As a start-up entrepreneur, COVID-19 may have hit you hard – in terms of marketing and online presence, you may be wondering how and why you should continue. The idea of being active on social media might seem useless to you if you’re not going to be making any sales. Perhaps you’re even contemplating continuing with your business and are looking for a sign to keep going. Well, we’re that sign, and we’re telling you to keep going, and keep marketing online!
As experts in online marketing, we know a thing or two about how to keep your brand active during this difficult time, and we figured, what better way to inspire your creative juices than to give you 10 examples to draw inspiration from? The importance of marketing during COVID-19 can be beneficial – it can help you create a closer bond with your audience. Ditching hard-selling for soft-advertising means your approach changes. Instead of only advertising your products and services, now you share sentimental posts such as tips and tricks on how to stay safe during COVID and how to keep entertained while at home.
Let’s look at Mr Price for example, since the lockdown was announced, they took the strategic decision of pausing their hard-selling of clothes and focus more on posting content which promotes User Generated Content – asking users to share their lockdown playlists and inviting them to a live yoga class! This brilliant idea places Mr Price as industry leaders, not only do they have the trendiest clothes, but their social media and paid media is just as cool. They give their audience something to brag about when having to explain why they choose Mr Price. It’s not only the clothes but the content. Let’s look at 9 more brands your organisation can draw inspiration from – showing you that you too can survive the COVID-19 spell.
What better way to research the kind of content to post on Instagram than to actually follow Instagram itself? You might expect them to post their updates and to bombard us with their technical jargon, but that’s not the case. Boasting in celebrating humans from all over the world who do extraordinary things, Instagram’s feed spells two things: Inclusivity and Life, and how much more do we need to celebrate life than during lockdown. Perhaps you’re a life coach or an influencer, if that’s the case, this account is the perfect place to draw motivation from.
Did you know that you can post a picture of a deflated basketball without being a sports shop? If you’re a life coach, you can relate it to how we’re all feeling at the moment. If you’re a personal trainer, you can link it to how your audience can lose weight by eating right. Either way, during the lockdown, your content can do with some soft-advertising – posts that don’t directly sell your product but make reference to it. Later Media has taken this and made it their specialty, with the use of pastel colours, they make it difficult for you to miss their feed and paid ads. You too can look into this strategy, especially if your brand offers a service that makes people’s lives easier.
What better way to market a camera than with good quality pictures? An example of how you can market your foot cream by posting healthy, well-moisturised feet. The end product matters more than the product – by showing your audience what your product can do, you’re giving them a reason to make your product a must-buy-present once the lockdown has been lifted – Instax SA has gotten that right.
Ever heard of the term thirst trap? Well, MilkyLane is definitely one. Even before the lockdown, they made use of content that would entice cravings – they gave their audience a reason to want to purchase their food. Even now, they are using the element of nostalgia to hook us onto their feed by posting images of their meals which were taken before the ‘Rona’ as they refer Corona to.
Inclusivity and equality are two phrases the apparel giant Nike has become well known for. Their boldness in preaching for equality in the sports environment speaks louder than words, their videos have created a new phase of marketing – no longer do they directly advertise their apparel, but rather who their apparel is made for, which is everyone. It can be said that they were ahead of their time in using sentimental marketing, they don’t need to switch up their marketing for COVID, they can continue as they were – their strategy works best during difficult times like these.
Influencer marketing has easily become one of the most popular forms of marketing. As an entrepreneur or novice influencer, what content do you post during the lockdown? Or if you’re a clothing boutique and your customers keep tagging you in their fashion looks, why not use their content to indirectly market your clothes? Many brands such as Nivea have given influencer marketing a go and are reaping the benefits. InDaHash is an influencing marketing platform that pairs brands with the correct influencers. In their feed, they post User-generated Content to show brands that they only deal with high-end influencers.
Dollar Shave Club
Content that is specially created for males can be challenging since it’s not common. The Dollar Shave Club makes use of a mixture of humorous, simple, and direct online content to get the message across to their target market. Sometimes we overthink content, and in many instances, your content needs to be specially curated to relate to your target audience. Soft marketing can be fun to create, it doesn’t always need to be colourful and animated.
Airbnb has partnered with their hosts to assist in housing essential workers such as doctors and nurses during COVID-19. This initiative places Airbnb as an organisation that takes socio issues such as this pandemic seriously. By inviting their hosts to provide housing during this pandemic, they’re taking the meaning of Corporate Social Investment to another level – they’re giving meaning the what it means to share. You too can draw inspiration by donating masks or food parcel for those affected by the pandemic, if you can. If you can’t, there’s no harm in offering coupons or free appointments to help relieve the financial strain of your clients.
If you’re looking for design ideas and aesthetics to theme your feed to, then Canva is a good place to start. As leaders in design and artwork, their feed comprises of artwork that appeals to the general audiences’ eyes – its catchy, colourful, and illustrated. Illustrations are becoming a trend to look out for. The simplicity of illustrations makes it easy for their content to be relatable across all platforms and profiles – young and old. In the case of COVID, it’s a good idea to look at online marketing which includes illustrations that tell an optimistic story by using calm colours and relatable content.
Every women’s guilty pleasure – Cosmo’s online feed is funny, engaging, and trendy. Just like Nike, there’s not much they need to change in their marketing strategy. The presence of their online magazine makes it easy for them to direct readers to their website. Their catchy posts are always on time to poke fun at the latest jokes and celebrity news. Their content is relatable to the modern-day do-it-all girl – their use of memes and UGC allows for audience engagement, which is something crucial for brands to get right during the lockdown.
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