How to change brand communication during the quarantine, and why you should avoid communicating what everyone else is talking about, – Rustam Aliev, Head of Digital & SMM at Promodo, proves that approaching this complex task is as simple as solving a basic math problem.
Let’s imagine that a brand communication strategy during quarantine is a common mathematical problem marketing needs to solve.
Given: the conditions, in which brands have found themselves now
We have all appeared to be isolated, and what is more, no one could ever foresee this. Nor we had the time to plan the upcoming activities beforehand (if someone could, please, introduce me to them). What do we have remaining?
- sales drop
- online growth (in some categories)
- new patterns in audience behaviour
- increase in consumers’ screen time
- massive content consumption caused by the audience having more time (Beyond any doubt, you are twice as productive working from home, but you cannot control everyone, can you?)
- overall restrictions (do not go out, do not come within 2 metres of others)
- lack of information and content (more on that further in this article)
- economic impact on goods and prices. As a result, reduced purchasing power
- being stick of TV, news, Facebook/YouTube/Instagram covering the same information
Taking both parties into account we can now move on to the decisions that brands need to take to build a new communication format.
Brands basically have a choice between the two territories:
- COVID-19 situation updates
- Stats and facts
- MPH recommendations
- Stay home
- Ideas and life hacks
- Entertainment and the “how long you’ve been dying to cook lasagna” thing
The easiest way would be to benefit from the stressful situation like lots of other brands are doing, using the hype in their favour and by generating this way millions and billions of organic engagement in social networks. It’s so tempting to step on the same slippery slope. But you love your customers more, don’t you? If you do, the worst plan would be selecting the first scenario. There are two main reasons why we would not recommend posting something similar to the step-by-step hands washing guide:
- Someone has already done this (if you were not the first, it’s no longer worthy)
- You risk to simply drown in the ocean of your competitors and be levelled to the so-called bloggers and tabloids, who try to build a good strategy on the ruins of the global hype
Choosing between the two, we recommend focusing on the latter. Highlighting the topic of useful leisure time, we go away from panic and create a healthy environment for text, visuals and interactive content. Even though we have the same number of rivals here, the room for soundness and professionalism remains spare and can be used both for consumers and companies.
Done. What’s next?
Once you’ve selected your territory, acknowledge the competition that comes from this market. Media, tabloids, bloggers and other brands – all of them are fighting tooth and nail to conquer the attention of your audience. However, the content they prepare is still not enough.
So you have four types of rivals. Each of these have their own “top-5 movies on quarantine/ TV series to watch with your hubby/ novels to cry when alone” prepared, just at your consumers’ hand. What can You offer to counter that? To stand out you need to literally twist and turn when it comes to inventing subjects and titles. This applies to each and every type of content.
The “Stay home” territory
We do not say dramatically that we need to stay united for better times/ hope for the better but prepare for the worst and everything else of this kind.
We do say that staying at home is a good thing. It’s high time to finally do what we didn’t have the time for or even got down to due to other priorities. The precious time to treat yourself, family & friends. The quarantine itself is not a disaster but temporary inconveniences.
See how we advise interpreting the situations to stand out.
We mentioned before that despite the increasing rivalry within content creation, users still lack it. This is due to increased demand – people spend more time on social networks. Besides, not all brands have managed to transform and increase the volume of content to engage and entertain their audience.
What channels to use?
First of all, use social networks. The more the better. Try new instruments and techniques. If you for some reason didn’t care about Instagram stories before, it’s high time. If you were posting a lot to your blog, consider adapting this content to social networks (of course, if it’s still to the point). If you always wanted to come up with your own masks and face filters – this could be your finest hour!
1. Go involve bloggers
When isolated, influencers are as close to the audience as possible. Under the equal circumstances we are having now, content created by opinion leaders will be realistic and native.
2. Create the content on YouTube
The demand for video content has become so great that YouTube and Netflix are lowering video quality to cope with the workload. Meaning if you begin to create video content now, it’s more likely to be perceived positively (of course, if it is interesting).
- Between communicating status updates on COVID-19 and appealing to the Stay Home community, we choose the latter
- We generate more content, engage and develop the audience
- We look at competitors and do not repeat “the top-5 movies” content
- We turn brand communication in social networks to the maximum. Let’s keep it real: sadly not everyone will withstand the crisis, while brands with an interesting SMM strategy will be able to grab the attention of larger audiences
Our team stands by your side to provide recommendations of your brand communication strategy all across the social networks.