How to talk about the Coronavirus in your marketing and sales efforts?
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of brands wonder how to smartly talk about the coronavirus on social media and on the internet. The temptation might be strong to use this opportunity as a marketing or sales trick to attract more customers. But remember that your reputation as a brand is also at stake. How can you thus capitalize on Coronavirus without damaging your image online?
We propose you to answer 3 questions to evaluate the pros and cons of making the Coronavirus the main focal point of your marketing and sales strategy.
Is your company directly affected by the crisis?
YES: Some sectors such as the tourist, hotel, restaurant, and event industries are on the frontline of the crisis. For them, informing clients and partners about the pursuit or suspension of their activities is crucial. They DO have a duty of information toward all their stakeholders and customers. They do not only have to manage specific crisis communication, but also to inform their clients about new services, promotions, and buying options available. Mentioning clearly the current pandemic in their communication is not a problem for them, instead, it adds clarity to their message.
NO: if you are not part of the industries who rely on tourism and large public meetings to survive, relating clearly to the Coronavirus for marketing purposes will be odd and could be considered as opportunistic. In this case, you need to be careful not to put the good image of your company online in danger.
“When people and companies start capitalizing on an opportunity like this, for the at-home shopper, it reeks of opportunism and strikes the wrong tone.”
_ Ellen Niven
Could your service or product improve the lives of people during the crisis?
YES: seize the opportunity to talk more about it online! You do not have to mention the current pandemic for seeking more attention, just underline in your communication how your service and product could help people. Can your product or service improve their lives and comfort at home? How? Which are the benefits? Remember to focus on their needs and to promote your service or product accordingly. Show how your business can help!
NO: avoid using the Coronavirus pandemic as a potential marketing tool to boost your sales. Just stick to your usual marketing strategy and keep your business going. You do not need to put your image at risk using the Coronavirus as "the new Real-Time Marketing" trick or trying to establish by force a correlation between the pandemic and your brand.
"Typically, people aren’t upset with brands pitching products in general. But the second a brand crosses the invisible barrier by marketing themselves to trying to take advantage of a situation, it’s very hard to turn back."
_ Vic Drabicky
Did you implement special measures or care for your customers or employees?
YES: it is important to communicate online about the sanitary measures you implemented for your customers and employees as a response to the pandemic. This will show how your brand puts the security and the health of all as a top priority. Also, any other measure regarding the reception of clients, special organizational and logistics rules, as well as the possibility for your employees to work from home, is worth mentioning. Remember people will be highly receptive if you show your company treats the pandemic seriously and takes action.
NO: some businesses do not need to implement special measures, as they do not face any sanitary risk or already work online. Just kindly remind your clients about the specificity of your activities and reassure them that the pandemic has no effect on the quality of your work or your availability.
“The phrase we’re using a lot is ‘prudent but positive'. People want to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
_ Ellen Niven
Do not hesitate to reach for a professional PR consultant in case you have any doubts about your messages online.
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