Unlike what a company usually does, we must have a strategic vision focused on the future and deal with the extreme stresses & unknowns in the current climate we are experiencing due to the pandemic. Every aspect of stress and strategic planning are elevated. For this reason, understanding behavior patterns and their implications are key to developing an appropriate social media marketing strategy in these uncertain times.
Before evaluating any action to be taken, your business must ask itself the following questions:
- Did you have a loyal audience?
- Was your business known only within social networks or also outside?
- What goals did your business have before Covid-19?
We have to establish that talking about Covid-19 is talking about a real pandemic, it is a situation that attacks the whole world, it is not an opportunity to capitalize on attention; after all, it is a pandemic, not an occasion to do marketing. However, if it is a time where empathy is crucial, for the consumer, employees, and even for the brand, which can become a starting point to put on hold the strategies that were planned for 2020 and transform them into strategies with a sense of your business and current situation.
One of the most complicated things when talking about Social Media Marketing is to keep the customer's attention and turn him into a loyal follower of the brand. However, it is the safest option in these critical moments that are being experienced worldwide due to Covid-19.
According to research conducted by Nielsen, six stages of consumer behavior have been identified that are directly related to Covid-19 concerns:
- Proactive shopping (food and health-oriented).
- Responsive health management, as in protection with masks and hygiene products
- Large purchases of food for storage.
- Increased consumption and online shopping, preparations for quarantine life.
- Searching for alternatives to everyday resources while limiting stock.
- Going back to normal, applying more hygiene measures.
Which leads us to the conclusion that if consumer behavior has changed, why shouldn't your company? Going through a crisis like a global pandemic is undoubtedly a reason to change, it is not a matter of taking advantage of the situation but of facing it with the understanding that it is necessary to adapt to the needs that the consumer may have and make the necessary adjustments so that the time it lasts is as tolerable as possible. That is to say, it is important at this time that we have direct communication with our consumers. Keeping in mind these questions about your customers: How do you feel? What are you worried about? How can we as a company help you solve your problems?
Answering these questions can be the key to shaping your communication. How you do it is through the medium closest to your consumers: social networks.
Digital Marketing In Times Of Confinement
Because of Covid-19, people are spending more time online now than ever before, as most people are locked up at home trying to contain the Coronavirus. This means that in one way or another, they are connected to Social Networks almost all the time. Now, this translates into greater reach, engagement, and time spent on different digital platforms, why would a business owner or marketing manager choose to stop their social media efforts now? Well, you might because you are uncertain if it is the right time. It’s time to put your business in front of your target audience. You just need to have the right message and intentions.
The business opportunities during this new digital ecosystem product of the Covid-19 are there, and just by having new users learning to use online tools and companies that are forced to seek alternatives to traditional advertising, this opens a huge door for marketing agencies especially those whose specialty is focused on Social Media Marketing.
If, in addition, we adapt our strategy to gain the loyalty of this new client, we can win them over for life, but how?
Advertisements: When the economy stagnates, or companies start to move slower, insecurities and uncertainties come up, resulting in a common reaction of wanting to stop all advertising efforts. Why continue to spend money if customers do not buy as much, right?
Contrary to this, it is important to note that, not all consumers are hiding their wallets. For those consumers who are ready to spend now and continue with a normal life, your business must be ready and in front of them. As for those consumers who are not spending so much now, they may at some point and who do you think they will buy from? A business that disappeared during COVID-19, businesses they didn't see or hear from at all - probably not. Advertising on Google and Social Networks gives your brand relevance in front of your target audience so that when they are ready to buy, they will buy from you and not from your competitors.
Promote yourself on social networks: Social networks have become an essential engine for driving brands during the pandemic. However, it is not a question of using them in quantity but with quality, content is key to establish direct contact with the consumer and even to get to know them. Each business is different and this must be taken into account when establishing a connection with the consumer.
Develop more video content and use YouTube: As a brand, when developing this type of content, you can ensure great visibility and transcendence and even might go viral. However, we must take into account the form of communication of each brand and even the type of language to be used, since it is not the same to talk about an airline as a restaurant. Videos are not only about trend but also about coherence, a brand that is coherent can go further than one that is not, and in the digital world, this is extremely important.
Analyze the performance of the strategies applied. This is the ideal time to get to know our consumers and measure our results, as people spend a lot of time at home and will have more time to view the published content. Evaluating the strategies we apply will be a key point to improve our level as a brand because it is not about being online all day but about creating content that is worth keeping people online and worth sharing. Measuring it will allow us to know what to improve and what to discard.
Consider having a section or some highlighted posts dedicated to Covid-19. If your brand is affected by this pandemic in a significant way, seriously consider dedicating space and time to capture all the relevant traffic to this topic and try to speak from the point of view of the brand in the face of the consequences, this will allow consumers to get closer to your business and even other businesses that might identify with your situation.
We are living a historic situation with challenges that a global economy has never faced before. However, we must make some things clear, and that is that although some of the most affected sectors predict a recovery, the reality is that nobody knows with certainty how long this situation will last. Therefore, standing idly by is not an option for any business, while the data indicates that looking for opportunities in the digital arena is.
We have an opportunity to reform company strategies and get even closer to consumers, to go from being just another business to being part of the life of every person who follows us on social networks or who has been a customer who has purchased one of our products at least once.
It is a crucial moment where it is not a question of taking advantage of people but of making them understand that we are all going through the same situation no matter where we are, and what better way to do it than by taking it to the digital plane. Generating empathy in our consumers can become a great ally in these moments where the priority is not to just generate sales but to keep us safe & healthy.