We’ve living through very anxious times at the moment. People are less secure financially, they’re cut off from family and friends, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about just how long all of this will go on for.
When you factor in the onslaught of negative headlines and bad news we’re surrounded by each day, it’s little wonder that so many of us are struggling to stay positive. And that presents those of us in the marketing world with a unique challenge: how can we engage consumers and get their attention when they’re wrapped up in all this negativity?
One solution lies in positive marketing. By offering people something uplifting, you can break through all the negativity and really get their attention. Not only will you be doing something to lighten their load during this crisis but, when done right, it can also be a fantastic way to get your own or clients‘ names out there.
In this article, I’ll share my tips for creating a positive marketing strategy that connects with your target audience and helps keep your clients on the radar during this difficult time.
1. Showcase your client’s brand ethics
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few weeks, it’s that consumers really do pay attention to how brands behave in a crisis. Companies that were slow to react to the crisis or didn’t move to protect staff and customers, like JD Wetherspoons and Sports Direct, were quickly held to account on social media and in the press. On the other hand, brands like BrewDog have already gotten some great PR by using their resources to make hand sanitiser for the NHS, while Pret won over consumers by offering free coffees for NHS workers.
If brands want to have the upper hand when all this is over, they need to make sure they’ve shown their customers that they behaved in an ethical or even charitable way. So, if there’s anything your clients can do to help fight the virus or support those who have been affected by it, be sure to shine a spotlight on this in your marketing.
2. Provide reassurance and offer as much information as possible
Many people may be worried about whether they’re inadvertently putting people in danger by shopping online during the crisis, which could be hampering sales. So, try to be as proactive as possible when it comes to addressing their concerns. Not only will this help to reassure shoppers that it’s ok to make a purchase, but it can also help to showcase on your client’s ethics, which are more important than ever in the current climate.
You can use their websites, social channels, and mailing lists to publicise all of the measures your clients are taking to protect their staff and to make deliveries safer for customers, whether that’s providing PPE or enforcing social distancing. You may also want to publish a detailed FAQ that addresses all of the queries customers are likely to have. There’s a lot of uncertainty out there at the moment so, by making sure your customers have access to all the information they need, you’ll be giving them one less thing to worry about.
3. Share positive media and engage with consumers directly
One way that many brands are reaching their consumers is by sharing positive stories and light-hearted content on their social media channels and mailing lists. Just look at smoothie brand Innocent, which has secured some great coverage and fantastic engagement on Twitter by setting silly challenges and breaking the tension with a few jokes, all of which perfectly supports their irreverent brand messaging. It just goes to show how powerful and effective a bit of levity can be when it comes to reaching consumers during a time of crisis.
There are lots of ways you can do this: you could share positive news stories — it doesn’t need to be strictly relevant to your industry, products, or services, but if it is, then even better! Or, you could create some of your own stories by posting snaps of staff working from home (you’ll get bonus likes if any pets are involved). If possible, you should also try to think up ways you can engage with your followers directly, such as creating a social media challenges to amuse your followers in lockdown. Be creative and sincere, and your audience is sure to respond.
4. Reward customer loyalty and offer little extras
Many people are struggling financially at the moment, so one way to get through to your target customers is by offering them a little reward for their loyalty. Provided that it’s something that your client can feasibly support at this time, you could consider offering promotions like flash sales, discount codes, or points events.
Not only will this spread a little positivity and brighten people’s day, but it will also show that your client is thinking about the challenges that their customers are facing right now, and it could lead to repeat custom once things have returned to normal. Be sure to get the word out by publicising your offers through mailing lists and social media.
By focusing on the positive in your marketing campaigns, you can help to keep your clients on the map during the pandemic, as well as bringing a bit of joy to people in these tough times.