With the uptick of suspected cases of COVID-19, it’s inevitable that more events will be cancelled or postponed. What does your brand do now? With some reframing in approach and strategy, turns out there are a few things that can be done. Here are some tips from us:
Update: 25 March, 4:00pm Singapore (GMT+8)
Since this article was published, the Singapore government has mandated that all gatherings outside work and school are to be limited to 10 people. As such our tip 2. Organise a private, intimate event, is no longer relevant. Our other tips are still viable options to connect with customers during this period. Stay safe and keep healthy!
1. Develop content
Use this opportunity to grow your brand’s social media presence. An innovative social campaign can generate awareness and yield the same or better results than a traditional campaign. With the flexibility of targeting specific audiences and the capability to monitor budgets closely, you can assess mid-campaign if it is working and adjust as needed. Additionally if one of your brand’s objectives is to reach out to the younger demographic, social media has the added benefit of an in-built audience of millennials and Gen Z-ers.
Light Years worked with POCARI SWEAT to curate a group of influencers whom we gifted with a specially designed sling bag to celebrate the brand’s partnership with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The influencers featured the bag in their #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) posts on their Instagram accounts along with details of how their followers could get their hands on it. This fulfilled the client’s objectives to grow their millennial following, while also pushing for sales conversion.
Similarly, Goldheart wanted to re-position itself as the go-to brand for millennial couples shopping for wedding jewellery. Light Years’ answer was to produce a series of three comedic but relatable videos featuring influencers. The videos were hosted on Goldheart’s social media accounts and were further amplified via Instagram ads and Youtube ads.
In today’s climate, it is not merely enough to talk at consumers on social media. As such, another activity to explore would be running a giveaway or competition to encourage user-generated content and interaction. This can help deepen engagement between the brand and consumers, while planting seeds of lasting relationship.
2. Organise an intimate, private event
If you absolutely must hold an event for your brand, you could organise several smaller events with a curated, invite-only list of no more than 30 attendees. Such events make for a more controlled environment where MOH recommended guidelines such as temperature checks and contact tracing can be conducted easily.
Smaller events create a more intimate and exclusive atmosphere, and afford a more targeted approach to the curation of attendees, where only the most brand-relevant influencers, media, VIP customers and interested members of the public will be invited. An event of such a scale should also focus more on brand-building instead of sales, to either reinforce or shift perceptions of the brand.
3. Situational marketing
Unless you’re the brand manager for a mask supplier, hand sanitiser or hand soap company, your KPIs might presently look daunting to meet. Now’s the time to get creative and come up with innovative ways to show consumers how your brand’s offerings fit into their lives regardless the climate.
For example, a beauty or skincare brand could take this opportunity to push their eye products. Think along the lines of “Let your eyes do all the talking” – based on the insight that women will want to look good even while having to wear masks. If your product has health benefits, use this as an angle to emphasise how it can boost immunity and keep consumers healthy.
Products with delivery services can capitalise on the fact that many consumers have been instructed to work from home, and are less likely to leave the house. This will be a good time to remind consumers of their delivery service offerings and how they can continue to enjoy their products without having to leave home.
4. Reach out to consumers directly via their inbox
SMS marketing is an accessible and fairly affordable method to communicate simple messaging. Since consumers rarely receive SMS messages (most communication is done on apps like WhatsApp or Telegram), they are more likely to open a message about a promotion or launch delivered by SMS.
If more than bite-sized information needs to be conveyed, email marketing might be the way to go. A thoughtfully designed and informative mailer stands a higher chance of creating an action. Don’t be afraid to incorporate interesting elements like GIFs and other motion graphics. To encourage higher open rates, be sure to personalise mailers by addressing the recipient by name or sending news tailored to the recipient’s interests.
Key to effective content marketing is to be where consumers are. Both methods can reach consumers directly via their smartphones – and we all know people these days hardly ever put their phones down.
Bearing in mind that both SMS and email marketing first requires having a list of contacts to disseminate your news to, you are reassured that your message is being delivered straight to the right audience – consumers who have either purchased or interacted with the brand in some way or form.
5. Utilise innovative technology
Take a leaf out of tech companies’ playbook and livestream your event instead. With compelling programming, a livestream enables you to reach a much larger audience, while being cost efficient. Or, hold a podcast and feature all your guest speakers across segments, i.e., episodes. These formats allow consumers to join at their own time – always a plus for the multi-tasking, time-starved consumer!
6. Do your bit for society
A 2017 YouGov Omnibus research article found that Singaporean consumers are concerned about corporate social responsibility (CSR), and that 88% of Singaporeans think businesses have a responsibility to do social good. In this time of uncertainty, why not do your part for the effort?
Homegrown businesses such as Grab and Old Chang Kee have stepped up to offer rides and free curry puffs to our healthcare workers on the frontline. A goodwill gesture will no doubt garner publicity, but the true value is communicating a positive brand association through the brand’s actions that will remain in consumers’ minds long after the virus is contained.