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Empathy and Action: Succeeding at Covid-19 Communications

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Moral statements make money. Or do they? Brands who know their voice, how to help and how to make it work in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. 

 

Money and moral statements. Two aspects of Covid-19 communications (or lack thereof) up for debate in the marketing world. Do we really need more marketing campaigns about social distancing and working from home or, should brands be instead, be focused on improving their business behind the scenes? 

 

Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy one or the other answer. In the short-term, executing the right communications  and I don’t mean another just because Covid-19 email blast or feel-good campaign  can help reinforce your brand values, engage your online community and yes, even drive sales. 

 

Instead, this is more importantly, the time to focus on the long-term, to take a step back, and review that “if I only had the time” wish list (we all have one). Maybe it’s a content clean-up, revised marketing strategy, or completing a course. Even bigger than branding, companies should be building a better business.

 

From Dyson making ventilators, to H&M developing personal protective equipment, we’re already seeing companies and industries change what they manufacture completely in a matter of weeks. 

 

There’s no doubt it’s crucial to reflect on whether you brand is striking the right tone in communications. While some days it feels like the world has stopped turning, we will come out on the other side and the best prepared brands will have a head start. Focus on doing what you do exceptionally well while finding a way to serve a real customer need and your company can be one of them. 

 

These are a few of the – thankfully – many brands who have gotten Covid-19 communications right. Learn what they’re doing, why it works and drop them a follow on social to inspire your work for some positive inspiration. 

 

Innocent 

Cheeky and cheerful social content. 

What they’re doing 

Get your daily Innocent updateNot exactly a breaking news source, but sure to find your new favourite social post to start the morning. Innocent breaks many marketers “less is more” best practice and shows us with the right sense of humour, more can be more. 

Why it works 

Tangents on company pets, the weather and celebrity birthdays might be cringe-worthy coming from just any beverage company. However, Innocent shows they’ve honed their brand voice and knows how to effectively pivot in a way that still resonates. Better yet, they’ve re-purposed one long-form social media post across channels by tailoring the output (e.g. Long Facebook post with an image vs. individual colourful Instagram stories).

 

Innocent’s Covid content is light-hearted, on-brand and isn’t trying to directly sell you anything. Though you just might want a smoothie now. Entertainment and engagement for the win. 

 innocent2

 

Later 

Savvy content writers. 

What they’re doing 

Later’s strategically re-purposed existing content to develop tailored social posts and newsletters. From free social media courses to a resource package, the social media scheduling platform is continuing its usual content push but slightly repackaged based on their audience’s needs. The company’s also set up a $250,000 Relief Fund for customers who need extra support paying for their plans. 

We're with you 100%, Introducing: the Later Covid-19 Relief Fund

Except from a Later newsletter

Why it works 

Later has invested in developing a robust content library on their website, backed by research and knowledge of current trends. This upfront work means they could quickly compile existing content with a timely spin. 

 

In short, they make their content work hard for them. Additionally, a goodwill fund for their customers is not only kind, but a small short-term investment to ensure long-term account retention. Good for corporate reputation, great for business. 

10 Free Instagram Courses to Watch Now

Excerpt from a recent Later newsletter

 

Uber Eats 

Product innovators. 

What they’re doing 

Like other food delivery services, Uber Eats has improved its product to address current challenges. Uber Eats has executed new delivery options, support systems and interface updates while also dropping up-front costs for restaurants joining the app. To support small businesses, they’ve introduced free promotional coupons for independent restaurants and means to get them their revenue daily to keep business open. 

Why it works 

Concentrating on the practical product issues instead of simply offering free food for NHS workers (though they’ve done that too) recognises changed behaviours and solves problems at hand. The result? A better product, happier customers and a sustained network of restaurants. Score. 

 

Uber Eats Instagram post announcing new deliver to door option

Communicate positive product developments

 

The conclusion?

While many brands are simply jumping on the bandwagon, pause, refocus and ensure your marketing serves a purpose and truly adds value. While brands are keen to make a positive statement, don’t overestimate the impact you have on customer’s daily lives. 

 

Instead, hone your digital marketing for long-term success instead of questionable “quick wins”. Whether it’s ways to improve your user experience, strategically use marketing budgets or reviewing your digital marketing strategy, now’s the time. Plus remember, while we are all in this together, most consumers are already tired of hearing it from brands.

 

- Emma

Content and Social Media Strategist at Positive