Responding to a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic is no easy feat, especially, since this is one of the first global pandemics during the digital age. No one has all of the answers during this uncertain time, but as a branding agency in Raleigh NC, we are here to try and help you manage your brand and its reputation during these times.
At Red Shark Digital, we are committed to supporting our clients (and their customers) through the pandemic. As a brand, you will always have the opportunity and a responsibility to take care of the people that define who your brand is — your customers and employees. Times of crisis make this responsibility doubly important, but also more difficult to execute, which is why we have put together a short list of three things you can do to manage your brand effectively during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Step One: Read the Room and Listen
The first step in effective brand management during a pandemic is often the one many business owners and brand leaders overlook. You have to be able to read the room and listen to how the pandemic is affecting your target audience. You can do this by using a variety of social listening tools, one of the most popular being Google Trends. Google Trends will allow you to see what people are searching for and just how much traction online a topic is getting.
Listening and researching how your brand’s key audience is feeling and interacting during the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be your best friend in determining a brand strategy and learning how to serve your customers during this troubling time.
Step Two: Serving Your Audience
You may not realize it, but your brand has immense power during this outbreak. If you’ve done your proper research and completed step one in my three-step plan, then you are already on your way to successfully serving your audience.
Your brand can connect and proactively serve your customers in your community. Social communities can be a helpful resource for customers as a public-facing page of business updates, and if you are looking to, you can even share COVID-19 related news. If you share COVID-19 updates in a positive way that reflects your brand’s message, you may get more traction than your local news outlet.
Social communities are also useful for employees, as an internal page, to share company and operational updates for your employees. During crises, it can be easy to focus only on your customers and forget about your employees. Prioritizing employee wellbeing, listening to their concerns, and responding to their needs will help you take better care of customers. Not to mention- many consumers have said during this outbreak that they are more likely to use companies who have publicly shown that they are taking care of their employees during the pandemic than another brand or company who took advantage of its employees and focused solely on profits instead of public health.
Now that you’ve mastered steps one and two, let’s discuss the last step in proper brand management during the pandemic: connecting.
Step Three: Connecting with Your Audience
With all of the uncertainty, brands are getting more consumer questions and engagement than ever! Customers are very curious about how their favorite brands, services, and stores are responding to and preparing for reopening during this time. It’s helpful to make a proactive statement that’s empathetic and forward-thinking. If your statement works, then you will see continued brand loyalty throughout this time and after!
As support volumes increase and things change daily, there are many tactical things that your brand and customer care team can do to set yourself up for success as a partner and reliable source in times of crisis for your customers. While these responses will vary depending on your industry, it is critical that you use this time to connect with your customers before another brand does during the pandemic.
The Time is Now
Don’t let another brand capitalize on you missing the mark during this time. Follow our three steps to proper brand management during the pandemic and if you have any other questions, feel free to contact a member of the Red Shark Digital team today!
Red Shark Digital is a superior full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in Web Design, SEO, Branding, and Digital Advertising. With offices across North Carolina including Raleigh, Greenville, and Wilmington, our team of digital marketing specialists are able to create catered solutions for your business needs. Our clients have allowed us to push the boundaries of web and creative design, while building innovative results for their company and their brand. These clients have encompassed multiple industries including higher education, healthcare, and major commercial franchises. Our wide range of clientele has allowed us to craft specialized strategies for businesses of all sizes while conveying our knowledge across a variety of platforms. We always strive to connect brands to customers, learn what we can do for your business today.