2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways changed forever how we address crisis communications.
Between pulling back on advertising spend, utilizing free services such as email for engagement, and reducing marketing budgets, it's easy for communications to come to a screeching halt.
Knowing what information is right to put out in a time of crisis, versus what isn't, can be a tricky path to navigate. Let's go over how you can continue to engage with your audience without stepping over the line.
One thing that's skyrocketed since the pandemic began is audience attention. People want to know what's going on, who they can trust, what companies are doing to help.
When creating content, it's the quality, not the quantity, that truly matters in a time of crisis. Sharing the same message repeatedly on social won't have the same impact as a personalized email from a company sharing their business status or a social post noting that they're hiring people who have lost their jobs due to COVID.
Being thoughtful and intentional with your marketing efforts will make you stand out to your customers.
Stop, Collaborate and Listen
When a crisis hits, the first step a marketer must make is to step back and review all existing content. Should a campaign or planned project be delayed, reworded, or scrapped altogether? Assess the situation first before hitting that pause button on your current marketing efforts.
Utilizing the correct tone in all communications will be vital to ensure your message comes across as empathetic and respectful in times of uncertainty.
Starting Fresh During a Crisis
Knowing what to say and creating new content can be a struggle during times of uncertainty. One thing to bear in mind is to create content that will be helpful to your readers. Ask yourself how you can help your customers.
• What product/service do I offer that can address a current problem they may have?
• In what ways can I help my customers cut costs while continuing to do business with us?
• What alternatives can we offer so we can continue to do business with one another?
Thinking outside the box and putting yourself in your customer's mindset can help you plan what sort of content would be helpful to share.
Be Thoughtful and Purposeful
Communications should be thoughtful and personal during times of crisis, which is why the majority of your outreach should come via email.
Posts on social should always be monitored closely during times of uncertainty to ensure they can easily be paused or re-written should the need arise.
Keep an Eye on the Numbers
As with anything, crises can be unpredictable, which is why you must continue to monitor all scheduled content closely.
If engagement and sign-up rates are dropping, take a moment to examine the content you're producing and re-evaluate as needed. The content you're used to creating may miss the mark during times of economic struggle.
Remember Why You're Creating Content
A marketer's job is to create content that resonates with their audience: making sure you're producing materials that matter.
In times of uncertainty, people look to businesses for information and resources, and it's marketing's job to ensure that information is readily available.
Even during trying times, it's important to remember that the relationship between a customer and a business is just that—a relationship—so it must continue to be fostered in a positive light.
Want to see if your content strategy can easily transition in times of crisis? Sign up for a FREE 1-hour Digital Marketing Assessment with one of our digital marketing experts to see how we can help.