Chief Executive Officer
In the wake of the Coronavirus, the wheels must continue to turn, particularly in a time of crisis. Together we are stronger.
Brands are integral to keeping the economy afloat and must continue to engage with audiences
Coronavirus has underlined people’s primal need to be part of a community
Content is a powerful weapon in sustaining conversation and providing support, but brands must get it right
The wheels of the economy must continue to turn, particularly in a time of crisis. If businesses go silent, consumers disengage, jobs are lost, and the situation escalates. It means brands must continue to communicate, and to market ‒ indeed, they have a pressing responsibility to stimulate the economy. But the rules have changed.
The sudden and shocking escalation of Coronavirus worldwide has highlighted the demand for five basic human needs: community, connection, conversation, communication and care. Now, more than ever, brands have an opportunity to deliver something very meaningful to their audiences, something that can lessen the burden and deliver much-needed help. Yet to do this, they must first listen. And listen well.
How are your customers, employees and community talking about the current situation? Social media is a powerful means of gauging audiences’ specific concerns, questions and needs. There is undoubtedly fear and confusion, but also conjecture and untruths. Brands have reach, influence and, dare I say it, power. This power must be wielded well, and with great care, honesty and faithfulness.
People are turning to social media to seek reassurance in their community and to forge a connection. Influencer agency Obviously has reported a 76% increase in daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts over the past two weeks. There has also been a 22% increase in Instagram campaign impressions from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020, and a 27% jump in engagement on average on TikTok from February to March.
Social media is able to inform as well as make people smile, laugh and feel uplifted. Little wonder there has been a proliferation of arguably black humour memes going viral on social channels. But this is risky territory for brands.
Humorous content can be welcome and inspiring at a time of difficulty, but it must be very carefully considered. As Twitter has advised this week: ‘Right now might not be the best time to be snarky or sarcastic, while empathy, understanding and even certain types of humour may go a long way.’
Companies can’t afford to ignore their positioning, or stray from their messaging. They need to lead by example and do the right thing while staying true to their personality.
Staying abreast of the rapidly unfolding situation and ensuring that any communications are highly relevant, contextual and sensitive to your audiences is also imperative. It means acting quickly, but diligently ‒ and this isn’t always an easy marriage.
Be sure to make yourself accessible and responsive as a brand. Listen, respond and share content that connects people and drives positive communication. Get closer to your customers than ever before, and better understand their shifting emotions, priorities, needs and motivations.
At iCrossing, we have built a business on caring about our clients, and on working closely with brands to enable them to build communities, communicate effective and timely messages, and to start ‒ and sustain ‒ purposeful conversations.
We are working with brands to help them embrace their responsibility to keep the wheels turning, but also to adapt and pivot in challenging times, delivering the meaning and value both their external and internal audiences crave.
Agility is key. After all, long-term planning is currently futile. For content to resonate and to truly make a difference, it must strike the right emotional chord at a given moment. This means aligning your core messaging with sensitivity, perspective and context. And keeping your finger on the pulse.
If we listen and learn now, what we glean will shape the future and define what’s possible in the new world, when the current crisis passes, as it must.
Together we are stronger. Talk to us.
We make brands grow by identifying opportunities to better connect with ‒ and understand ‒ their customers. Using data and strategic insights to guide our work, we transform marketing performance by creating content, building platforms and optimising targeted media.
We can partner with you to help you continue to engage with your different audiences in a valuable, empathetic and relevant way at a time when communication, community and connection are paramount. We will use data and insight to help you to understand people’s most pressing concerns, and we’ll leverage creativity to ensure you can join the conversation in a way that inspires, brightens and reassures.
Get in touch to talk and find out more.
We believe that moving too slowly in digital is the biggest risk your business faces. If you are ready to move faster in digital, we are here to help.