The world is struggling to keep up with the ongoing crisis. In these unprecedented times, many businesses are trying to strategise accordingly and map out their next move. Many have suffered tremendously due to the impact of COVID-19 and the global lockdown. In some cases, this has even meant shutting doors for good.
In the face of such adversity, how do businesses stay afloat? Should they try to continue trading, or cease operations until things improve? Can they conduct their business online instead? These questions are difficult to answer. However, it’s important that businesses explore every potential avenue and re-structure where possible.
One thing is certain: businesses must not forget about their customers during the pandemic. If they do, their customers might forget about them. Now is the time to connect with your audience, sharing positive and creative content on your online platforms for them to engage with.
Here are some great ways to stay connected with your audience online during lockdown, brought to you by Elephant in the Boardroom.
Consumers don’t want a sales pitch. They want real stories that they can resonate with. Humanise your brand by sharing authentic stories with your audience. This can build powerful, emotional customer relationships and develop your brand image in a positive way. If you can make someone feel something, you’ll make a lasting impression for sure. Here are some ways to position yourself as an authentic, human brand.
Be honest. Just like personal relationships, if you want your customers to trust you, be honest with them. Consumers value honesty. Nobody is perfect, so it’s a lot easier for them to relate to a brand that doesn’t claim to be. Share stories of failure as well as success. Poke fun at your brand in a humorous way. Consumers have become immune to standard advertising material, so you must take a new angle in today’s commercial climate.
Don’t fake it. When sharing images of your products, try to avoid using fake or photoshopped images. If you make false promises of a miracle product, you might experience high sales in the short term. However, your business model will collapse once unhappy customers get the word out. You should have the confidence in your product to post genuine content showcasing its actual features.
Stop and think. Be selective about what you post. Before sharing something, take a moment to think about what it says about your brand. Choose a consistent message as a theme to guide your marketing efforts across the board. This is the only way to build a coherent and memorable brand image. Just one bad post can threaten to ruin it within a split second.
Use your voice. When you engage with your followers online, be real. Don’t talk like an automated robot. Listen to them and respond like a human being. Be personable and friendly and make them feel well looked after. Take ownership of any mistakes or errors and apologise if needs be. In all your interactions, keep it professional with a personal twist.
Don’t copy the competition. It’s important to keep an eye on your competitors. It can even be tempting to replicate their success by copying their posts. However, you’re in the game to win, not to tie with the front runner. Rather than copying their content, see how you can improve on it. Stay true to your brand’s voice. Stand out from the crowd – if you simply blend in, you’ll eventually get lost in the clutter.
In these dark times, try and keep things light. Focus on spreading positivity and joy to keep your customers engaged. Post content that gives them something to do – like fun challenges they can get involved with. Because so many people are stuck at home during lockdown, they’re spending more time on their phones than usual and could do with some entertainment.
Many people are using their free time to develop new habits and learn new skills. Cater to this audience with educational content. Blogs and videos are great ways to learn, so use this time to teach your customers a thing or two about your industry.
At this stage, the internet is saturated with information about COVID-19. Frankly, most people are feeling overwhelmed. Although it’s important to stay relevant, don’t use your platform to share updates on the pandemic. Leave that to the news stations. Instead, use the lockdown as inspiration for lighthearted content that people can relate to.
If you can continue to conduct business during the lockdown, let your customers know. Services are limited, so consumers are on the lookout for businesses who can meet their needs during this time. Use video to show your consumers what’s on offer. It’s one of the most effective mediums to connect with your audience.
Marketing is a long game, fixated on building lasting consumer relationships. One of the best ways to do this in times of suffering is through altruism and charity. If you have the capacity, use this time to think of your corporate social responsibility. Donate to worthy causes and encourage your followers to do the same.
Don’t abandon your customers during lockdown. Keep on top of your customer service and focus on responding to your customers quickly and efficiently via social media, email, and other digital channels. If you want to take it a step further, there are more creative ways to connect with your audience. For example, webinars or virtual networking events.
Hopefully your business can make the most of a bad situation and use this downtime to its advantage. Stay positive (not with the virus) and do whatever you can to keep your business alive during the crisis. If you need help with your digital content, let the team at Elephant in the Boardroom take over. We remain committed to sharing content that converts during this crazy time.
For digital, talk to www.elephantintheboardroom.com.au.