Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

This is a challenging time to be alive. Health concerns, global fear, financial impact … the world as we know it has been turned upside down, and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic many companies are cutting marketing and communication budgets to save costs.

But we’ve got a different take on it that may help you: if long-term survival is your goal, the best time to keep communicating may be now.

Why keep communicating?

It’s necessary to do it because the world as we know it has changed drastically in a very short time. People want to preserve the parts of their lives that are important to them and your business may play a role in that. So if you haven’t already communicated your Covid-19 approach to your clients and other stakeholders, and you’re still in a position to do so, you should – soon.

Additionally, our e-mail stats show that the overall open rate in March was really high (roughly 55.3-million unique opens) – close to the stats of Black Friday 2019 (56.5-million unique opens). So people are reading. As overwhelming and destructive as this crisis is, it won’t last forever. And after the dust settles, it will have made a difference to your clients and employees that you kept engaging with them. This kind of brand loyalty can help your business get back up and running faster when all this is over.

How to keep communicating

Saying you’re going to do it is one thing; making marketing and other communication work during this period is another story. Here are some tips:

1. Focus on low-cost channels

Budgets are tight. If you can’t get through the pandemic at normal speed on your company reserves, focus on the more affordable channels, like e-mail, SMS and social media. According to Forbes you can also get more from your social initiatives by asking your employees to share your company content authentically.

2. Stay ready to adapt

Every day there’s a new development in this pandemic. Planning too far ahead just isn’t feasible. Keep your sights on the short term and be ready to change your strategy as your environment and social circumstances change. In our marketing department, for example, we’re taking it month by month.

3. Personalise everything

Millions of people are sitting on the couch, ready and able to read your messaging. Capture their attention by speaking to them as directly and personally as you can. On e-mail you can use personalisation tags and dynamic content tools for this. On social media you can target specific audiences with information that adds value to them.

4. Share helpful content

People’s buying patterns are inconsistent right now, and because of the lockdown many stores are closed. Therefore keep your focus on maintaining and growing brand awareness with content that helps people. That’s what most audiences are looking for – a helping hand, not a sales pitch.

This is also a great time to go the extra mile to help out. Depending on your business, you can do this by checking in with clients to make sure they’re okay and offering support where possible. After all, we’re all in this together.

5. Remember to be considerate

A great tip from Google is to be conscious of your messaging and imagery. Now isn’t the time to be funny, or insensitive to people’s pain, by sending messages about touching, being out and about, or behaving like nothing’s changed. Make sure your messaging is considerate, your tone is kind, and your content is helpful and honest.

6. Adapt your SEO keywords

According to online publication Media Update another good strategy during Covid-19 is to adapt your SEO keywords to ones that your target audience will likely be using in their searches at this time. This can include just creating more content about the pandemic, the lockdown and the way you can support the people you’d like to attract to your business while we’re in the thick of it. Always refer to the Corona Virus SA Resource Portal to ensure your information is accurate.

Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures. And a global pandemic like Covid-19 is pretty extraordinary. So if you’re making changes in your business to lessen the long-term impact, it’s understandable. But be careful not to overcompensate by making it harder for you to pick up again when this is all over.

Everlytic is a proud partner of the Future of Media 2020 event, brought to you by Arena Events. For more information about Future of Media click here

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