COVID-19 has had a huge effect on businesses across the world, mostly on the negative side. With many business owners worried about their future, it’s certainly a scary time. When it comes to marketing in a pandemic, you might be a bit cautious about what to say and what not to say to your audience. I’ve put together a few dos and don’ts for marketing in a pandemic – not something I ever thought I’d be writing about!

Do – Keep all your customer communication consistently clear

Clarity and consistent communication makes the world go round at the moment. There’s so much uncertainty so any clarity is welcome. As a business, it’s a good idea to let your customers know exactly what to expect from you and what your official policies are.

Of course, any information you put out may change as the situation changes but keeping your customers and clients aware as soon as you can is a good move. Make sure you’re on social media interacting with customers and are leaving advice and updates on your website for anyone who visits.

Do – Remain sensitive in all marketing material

Of course, you still need to make money but sensitivity is key here. Even if you have a brand voice which is usually quite blunt and to-the-point, now is not the time. Your brand needs to be sensitive and have some tact. Also, if it looks like you’re using the crisis to make money, customers will go in the opposite direction. If it looks like you’re making inappropriate jokes at the expense of COVID-19, they will walk away.

Do – Show you care and are willing to help

While showing you want to help is good for your brand image, more importantly, it’s good for your community. Now is a good time to help others wherever you can. See what you can do to safely support your local community or online audience. It’ll be a win-win scenario – you’ll look good and others will be helped.

Just make sure you’re authentic because if your audience senses disingenuous behaviour, they won’t go easy on you.

These are just a few things you can do when it comes to communicating with your audience and marketing your brand. Now for some things you should avoid…

Don’t – Contradict medical or official advice

Now is not the time to whip out your Google medical experience. You need to follow official advice in order to help your audience and customers stay safe. There’s already enough misinformation out there.

Ensure that any information you give out is thoroughly fact-checked before you put it out there.

Don’t – Share political opinion or conspiracy theories

There are genuinely people out there who believe this is all caused by 5G or Russia. Don’t entertain those theories outside of your own head because your business will be the source of mockery if you put it out there.

Similarly, the political landscape is a tense one right now. We all have our own opinion on what various governments are doing but it’s important to be careful here. Anything that sounds overly political/favouring one particular party has the danger of alienating some of your audience. If you must Tweet about politics, keep it fact-based and leave your own opinion out of it wherever possible.

Marketing in a pandemic is a sensitive topic but hopefully, if you stick with the facts, remain sensitive and make an effort to help others, your brand will be able to ride through this difficult time. I hope these quick tips have helped if you’re stuck on brand marketing during COVID-19.

Do you have any other dos and don’ts for marketing in a pandemic. Have you seen any good or bad examples from other companies do online? Let me know in the comments below.

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