Masks, quarantines, and fears of the unknown. The marketing audiences of 2020 have a lot on their minds, with COVID-19 sitting high up on the list.
But while mental shifts have impacted consumer spending overall, many marketers have managed to still find success during the coronavirus pandemic. Digital advertising spend is up, email open rates are on the rise, and plenty of brands are still connecting with their customers despite the necessity of social distancing.
What do these marketers know that you might not? To answer that, we’ve pulled together some stories of the top post-COVID marketing strategies out there!
If you’re a marketer working through 2020, take a look at the lessons below and begin brainstorming how these marketing methods may play out with your own business!
“Couch Potatriot” by Burger King
At the start of the pandemic, many were unsure how to live exclusively from the confines of their home. Fast-food lovers especially felt this pain, and Burger King tackled it head-on.
In this clever piece of advertising, BK addressed their audience’s primary pain-points:
- They solved hunger – the “want” of its customers – by encouraging them to have Burger King delivered.
- They solved cost barriers by offering free delivery through their app.
- They solved the “should I be staying home?” conundrum facing so many consumers by branding the act as patriotic.
While many restaurants began to offer delivery delivery options earlier this year, Burger King’s approach stands out because they highlighted what was going through their customers’ minds and provided solutions to some of their most pressing concerns.
Take this into account as you develop your own strategies that can help you connect with your customers on an even deeper level.
“Visible Acts of Kindness” by Visible
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, prepaid cell-phone carrier Visible believed many consumers would soon face financial hardships. Rather than devote marketing toward customer acquisition exclusively, they instead sought to help those individuals facing difficulties.
Visible created the social media campaign #VisibleActsofKindness and identified 1,000 families – several who were not Visible customers – and proudly donated Amazon gift cards to each. The company also partnered with celebrities to spread the word and identify more people in need of Visible’s assistance.
The marketing methods resulted in 6 million impressions and started conversations with 2 million potential cell-phone customers.
Whether by making donations, providing assistance, or even just promoting goodwill, brands spreading positivity in a world gripped by the coronavirus pandemic are witnessing marketing success.
With the right strategy, your brand can also become the beacon of hope your customers are seeking.
“Isolated Not Alone” by AVON
While the pandemic upended everyone’s lives, AVON recognized that some of the most vulnerable people faced another threat. With schools and businesses closed as a result of shelter-in-place orders and the ongoing effects of the virus, many women and children at risk of domestic violence found themselves trapped with their predators.
AVON has long been a voice for domestic violence victims, and recognizing a current-era need, took advantage of its marketing reach to start the right conversations.
To shine light on these unexpected results of the pandemic, AVON partnered with domestic violence-awareness organizations. Together they hosted live video sessions with global thought leaders and their customers on the topic. The company also issued open letters to government organizations asking for greater emphasis on domestic violence prevention.
Strong brands have values which help them connect them with their audiences. Amid the emotionally-heightened pandemic, strong marketers must harness those shared values in order to connect their customers meaningfully.
“When Everyone Goes Back: Mountaineers Go First” by West Virginia University
Almost everyone’s wondering when normal life will return. While no one knows when (or if) that will happen, several brands are ensuring normal is still the focus no matter the situation.
That’s happening at West Virginia University, whose online programs (which currently educate the entire student body) proudly state “When Everyone Goes Back: Mountaineers Go First” atop each page.
The brand has committed to its students that, when the time comes, their school will be ready. Their promise of better days ahead defines that campaign, providing consistent reminders that everything happening right now is temporary and we’ll get through it together.
While marketers must acknowledge the truth of the current reality, brands and customers can also unite in a desire for normalcy. Remind your target audience that we’re all working as one and watch as they connect better with your marketing overall.
“Pay It Forward” by First and South
Email marketing has evolved since the start of the pandemic, connecting many brands to their customers through this online marketing channel. And for First and South, a popular bar and restaurant in Greenport, NY, email became a lifeline for their community.
First and South has long promoted its Dining Club points program. When the restaurant’s delivery service became inundated in the shutdown period, several customers inquired about transferring their points to feed hospital workers.
Realizing a community want, the restaurant updated its email marketing strategy to allow customers to easily donate their points for meals to those in need. Customers now had the chance to leave notes with their donation with new messaging and subject line options. They also had an option to purchase additional points and then “Pay It Forward,” a move that brought in more than $25,000 in sales its first 30 days.
Right now, many customers are focused on helping their communities. As we’ve seen above, email provides a medium by which brands can connect to this cause and succeed.
Inspired People Make Amazing Things Happen
The stories above represent a variety of marketing scenarios. Despite their differences, they all prove that brands must connect with their customers and address the problems they’re facing right now.
At Yokel Local, we have a team of creative, inspired marketers ready to help you do exactly that. Our proven processes help you connect and engage, even during the pandemic. To schedule a free consultation with our team, click here!