Should brands still be looking to promote under the looming cloud of COVID-19?
This is a difficult question to answer, as, for the most part, it depends. It depends on your product and its relevance at this time, it depends on your messaging and how in-tune you are with broader world events. Essentially, it's less about what you want to say right now, and more about what your audience wants to hear, and will respond to if they're, indeed able.
So, crystal clear, right? Marketers should just pay attention and make sure they're providing messaging that people want amid the crisis.
To provide some further insight on this, Twitter recently conducted a survey of what users are looking for from brands during the coronavirus pandemic.
Here's what they found:
So, really, consumers are less looking for overt promotion, and more for efforts that help build your brand by looking to assist.
But that doesn't mean that marketers can't look to sell also - in fact, as noted by Twitter:
"Only 37% of people on Twitter in the US believe it’s insensitive for brands to continue advertising as normal."
In general, there seems to be an understanding that businesses which can continue their operations need to maximize their opportunities where possible, in order to reduce broader economic impacts. But providing assistance to your local communities is also important, as is supporting employees and providing options that relate to the current situation.
In addition to this, Twitter also notes that video content is seeing a big boost at present.
As reflected in other trend reports, with increased digital media consumption, and fewer advertisers competing for attention, there is opportunity in the market for those brands that are able to continue marketing through the global shutdowns.
But businesses do need to remain wary of the situation as it stands, while marketers should look to reinforce their branding efforts by providing assistance to others where possible.
You can read Twitter's full COVID-19 trends data report here.