How to Create Meaningful Marketing Amid Covid-19
Now is the time for brands to give back, educate, and inspire
For many marketers, the shock of our new normal amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19, has yet to wear off.
A short time ago, 2020 was still a year that brands held in high anticipation — a blank canvas full of promise for any number of big opportunities to take shape. Instead, many of us are closing the first quarter of the new year with an uprooted marketing calendar and lots of questions about what to do now.
The answers will be different for every business. Depending on your industry, goals, and audience, you’ll need to assess how to effectively customize communication for your brand during this time.
But the good news is that there are easy ways to re-tool your marketing and communication efforts to be more effective over the next few months.
All of them involve helping fight Covid-19.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Right now, we’re all frightened by what might happen tomorrow. Whether it comes to our health, employment, loved ones, or the world — we’re all scared of the uncertainty.
All of us need is a little help and a little hope. Your brand can deliver that.
In the last few weeks, brands have stepped up with monetary donations and resources to help the fight against Covid-19. GM, Ford, and 3M have teamed up to manufacture crucial medical equipment. Fashion brands, from Prada to H&M and Zara, are making face masks and hospital gowns in response to global shortages. Nike’s high ranking employees have pledged to donate $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts. And the list goes on.
Take a long look at the problem: many consumers are falling sick, families are isolated together and possibly working alongside each other at home, children are pulled out of school and taking digital lessons, and people who are elderly or have health conditions might need assistance for basic needs like getting groceries.
Does your brand offer something useful to donate or discount in any of these situations?
If not, don’t despair. There’s still an opportunity for your brand to create meaningful marketing. The beauty of being generous is that it doesn’t have to cost anything, any brand can do it. You can give your time, kindness, and knowledge to help others. Create content with tips that are relevant to your brand and industry. How can you help your consumers make the best of being at home or navigating challenges brought upon by Covid-19? Hit your social media channels and let your customers know you care about their well-being. Send your employees a note just to tell them you appreciate and support them or offer to connect with them over the phone if they need to talk to someone.
Every day brings something new to learn about Covid-19, the havoc it’s wreaking around the world, and how we can protect ourselves and others. Across the nation, media and press outlets that normally charge subscription fees are making vital coverage about coronavirus free to any readers. Coca-Cola updated its billboard in Times Square to encourage social distancing. Mucinex launched a new “Spread Facts, Not Fear” campaign to build awareness about avoiding physical contact and stopping misinformation about Covid-19.
If you want to share information about how to fight Covid-19 in your own marketing efforts — whether via content, social media, advertisements, or other methods—point to the experts. At minimum, official organizations like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be linked to. To go a step further, retweet and share educational tips about safety and wellness during coronavirus from these or other reputable health experts.
Your brand may want to consider partnering with another or several other brands to make a more significant impact. You’ll likely accomplish more together than you will apart.
“Here we are now, entertain us.” Nirvana said it best in its 1992 grunge masterpiece, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Brands from all over the world are working overtime to deliver any moments of relief to consumers who are confined to their homes amid Covid-19.
International institutions like the Louvre Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are now offering online virtual tours of their iconic halls. Amazon is making children’s books free to listen to on Audible and kids’ TV shows free on Amazon Prime. Online gaming companies are bringing families and friends together to help reduce stress with their products.
Is your brand relevant to any consumers impacted by Covid-19? If you’re marketing a hygiene product, a packaged food, or a digital or online accessible product, you may be poised to develop a meaningful campaign around how your brand can help people today. If not, there’s still plenty of opportunities to help out your brand’s audience seeking inspiration. Promote well-being by sharing motivational content related to positive thinking, fitness, or other stress-relieving activities. Generate lists of free digital resources that different age groups or interest types might appreciate. Recycle or revive some of your older content or products that might be useful in today’s environment.
It doesn’t take much to produce meaningful marketing. At its core, it requires being thoughtful about the needs and feelings of your constituents. However big or small you decide to take on the fight against Covid-19 with meaningful marketing, there’s one thing you need to remember: Don’t react like a brand, react like a human.