your brand is essential. As the founder and CEO of a media solutions provider, I’ve outlined four tips to help you find this balance:
Stay the course.
When facing a crisis, it might feel like the sky is falling, but stick to your plans. Stay consistent. You might need to revise your digital media plan, but don’t pause or interrupt it. Remain focused on customer acquisition and retention.
Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it if you’re able: email marketing, direct mail, mobile marketing, data appending, search engine optimization, pay-per-click, customer profiling and analytics, etc. If your organization has created and rolled out interactive marketing and highly targeted data campaigns, don’t let them languish.
Revise your messaging.
From my perspective, one of the many challenging things about the coronavirus is the uncertainty. No one knows what’s next; every step might feel like you’re walking a bit further into the unknown. This is why I believe it’s important to revise your messaging. Ensure all of the content you’re sharing is authentic and sensitive to what your audience is going through. Additionally, provide your audience with all of the information they need to continue interacting with your business. Keep them updated as to:
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• How your operating hours or in-store policies have changed.
• What effect the crisis is having on special offers, discounts, product/services rollouts, etc. Let your audience know, and update this information regularly.
• Whether your services have been adjusted. For example, delivery and streaming are seeing exponential expansion right now, so if this applies to your enterprise, make sure it’s core to your messaging.
• How your staffing has changed and the best way to reach your organization if you’ve reduced staff. Again, update this information regularly.
Provide useful news.
Right now, everyone is dog-paddling in a rising whirlpool of news, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use your digital marketing campaign to make a meaningful, useful contribution that provides helpful information to your audience.
Reach out by assisting customers during a crisis. Share essential information from reputable sources, such as health advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (which are regularly updated), as well as contact information for emergency services and information regarding assistance in your community; closures of public spaces, etc.
Given the severity of the crisis, this can also be a time to share good news. For example, if you have someone on your team who has been volunteering, share it. This is another way to keep in regular contact with your audience while doing something positive for your customers and potential customers. If you can give them some hope, then that’s how they might remember your brand.
Keep an eye on the future.
In The Dark Knight, character Harvey Dent said, “The night is darkest just before dawn, and I promise you the dawn is coming.” This quote resonates with me because I believe there is a dawn coming for all of us. The digital marketing landscape might be altered, but keep in mind that if any of your plans were delayed by the coronavirus, you still might be able to put them into play.
Don’t stop working toward your organization’s future goals. It’s the best thing you can do for the organization. Staying proactive and focused on the future is entrepreneurial and gives your team and your customers a message of hope. Work hard, and know that this is as good of a time to work toward your goals as any.