The coronavirus pandemic has significantly impacted how businesses advertise to customers and how brands communicate USPs and core messaging above the line.
The global plan to combat the spread of the virus is largely to enforce nationwide lockdowns and encourage people to stay at home. This forces users to adapt, and as they do, are potentially forming new long-term consumer habits. Understanding these changes, as a brand is fundamental in surviving such trying times.
You know your business better than anyone, and while I can only speak at a high level, here are 4 things every business owner, brand or advertiser can do to ride the crisis:
1. New Ways to Consume
As with most national states of emergency, the coronavirus lockdown is changing user behavior. If you have a location-based business, like a hair salon or a gym, you are directly impacted and there is little you can do. However, this time can be used to find a new approach to meet your consumer’s needs.
For example, if you offered your clients access to gym memberships and fitness sessions, your clients would not be able to use your facilities and services and would likely look to implement immediate changes to remain active. They might take to online tutorials in their efforts to workout at home, in isolation. But by putting together a set of YouTube videos and fitness tutorials that they can access, you can offer new forms of membership. This is a quick example, but still shows what can be done to adapt to consumer change.
Even if your business is online, it’s likely you will have witnessed changes in consumer buying habits. Vodafone reports 50% increase in internet usage in the UK since people started working from home, and food delivery demand is so high that services like Gousto have stopped serving new customers.
Consider how the crisis is going to affect your customer’s journey, so you can understand how they might adapt their behavior in the face of change.
2. Brand Awareness Is Still Key
Despite the natural tendency to make significant changes to monthly household budgets, with more time at home and less social interactions, customers are spending more time online.
Italy reports 70% increase in home Internet consumption since the lockdown, mostly across 3 categories: communication, necessities, entertainment.
Necessities include a lot of time spent researching how to manage this crisis. Search for topics related to health and basic necessities have skyrocketed since the beginning of the crisis, creating content opportunities.
Preemptively answering your customers questions in an article is a great first step. Content remains key – make sure your consumers looking for advice can find your article or videos educating them on the topic.
Now more than ever, it is vital to keep your brand out there and adapt to the shifts in consumer need and consumption.
3. Be a Friend
With limited social interactions in their daily lives, some customers are likely to feel more lonely and even depressed. Your brand can become their friend in these difficult times. Taking some personal time to talk to your top customers can be comforting in these difficult times.
Keep the communication open with them, and make sure their experience remains at its best. Now is the worst time to create additional hurdles in their lives. If possible, consider flexible payment methods or a money back guarantee. At Admix, we have put a credit facility in place to support 30-day payments for all our developers starting from this month. This will make it easier on our developers’ cashflow and is a measure we will aim to keep after the crisis is over.
More simply, you can just be a friendly face on social media. Discord and Three are great examples of authenticity because they’re interacting with their audience on Twitter in a funny way.
4. The Eyes Still Have It
What may become known as the Zoom revolution has undoubtedly lead to a spike in the consumption of entertainment products. Gaming platform Steam reported an all-time high number of concurrent users – over 20M. Counter-Strike reported a similar all-time high in 20 years. Search terms like ‘play online’ and ‘online games’ have spiked +100% over the first week of March in the US and UK.
With more time at home, people across the world are going to spend more time entertaining themselves. At $160B a year, gaming represents 75% of the entertainment industry in terms of consumer spend: 3 times more than the movies and music industry combined.
According to data we have recorded internally this week on our portfolio of games, we estimate the crisis will increase playtime by about 20% worldwide – or about 500M hours of gameplay a day worldwide – a huge opportunity for brands to reach more eyeballs that play online. After all, games are the safest place for your customers to hang out during the crisis!