The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown efforts to stop its spread have thrown the global economy into a storm. Businesses everywhere are facing a sudden and huge altering of market reality with potential customers staying home and practicing social isolation.
What use is marketing efforts now, you may think, if there’s little chance of them converting into sales?
A lot, we say, if you are looking to go digital. Digital marketing, especially social media marketing, is fast proving to be a game-changer in the times of this pandemic. The real world has shut down, hence the virtual world has become one of the most significant ways of social engagement and emotional support for many of us.
With the right tools and strategies, you can win big in customer engagement and brand-building that in turn will help you reign in some sweet sales numbers once the emergency around COVID-19 is lifted.
Want to know more? Read on!
Why Social Media Marketing?
With companies and corporates going into indefinite lockdowns and large parts of the world population confined at home, traditional B2B and B2C marketing are bound to suffer right now. The digital space, meanwhile, is seeing an exponential rise in the number of users, while more and more people turn to social media for emotional engagement and information. Now, consider the following scenario step by step:
- Your potential customer is probably sitting at home now, unable to go to work, to travel, and to meet their friends and family.
- They are feeling bored and restless with the sudden lack of activity, and also depressed and anxious with the imminent threat of a highly contagious disease looming over them. To mitigate those feelings, they are turning to social media again and again.
- Finally, with each passing day, they are growing more impatient for the lockdown to end so that they can turn back to their normal routine, which may include buying – potentially – from you.
What better way to capture their attention and showcase your brand than to appear on that very screen they’re glued to for distraction?
Rebranding is the key
Many of your competitors may be thinking of cutting costs and folding down their operations. It can be tempting to do so in the face of such uncertainty. Yet this very uncertainty makes the market more open to innovation and newer approaches.
You don’t have to fold down operations, just shift the focus to building your brand. From a branding perspective, this is a window of opportunity for several reasons.
- You can spare a much bigger portion of your attention and resources on branding at this time than you would be if it was business as usual.
- You have the chance to captivate the audience on social media and digital platforms which is potentially much larger than your regular customer base.
- Investing in online branding now means your marketing efforts will reach a lot more people than usual since there are more people on social media now than usual. Once the lockdown lifts, many of these new people you’ve reached will consider buying your products, translating into more sales.
- A clever approach to your (rebranding) must be taken into consideration, you have to know that life will never go back to its usual normal style. Covid19 now is part of the marketing and branding equation, so make sure your brand is Covid19 aware; like adding delivery aspect and hygienic notions to the overall style!
To effectively use this window of opportunity, however, you need to have a solid social media marketing strategy in place.
Riding the wave
A good social media strategy rests on finding the pulse of your customer base; and in lockdown time, there are a few general pointers that we can all go by.
Remember your customer is bored. With a lot of time to kill at hand while we wait for the pandemic to be contained, your potential customers are in dire need of distractions. Contests, tutorials, pop quizzes, social media challenges are all great ways of customer engagement. When you contribute to lightening people’s mood during these troubled times, it creates a positive image for you.
Use relevant hashtags. It is extremely important to use the right hashtags with your content to make sure that it reaches the right people. In today’s time, hashtags are the #1 way to find and sort content over social media platforms. Use hashtags that are relevant to your content, and also the ones that tie your brand to the current situation and your response to it.
Highlight safety standards. With the threat of contagion on everybody’s mind, safety standards need to be front and center in every marketing initiative. Use your social media channels not only.to inform your customer base about the health and safety precautions you take in manufacturing/sourcing your products, but also to disseminate useful, and verified information about the ongoing crisis.
Be informative. Use this time to educate your customer base more deeply and thoroughly about your products/services. Tidbits or trivia about your products or the industry you work in, “did you know” posts, in-depth posts about ingredients or features – all help in cementing your presence and acceptability in the customers’ eyes.
But that is not all…
General rules of thumb aside, steering a good social media marketing campaign also need expertise, specific skills, and experience in navigating the often volatile world of social media opinions.
We at Uplance can help you with all these and more. With a passion for helping small businesses grow and a power-packed team of highly skilled professionals, we can help you ride the pandemic wave into a promising future. Don’t take our word for it – check out what our happy clients have to say!
Want to know more about our process and how we can help you grow? Click here to get a free consultation today.