Just 8% of consumers think that brands should stop advertising during the coronavirus outbreak. But plenty of marketers are considering pausing much of their marketing activities in an attempt to cut back on costs during a period of economic uncertainty, and due to concerns about being able to market in a sensitive and relevant manner.
But stopping marketing altogether simply isn’t a smart move. We’re not sure exactly how long this crisis will last for, or what the economic implications will be for the rest of 2020 and beyond, but what we do know is that consumers expect to be marketed to. So shouldn’t we listen to them?
Switch up your focus
Before much of the world was placed under government-mandated lockdowns, people had busy, varied lives. They got up in the morning, commuted to work, sat at a desk, commuted back again, picked up kids from school, went on holiday and out to bars, cinemas and parks.
As a result, marketing channels such as out-of-home (OOH) advertising was incredibly important, with consumers being 50% more likely to engage with a mobile advert if they’d seen the same ad OOH first.
The formula was simple for many brands.
Run big OOH campaigns to grab their attention, and retarget new customers when they pick up their smartphones later in the day.
But now things have changed.
With many people stuck at home all day, only popping out for quick trips to the store for essential groceries, there’s simply less need for OOH advertising, because nobody is out of their homes to see it. The advertising landscape of 2020 has shifted.
Instead, they’re spending their time glued to their phones, laptops and tablets.
So you need to switch your marketing efforts to match the increased activity on these platforms and focus on getting the most out of these marketing channels.
Content, content and more content
At Colourcake, we talk about content all the time. It’s a catchphrase for us, and our clients too. And consumer demand for fresh content has been increasing rapidly over the last few years.
One of the side-effects of the coronavirus crisis is that people are spending more time on social content platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok. In fact, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp usage has gone up by 40% over the last few weeks.
Consumers are spending more time on social media. They’re posting more frequently, scrolling endlessly and looking for content to cheer them up or distract them from an increasingly anxious outside world.
This is the perfect opportunity for brands and content creators to get the attention of consumers. The crisis has, unfortunately, made captive audiences of us all.
Now, as long as you can get the tone and messaging of your content right, there’s no reason not to be posting organically and advertising digitally. You might even find that there’s less competition right now, as your competitors sit back and take stock of the situation, so the quicker you act, the quicker you can get a competitive advantage on these marketing channels.
And you shouldn’t just be thinking about making sales. It’s much more important to continue to build relationships with your audience, or all of the hard work you’ve put into branding over the last few years will have gone to waste.
Nobody likes being ghosted. And if you ghost your consumers, you bet that another brand will swoop in via a fun Instagram poll, grab their attention and be there for them when the social distancing restrictions are lifted.
So switch up your focus, think digitally and think outside the box, even when your customers are stuck inside the box. Explore new marketing channels and focus your activities on the ones where your customers are spending the most time. Then you’ll be ready and prepared for when the recovery comes.
This is part of a series of posts about marketing during the coronavirus crisis. Check out the following posts too: