Let’s just agree to the fact that the road ahead for most of the brands, big or small, is punctuated by the novel Coronavirus. And everybody is hustling to find new ways to engage with their customers during this pandemic and get their businesses back on track. Zara owner closing down on 16% of its global outlets and investing in online platforms is one such example.
One of my favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln. He said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” So my dear marketers, hold on to that perseverance for a little longer, and keep hustling, because perseverance with the right technique will help you reap the benefits.
Here are some simple quick tips about brand engagement that will help you gain just the right velocity for your brand during these tough times:
1. Get your online presence right, if you haven’t already
Online marketing is expected to play a bigger role in the longer run. Pay attention to mobile first approach for your websites and apps, as an average Indian is spending around 4 hours a day on their smartphones. Your customers, in all likelihood, would choose a brand that provides a better user experience.
Inditex, parent company of Zara and Massimo Dutti among other brands, is investing $1billion over the next three years to improve their online presence and an additional $1.7 billion on upgrading its stores to become more integrated with its online platform by deploying advanced technology solutions.
“According to research conducted by Qualtrics, when it comes to brand communications, Indians are more interested in the operational impact of COVID-19 compared to sales and promotional marketing.”
2. Keep your business information up to date
Update your customers about your operating hours. You may also want to update your address on Google. When updating your customers about the measures of cleanliness, sanitization and precautions you are taking, try not to overwhelm them with unnecessary information. They are probably already flooded with a lot of information. Try to provide them with helpful information only.
3. Set clear guidelines as per World Health Organization (WHO) protocol
Make sure that your customers, especially existing ones, know about the safety measures your brand has undertaken so that they don’t shy away from engaging with you. Target new customers with the help of precise targeting techniques. Organize free webinars to solve their queries. Host virtual events with your channel partners.
4. Use multichannel to communicate with them
Now is the time to go that extra mile with the communication strategies. Be creative yet relevant with your message. Use relevant influencers to reach your target audience.
“The top three messages respondents wanted to hear were how the business is responding to the crisis (75 per cent), the impact on the distribution (48 per cent), and information on products and services (48 per cent).”
5. Reward customers who regularly interact with your brand
Regardless of whether the customer made a purchase or just interacted with your brand, try rewarding them with some bonuses in the form of loyalty points or just a personalized message saying ‘thank you’ and offering them a discount coupon on their next purchase. This will indeed be a delighting experience for them.
6. Be Sensitive
The last thing you want when engaging with your customers is to sound salsey. Nobody is interested to know the reasons to buy your product. But they may be looking for solutions to their problems. Try selling solutions and not products. Provide them with ‘at-home brand user experience’. Try spreading some joy. This will help build a long term relationship with them.