Adapting Messaging During Lockdown
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the introduction of lockdown, life has changed rapidly. The behaviours of consumers have also changed significantly. Brands have had to realign their messaging overnight as entire campaigns that had been planned for months were suddenly irrelevant or insensitive given the new normal we know find ourselves in. With just 8% of consumers believing that brands should stop advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak (Marketing Week), brands have had to quickly adapt their communication to ensure they market their products effectively whilst projecting the correct tone and message.
Nike’s campaign, first posted back in March, encouraged people to ‘play inside’ as governments around the world began to enforce social distancing measures. The simple, yet effective messaging was amplified as Nike ambassadors, such as Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Cristiano Ronaldo, reposted the message. This is just one example of brands echoing the messages of governments, demonstrating that they are able to react in a sympathetic way whilst promoting a vitally important message.
Adapting your digital strategy
Before lockdown, within the automotive industry there was a lot of emphasis in advertising and messaging encouraging consumers to visit dealerships to view stock as well as take vehicles on test drives. As lockdown measures tightened in the UK, automotive brands were keen to ensure that they did not appear tone deaf by still advertising that their dealerships were open and that test drives were available. There was a greater emphasis placed on communication with dealerships from home to maintain a link with potential customers that dealerships could follow up on as soon as it was safe to do so.
Being able to adapt your digital strategy is vitally important when communicating effectively with your customers. By creating and publishing content that resonates with customers during times of uncertainty, it can help to generate trust in the brand. Having effective content marketing can also feed into SEO, thereby giving a brand greater online presence. Having an effective content marketing campaign can help to improve the SEO performance of a brand through a few different ways.
Search engines crawl content online to determine the kind of search queries that your website will rank for. By having content that is relevant to your target audience, it is more likely rank better in search engines.
Integrating your keyword strategy into you content marketing will help to boost your organic rankings in SERPs, thereby improving SEO.
A significant part of an SEO strategy is building links back to your website, which helps to enhance the authority of a website and in turn increase rankings in search results. An effective content campaign can bring in inbound links, increasing the authority of the page.
Having a content campaign that performs well on social media can positively impact where your page ranks in organic search results.
Putting people before profits
During COVID-19 and lockdown, the approach of many brands has been to put their resources towards helping frontline workers. A great example of this has been Leon, the healthy fast-food chain. At the start of lockdown, they created the hashtag #FeedNHS as well as a platform for people to donate. This resulted in a community driven support campaign which saw them pairing with celebrities, such as Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory, to help bring hot meals to NHS workers. By launching this campaign, Leon demonstrated how putting people over profits can have a significantly positive effect on your brand. Within three days of the campaign launch, there had been 1.3K mentions of the hashtag, with all the references carrying an overwhelmingly positive sentiment.
Overall, the majority of brands have been able to strike the right tone with consumers by promoting messages about social distancing and coronavirus etiquette in general. This has allowed brands to highlight their values without, for the most part, exploiting the situation for their own gain whilst attempting to improve the situation.
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