Imagine breaking up with your partner over the weekend and everyone in the office finds out because your ex posted it on their social media. You receive texts, calls, and even emails asking about how it happened and if you’re okay. On Monday when you walk into the office, having wallowed for two nights, you just don’t want anyone to bring it up again. But everyone keeps hugging you and asking you how you are feeling. You have to be reminded again and again of the terrible event. You try to run, hide, and avoid conversation but there's nothing you can do. At the end of the day, you know they mean well, but maybe their way of expressing their concern is actually making you feel worse.
People don’t want to be reminded of the bad things in their lives, even though the person reminding them might have the right intention behind it. Similarly, a brand writing their communication in times of a crisis needs to sound helpful and not repetitive. All marketers and brands need to remember that the crisis and the information related to it is scaring people everywhere. It is the time to be sympathetic towards the suffering and isolation people are facing. All you should do is let them know that you are there, you are aware and are trying to help them out in any way possible.
Here are some things you should implement to solve the problem with your crisis content marketing:
Don’t repeat what people already know
People know a pandemic is going on, so focus on content that does not give rise to panic. In the time of confusion go back to the values of your organisation or what your brand stands for. Refer to the personality of your brand and share some light-hearted conversations. Let your audience know what your organisation is doing to cope and focus on the bright side. Also, before posting any type of news, check its credibility, go to its roots, and find out what the actual situation is. Even the slightest of errors can be horrifying for the people who are suffering.
Don’t see it as a marketing opportunity
It is true that this is a time when people are inside their houses, trying to keep themselves occupied with social media and any form of content they can find. But that does not mean they want to binge on advertisements as well! They want to see relatability and reliability. For instance, while watching a YouTube video they might be comfortable with the first ad, or the second too.
But ads popping up after ever 10 minutes in the middle of their video, selling products and services might make them want to simply skip. Thye might not pay attention to the ad you have paid a bomb to insert in that video. They might also be in a cash crunch, given the economic conditions, job cuts, and pay cuts. In this situation, they don’t want to focus on your product or service but on how your brand’s innovation and communication can make them feel better, maybe make them laugh.
But, don’t sit back!
It is a sensitive time, but that does not mean you stop marketing, or posting content. The world is moving and this situation will be past us after a point of time. You have to make sure when the world enters the new era, your name is known to them. Yes, you will have to revisit your strategy and probably start from scratch, but don’t give up. Be consistent and keep those campaigns rolling. But do check the repercussions of your communication.
Don’t stay the same
Research, learn and optimise your brand. Look into the changes that need to be made in your content and marketing, thoroughly. Make your website and content SEO compatible and more user friendly. Also, update your products or services as per the need of the hour and help out if you can. Are you a manufacturer who can produce essential commodities? Is your network big enough to organise a donation? Are you a communication expert who can spread the right message to the world? Think about what you can do to help, and take action.
And yes, be patient, very patient!
Your band may be suffering losses, maybe you are an executive and you are busy putting out fires all day. You could be a marketer wondering how to get your customers back, but the fact is you should not lose hope. This is the kind of situation you want to wait out and be at the surviving end.
Giving out the right message at this time will help you cope with the situation in the long run. Your customers will come back eventually. Till then be consistent, cut down on your budget wherever you can, and connect with people. This would include your employees, the audience, and potential clients. Show them you are reliable by communicating the right things and helping out wherever you can. And most importantly, don’t be like the well-meaning colleagues.