Need to Know: Marketing Tips for Staying Connected in a Socially Distanced World
With stay-at-home orders issued across the country, business owners have to get creative with ways to engage with their customers. Luckily, with digital marketing and social media, companies large and small are able to connect directly with their audiences right in their own homes.
Dr. Rishika Rishika, assistant professor of marketing at Poole College of Management, shares some marketing tips for using social media to help businesses stay connected in a socially distanced world.
- Use social media to connect and engage with customers. It is truer now than ever. As customer-business interactions have reduced to a trickle, it is up to businesses to find innovative ways to stay connected with their customers and engage them in a productive dialogue that keeps the relationship alive. Companies must use the available social media channels and tools to communicate continuously with their customers and provide more opportunities for their customers to share their stories about the brand or the company’s products. Even the most loyal customers need to feel that the brands they love also love them back and stand with them in these trying times!
- Weave social distancing messaging into brand/product stories. Many brands are incorporating social distancing messages into their own marketing communications. Brands such as McDonald’s and Volkswagen have even redesigned their logos to emphasize the social distancing message along with the brand message. Connecting marketing communications with social messages, especially the ones that are affecting large groups of customers at the same time, can help strike an emotional and caring tone, which resonate with customers and help strengthen brand equity in the long run.
- Target new customer segments. This may be a good time for some businesses to expand or penetrate into new target markets as customer-business relationships start to weaken in the socially distanced world. For example, if a close competitor caters largely to a promotion-sensitive segment, it would be a smart strategy to attract those customer segments by offering attractive deals.
- Shore up the online and mobile channels. It is safe to say that social distancing is here to stay with us for a while. Businesses must invest in strengthening the supply chain for its online and mobile channels as customers are likely to be shopping virtually. Making the online shopping experience seamless with reliable customer support is the key to having a winning strategy that, in the long run, that can help acquire and retain customers.
- Help build customer social networks. Investing in a platform where customers can connect with one another may keep your audience engaged, while also helping to spread the business’s message to a broader audience. It is well known that information from other customers is more trusted than direct marketing communications from a company. In a world where customers cannot connect face-to-face, more opportunities must be created in the digital world to facilitate these connections to not only sustain a company but also strengthen them for the future.