Corona Crisis Management-How Brands are Harnessing the Power of Digital Media
The pandemic COVID 19 has pulled the proverbial rug from under us. Each day we wake up to a new altered landscape as an indicator of things to come. For brands, businesses & entrepreneurs, the coronavirus has changed life forever. We observe a change of behaviors is among clients and customers, the way they communicate, shop & react is different now.
In these unprecedented times of rapid change when one-third of the world’s population is under quarantine, businesses are confronted with two significant questions: how to respond during the pandemic, and, looking ahead, what changes in consumer behavior to expect because of a prolonged lockdown.
We all talk about the digital revolution and how businesses will function in the digital age during challenging times. Does this mean the is future here? Hasn’t a little virus scared us to do business differently!
I don’t want to contribute to the negative literature on the topic – of which there is a lot. The facts are bleak, however, in the crisis’s wake brands have been turning to digital media strongly.
Has digital media turned out as a lifeline for businesses during coronavirus pandemic?
Some businesses may be affected mildly, some may adapt and hunker down until things stabilize. And then there are the businesses that may benefit from the corona crisis—the law of nature, it’s a jungle out there and the strong will survive. Ah, the word, survive! In tough times people survive the most horrendous circumstances by adjusting, being adaptable, and focusing on the basics.
The lifeboat here is digital media. For a business to survive in this critical, life-altering condition of the coronavirus disease, it is the time to switch to digital media—and in doing so, stay connected to clients, building strong customer relationships, and to learn innovative ways of communication. Actually, your potential audience has never been more captive than it is right now. Everyone is at home following social media feeds for updates and messages of hope.
Harness power of digital media marketing
For the business that can harness the power that is marketing on digital platforms, the opportunity is now and ripe for the picking. Secure your customers after the crisis by well-orchestrated strategies that enable brands to keep connected to their customers in the tough times. This can be achieved by providing credible, informative, relevant feeds, sincere information, and useful content, and potentially solving their problem.
Digital communication will help to march forwards. Although it was always on the cards with many businesses. But those businesses now have the opportunity to grab the lifeline that the digital-age affords them in this difficult time in our economy who either ignored the signs or have made half-hearted attempts at joining the digital revolution.
Traditional marketing takes a hit
Since the government has already called for a nationwide lockdown and as we have seen the same in other countries. Advice to stay home and limit all unnecessary outings seems to lead to a decrease in out-of-home ad spend. Brands are focusing on online digital ads instead. People have to stay indoors so some TV executives are predicting huge increases in ad spend as consumers got to stay inside.
Increase in online marketing
We can predict that there will be a huge increase in the digital ad in the coming months as consumers will naturally spend more time online, especially choosing to shop online versus leaving the house. As people are working from home more, and avoiding traveling, we may expect to see an increase in mobile and social opportunities. People are free from the watchful eye of their workplace manager so they will check their phones more frequently. Also, 6 out of 10 of us are checking the news more frequently!
Social media ad spend is set to increase
Social platforms are likely to increase due to the inflated use of social media. It has now become a daily routine as people are on their phones, looking for engaging content to keep them busy. They are trying to tackle self-isolation, social media helps them to keep grounded, give them a sense of community, and regular updates on the global corona rises. It is playing a vital role in communicating with the world and also with your clients these days. Companies that invested in this practice in the last few years can now benefit from that network and expertise.
Digital media tactics to follow during the corona crisis
For marketers, there are two important questions, viz.. How to respond (if at all) during this crisis? And, looking to the aftermath, what changes in consumer behavior to expect because of a prolonged shutdown?
Here are digital media tactics that could work perfectly right now. Following tactics may help you in achieving this strategy.
1. Small and personalized digital conference rooms
Share with your customers an update on your business and how you are re-inventing yourself during these strange times. It will help you better understand how you can provide value during a crisis. Share your personal story, showing empathy for your clients, and share your positive and innovative mindset. You will create a positive impact on your brand.
2. Live stream your business
The usage of social media is booming as millions of people are stuck in their homes. Live streaming can be an interesting opportunity. Thanks to the live stream of Instagram or LinkedIn, you can now set up your own TV channel or virtual market place.
3. You can inspire your customers
Use social media platforms to inspire your customers and thus add value to your business. Do not aim for hard selling on social media right now. Try to know and understand the fears of your customers and their hopes. Find out ways to add value to this process. Try to build a stronger brand reputation. Let’s hope that one fine day, the gates of the world will open again. Value your customers even in crisis time.
4. Large virtual events
There is an enormous potential to reach a larger audience with the help of virtual events. Now people have more time than before. They are no longer stuck in baffling traffic. Their workload may be lower. They are comfortable to attend a meeting in their cozy home environment.
5. Seize the opportunity to connect with customers
Strategies your plans, when, where, and how to reach your target audience in new or sophisticated ways through digital channels. Continuing to engage with consumers in an online environment is in the best interest of brand marketers. Because as long as the internet is ad-supported and accessible, you can reach your consumers and expect technology to drive tangible outcomes to the bottom line.
6. One-on-one communication
This is a good time to communicate with your customers and your community. One-on-one conversation is a great opportunity to connect with your customers. Reach out to them—for starters, ask if they are healthy—but you can also share some content that you created for your social channels with individual customers.
7. Keep paid digital media spends holding steady
Keep paid digital media spends in place to confront coronavirus and its digital media impact successfully. Daily life has a way of marching on, and when consumers are looking to buy what they need and want, you can be there with the right message at the right time. The competitive playing field also becomes less crowded in strange times, which may benefit you.
8. Experiment With and Test Digital Advertising Strategies
The gloomy time may turn rosy for brand marketers wanting an audience. People are locked in their homes and switching to entertainment to kill boredom. Perhaps, this is the right time to experiment and invest in connected TV search or other social strategies. Though, before you do, know your brand’s value proposition and your audience so your message will resonate well.
If you thought LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook were something for people with too much time on their hands, you’ve probably come to regret that assumption. There is good news, though, even if you didn’t invest in digital marketing before COVID19, there are still many opportunities to use them now.
Adapt to the ‘new’ customer
For a brand, an online presence has never been as important as today. Try to keep it digital. Locate your target audience and how their lifestyle has changed and map out how you should target them. What is your potential audience’s emotional context? What do they want to hear? How should you be communicating with them? Do not underestimate how the coronavirus has changed your customers and how it has affected their demands.
The coronavirus has left its mark in history. The question is rather how many things will change and how will the world look when it’s all over. But don’t allow the coronavirus pandemic to determine the viability of your business’ future, do what a survivor does in times of trouble instead. Look for solutions and make them work for you. If you have concerns about where your marketing budget is going or want to discuss how coronavirus might affect your marketing strategy, then get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.
Even during a time that feels like a downward spiral—there can be an opportunity to be seized.
Swati Mittal – working as a Digital Marketing Executive at HIcentrik. She works with digital marketing based clients to accelerate their business growth with the help of the latest marketing technology and trends.