And 4 more essential questions for content creators during COVID-19
Touting EQ (emotional intelligence) as marketing’s elixir is nothing new. And of its five components defined by science journalist Daniel Goleman back in 1995, ‘empathy’ is surely the skill that brands and organisations need to demonstrate in spades during COVID-19. At a time when fear and uncertainty are heightened, showing that you understand what your audience is experiencing emotionally, and offering rational solutions to help them take back control, is a sure-fire way to build relationships that endure.
Would visualisation be a better way to get your message across?
One of the inevitable side-effects of COVID-19 has been the explosion of content from every channel. A bombardment of facts, figures, statistics, science, medical advice and opinions that threatens to overwhelm audiences’ understanding of what can truly be done to help stop the spread. So bear in mind that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and that the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Take inspiration from Karl Gude, former infographics director at Newsweek and The AP, who responded to the UN’s shout out to creatives with Break the Chain of Infection – a visual guide now saving lives worldwide.
Is your tone in tune with the times?
At the beginning of the UK lockdown, research by Twitter Insiders reported that only 6% believed brands should continue to use their normal tone of voice to communicate during COVID-19 – while at the same time 69% recognised companies need to advertise to keep their businesses afloat. Cloth-eared, insensitive messaging that ignores what’s going on in the world can do irreparable damage to an organisation or brand. But there is the opportunity to stand out (without appearing opportunistic, of course) by offering help. Recent insights from Kantar’s COVID-19 Barometer revealed the top comms strategies among consumers to be talking about how the brand is helpful in the new everyday (77%) closely followed by keeping them informed about the brand’s reaction to the new situation (75%). So just remember the three Rs: be relevant, resonant and give reassurance.
Are you doing all you can digitally?
Even the current COVID-19 crisis can’t touch marketing’s holy grail – delivering the right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel. And right now, with record numbers working from home sitting in front of a screen, redeploying resources and ramping up digital activity could be the way forward – and beyond. According to a new Ofcom report, the UK’s internet users are spending a record-breaking amount of time online, including 36% more time on social media during the pandemic’s peak in April than in January this year. For professional audiences seeking interaction, engagement and answers, webinars are proving hugely popular. Our recent First Voice webinar on ‘Coronavirus: Financial help from FSB‘ attracted 11,420 registrants and a record-breaking 8,541 attendees. And for a welcome break from screen-time, and learning on the go, MIDAS data reports 9.4 million podcast listeners in the UK – that’s an increase of 45% in the last year.
Could pre-COVID-19 values be holding you back?
This year the International Day of the Midwife fell on Tuesday 5 May – the same date that the Royal College of Midwives planned its much anticipated annual awards. Quite rightly, for health and safety – and following government guidelines – the live event could not go ahead. But that didn’t prevent a joyous virtual celebration across social media that captured the spirit of the occasion and delighted midwives across the globe. So before postponing or even abandoning scheduled marketing activities because they cannot be executed with the same polish and pizzazz as previously, re-frame your ambitions and think in terms of the new normal. With creative thinking you could be producing content experiences that are more innovative, interesting and engaging than ever before.