As marketers grapple with the best approaches to take amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they can help keep their businesses running during in order to minimize losses, Snapchat has this week provided some tips on how brands need to evolve their messaging, in line with shifting expectations and needs during the crisis.
And it can be a difficult balance. Many people have lost their jobs, or have seen their income reduced, not to mention the amount of people that have been directly impacted by the virus. As such, you don't want to be pushing inappropriate or insensitive content - yet, at the same time, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 shutdowns will only be exacerbated by more businesses pulling back, and losing revenue as a result.
For those that are in a position to continue operating, marketing now makes sense - but you do need to approach such carefully, and with consideration for those suffering as a result of the outbreak.
That's the key message that Snapchat underlines with its tips - as per Snap:
"Rather than using a global crisis as an opportunity to promote your brand, [you need to] craft thoughtful messages and create valuable experiences for Snapchatters. These best practices are true for any time, but should be particularly top of mind during uncertain times like this. As our community looks for guidance, perspective, and resources, brands can adjust their campaign messaging to support Snapchatters when they need it most."
Snapchat's outlined a range of key pointers aligned with these approaches - here's a look at just some of Snap's main tips for positive, helpful brand communications during COVID-19.
- "Help spread positivity by giving Snapchatters something to smile about" - Of course, we could all do with a little distraction right now, something to keep the spirits up while everybody's locked away. Positive content, aligned with your brand messaging, can be a good way to connect with audiences and contribute something beneficial.
- "Gamifying your brand messaging can help entertain and engage Snapchatters at length" - Snapchat notes that gaming is on the rise as people look for things to keep their minds occupied amid the lockdowns, so gamifying your approach could help to provide utility, while also helping to maintain connection with your audience.
- "Lift the community up by spreading awareness of local causes" - Small, local businesses and community clubs/groups are the ones that will be hit hardest by the COVID-19 shutdowns. If there's a way that you can help to promote or assist these organizations, that could be a great way to better ingratiate yourself with the community, and provide functional value at the same time.
- "Above all else, stay connected to your customers" - Snap advises that you should look to ensure that your customers feel supported, as opposed to using this as an opportunity for hard selling. What functional value does your business provide, and how is that relevant in the current situation? Getting to the core of your brand 'why' is essential in effective messaging.
As noted, Snapchat has outlined a lot more key pointers and notes in its full post, but the core message is that you need to consider the utility and benefit that you may be able to provide in these times of need, and use that to both help and stay connected to your audience, as opposed to seeking out direct sales opportunities, as such.
Of course, for many brands there are key opportunities in the market right now (home gym equipment, home office supplies, etc.). In those sectors, direct selling is a more immediate consideration, but even in those instances, looking to also provide community support will be key to brand-building, which is likely the main focus for most, along with helping the local people that are the lifeblood of your business.
You can check out Snapchat's full set of tips here.