Things to be Mindful of When Advertising During A Pandemic.
By Ayandola Ayanleke
The world was hit with an unprecedented situation when the global COVID-19 pandemic began late last year and more profoundly, early this year. Whether the world was prepared for the devastating effect or not, is not up for argument. But what we can agree on is that the effect was indeed devastating and businesses were not left out. In fact, some had to close down or downsize.
And for those that are still surviving, there is so much fear in the air. Well, take a breather! While it is natural to feel agitated, wondering how you can remain relevant as a business during a pandemic, remember that your customers are looking to you to inform and reassure them. And this you can do through your marketing strategies. I think we can all agree that advertising during a pandemic would take a different route from advertising during normal times. And that’s what this post is for; to guide you on being mindful when advertising during a pandemic.
So, what are the things to be mindful of when advertising during a pandemic?
Be Mindful Of Your Content
Now, more than ever, people are very sensitive, so for instance, jokes that would, otherwise, be funny before the pandemic will be insensitive now. For lack of better words, companies need to read the room in creating their marketing campaigns. For example, making jokes about anything close to death, disease, health, contagious will be seen as inappropriate right now no matter your intention.
On the other hand, even your imagery matters. Using an image where people are in a crowd or gathered might not be well-received at this time. You might be thinking that the image was taken before the pandemic but before some potential clients will think of that, they might have turned away from your content. Also, you should try not to come off as exploitative; customers will be turned off from brands that seem to be more concerned about capitalising on the situation. So, make sure your words and imagery don’t give off that impression.
One thing that is important right now is empathy. So many people are going through a lot due to the pandemic, so customers will likely stay with businesses that seem to understand what their customers are going through. Considering the fact that the pandemic hit more profoundly early this year and most brands decide on changes for their business at the end of the previous year, it is only natural that you might have made changes to offers that would have been okay if the world wasn’t hit by a global pandemic. But now, in the light of things, increasing the prices to your products or services will come off as unempathetic. Instead, offer price slashes and provide customers with offers that will make their lives a little easier.
People are really trying to survive right now; they simply want to stay afloat. They will, therefore, not take lightly to any brand that seems to be thinking of how to take from them while adding no value to them. If all your marketing campaign is centred on is conversion, it might not be well received. Instead, think of ways you can be supportive of your clients and contribute to their lives as they navigate this period.
You don’t have to feel pressured to create different contents because of the pandemic so much so that you begin to sound like you are trying to exploit the situation or spreading panic when people are just looking for someone to spread some positivity. Pause! Then make sure you are giving your customers the right information as well as the information you want to represent your brand at this time.