As many communities begin to re-enter into a new normal, embracing these crazy times can be awkward. Messaging is a central part of what helps you communicate clearly and empathetically with your customers. Tough times bring people together. And behind every brand is a group of real people. Now is the time to connect with real people—safely, of course.
There are many ways to still connect with customers during these unusual times, and one of the easiest ways is through content strategy. With heartfelt and helpful messaging, use your brand to bring people together.
Content that aligns with your brand and is empathetic toward what we are all experiencing is needed. It’s hard to know what to say and when to say it, so we laid out some helpful tips and things to think about before you hit “publish.”
Knowing When to Be Specific
Our world is full of a lot of chaos and hurt right now. How you talk to your customers matters. This goes for talking about COVID-19 and the current pandemic, and how you talk about social justice issues.
For COVID talk, we are seeing more and more brands talking about the situation and how we can make the best of it. You don’t need to constantly literally mention “COVID-19.” At this point, people know what you’re talking about and are craving resources, entertainment, and encouragement. Unless you’re specifically addressing an issue where it is necessary to clarify the pandemic, we recommend saying things like “in these times” or a related phrase. This shows that you are empathetic, acknowledging the uniqueness of the pandemic and the situation, but focusing on the real offering that you are providing: a resource, a kit, a discount for those struggling, a partnership with an organization, or a way to help others.
Black Lives Matter. Speak up for your customers. At this point, you’ve probably posted some kind of statement, and that’s good! But just posting a statement isn’t going to help your customers, employees, clients, or partners know that you checked the box of checking yourself. What are you doing to make sure that people feel welcome in your business? If you’re not already investing in programs to help educate your employees, create spaces for safe conversations, and offer outside services like Employee Assistance Programs that offer counseling, resources, and other ways for people to talk about their experiences.
Create Engaging Content
Whether in the midst of a pandemic or in a “normal” situation, engaging content always wins. Content should be one or more of these three things: helpful, entertaining, or informational.
The quantity of online content is increasing, but quality content is always a valuable asset. Turning content into a game, a contest, opening up a conversation, sharing resources, and supporting others.
What resources have helped you get through the quarantine? What resources can you provide to your customers and clients that can help them get through trying times? This could be a guide that you create or share, discounted rates, postponed dues. Just think about how you’d like to be helped, and do the same for others.
Support creativity! Are people hacking your products? During quarantine, many people got so bored that they made games out of everything — forts with unusual objects, obstacle courses with toilet paper, anything goes! Ask your people how their social distancing is going, how they’ve been faring, what is bringing them joy in these hard times. Showing you care will go a long way and you may even find that your products are a fun part of their life. Create a quiz, a game, a fun way to bring people together.
Sometimes, this means the nuts and bolts of what you do. Other times, this can be synonymous with transparency. People want to know things. They want to know about how you’re getting through tough times, they want to know how you’re supporting your community and what efforts you’re making to make sure everyone feels valued.
This doesn’t mean you have to divulge all your secrets. It just means you can share behind the scenes like the quirks of working from home, how you’ve entertained yourself during quarantine, what small business you’ve been supporting, or other helpful business resources.
Posting with Purpose
At the end of the day, it’s all about posting with purpose. There is so much noise out there in the world. So make sure you’re posting with the purpose of letting people connect with your brand, and ultimately connecting with your customers.