By Evelyn Johnson
You are trapped in your home, using Zoom to coordinate with your colleagues and struggling to fend off pets, family, or whatever is distracting you from work. But those are not your only struggles. The world has drastically changed in the last few days. The marketing campaign that you’ve been working on for weeks is now on hold.
With people afraid of catching a viral disease or losing their livelihood in a recession, no one is interested in what your brand has planned for the spring break. However, life does not stop, even if half of the world is currently under lockdown.
Marketers right now have two duties: The first one is to weather the storm and determine what’s to be done under the current environment. The second is to prepare for life after the pandemic. Yes, life will eventually get back to normal and you need to strategize for that time.
Marketing in the age of lockdowns and quarantines
What is happening now is unprecedented. We are living through one of the biggest plagues in modern times and every new development seems bizarre and surreal. In this environment, no would blame marketers for seeking a structure or guidelines through the crisis. Here are some tips for marketing in the age of lockdowns and quarantines:
1. Write topical blogs
Blogs are great for educating your customers on subjects surrounding your product. For instance, a website promoting sales software might feature a blog on sales strategies to improve online sales. The value of blogs has increased tremendously in the last few days. People locked inside their homes are mostly spending their time online. Some are seeking updates on the virus while others need an escape in these depressing times. There is a demand for quality quarantine and non-quarantine content, which you can satisfy.
2. Keep up with the search trends
In normal times, you would be looking at spring and summer spending statistics right now to drive your next campaign home. While that’s still recommended, this is the time to keep up with trends on a daily basis. This means you have to stay online on Twitter and use Google Trends like your life depends on it. Keeping up with the latest searches will also greatly help in implementing the first tip (i.e., writing topical blogs).
3. Adjust your brand’s messaging and imagery
Due to the pandemic, anything that relates to touching, connecting people, and going outside has a negative connotation. Pokemon Go had to change its Twitter bio and even though it was a sad reminder of the current environment, it was nevertheless the right thing to do.
So even though it might sting a bit, remove anything from your website that alludes to physical interaction, exploring the world, or being a part of a crowd.
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4. Try to be empathetic and politically correct
Since people are going through a huge amount of stress these days, it’s time to tread with extreme caution. Don’t promote any content that comes off as boastful, arrogant, or in poor taste. Brands that do not understand public sensitivities during a time of discomfort earn a lasting bad reputation. Remember Pepsi’s controversial Kendall Jenner ad? Try your best to avoid such disasters.
5. Lend a helping hand
Iconfinder has released a number of coronavirus awareness icons that are free. Ford has dedicated its marketing budget to COVID-19 response ads. Businesses big and small are trying to help fight against the novel infection.