Coronavirus and Marketing: Act Fast and Build Trust

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They say fear is the ultimate motivator, and that has been evident this past week, for sure. The stock market is dropping, people are rushing to buy essentials at the grocery, and school, work and travel plans have been interrupted. Illness is scary… and that’s why your customers, patients, and clients need to hear from you now more than ever. Staying silent and “hoping this will pass” is a fool’s errand. Whether you feel this threat is real or not is irrelevant, many who use your services and buy your products do feel this is serious, and now is the time to address those fears. Here are 5 ways you can use your marketing channels to take this on immediately and help them remain calm.

 

1. Social media can be your friend
It’s arguable that social media has been a factor in how fear has been propagated around this nasty virus. But, it is also a tool that can be used for reassurance and reminding. Create messaging that shows your organization is serious about this threat. Ensure your followers know you are taking precautions and understand the seriousness. Let them know their health and well-being is a priority. Once that messaging is crafted, get it out on all your social media platforms and put ad dollars behind it. That will ensure it reaches all your followers and doesn’t get buried in the algorithmic soup of the individual platforms.

 

2. Virtualize events
Show your followers you’re serious about COVID-19 by moving your planned public events online, at least temporarily. You may see that you can garner even more attendees and followers by setting up an online event. Facebook and Instagram are great platforms for this, and if you have questions on how to use those, please reach out.

 

3. Make a statement/Communication
The last thing any organization needs to do during a crisis is to be silent. Take proactive measures by posting a public statement to your website and your social channels. This statement doesn’t need to be fluff, it needs real meat to it. Outline the measures your organization is taking to help keep your clients safe while ensuring their services are not interrupted. Continuing communication is key for thwarting negative blow-back. Post regular updates on your organizations situation. The more clients hear from you, the more they will see you as an authority in your space. Develop unique messaging about how this is affecting your industry, and how you are reacting.

 

4. Change your offer
Businesses that pivot, survive… and thrive! This has been a hard and fast rule throughout the ages. If you are a hotel, bundle services and offer unique things to your loyalty members. If you’re a bank, push online banking. If you’re a restaurant, focus on delivery and drive through. If you are a retailer, market products needed right now. Consider pre-selling services and products to inject revenue and secure sales that may be lost during a period when people are being more safe with their spending.

 

5. Stay informed
Never make false claims or project yourself as an expert on the public health crisis, unless you are. Stick to the facts and stay informed. Read up on the crisis daily, and use reputable sources like the CDC and state government. Ensure that you know how the crisis affects your industry, how your peers and competitors are reacting, and ensure that what you are sharing is accurate.

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By Jason Heflin

Jason Heflin is one of CrowdSouth’s owning Partners and brings years of marketing experience from his past lives as a corporate marketing manager, writer, and freelancer. He also plays the ukulele for fun, which is cool.

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