This year has been like one giant reset button for businesses around the world.
We are living in strange times. No longer can we rely on outdated marketing funnels, tone-deaf copywriting or one-size-fits-all SOPs for ROI. You gotta pivot… and fast. Here are 5 copywriting and marketing strategies you must do to stay alive and thrive this year.
Today I’m addressing a question I’ve received a lot lately – how do we as copywriters, marketers and business owners pivot in response to the global pandemic and other tumultuous social and economic events of late.
Ah yes. Pivot. The business keyword of the year that has taken on a rather different meaning. A slight repositioning? No sir. More like total emergency management.
As we all know by now, companies have been forced to either swiftly adapt to these new market shifts or risk going under quickly.
For many businesses, going digital has proven to be the ultimate payoff…
In fact, online sales have peaked to the highest level in history, increasing by over 40% in just three months since the pandemic was officially declared in February of this year.
But of course, it isn’t enough to just modify operations. The shift also needs to happen when it comes to your marketing and messaging.
Let me tell you – there has never been a better time to update those autoresponders, revisit that 5-year old sales page or rewrite your customer service documentation…
Because what worked then is most definitely not going to work now. At least not as well.
Now more than ever you need to empathize with your customers, cultivate deeper connections with your audience, and humanize your brand.
That’s not to say that you should change your entire story and voice. Your brand is ultimately the essence of who you are, what you do and why do it…
And that’s not likely to change overnight.
However there are some significant ways to adjust your messaging and marketing to stay relevant as we navigate these strange times and move towards the new normal.
These strategic innovations can make 2020 a wildly successful year for you, and I’m here to help! For more tips, tutorials and ideas to uplevel your copywriting and marketing strategy, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube Channel and once you’re there be sure to ring that bell to be notified when my next video goes live.
Now here are 5 important copywriting and marketing strategies to keep your business thriving right now… with some fun and unconventional examples included, of course.
#1. Address The Elephant In The Room
Yes! I’m here to say that you must address the big ol’ covid-shaped elephant in the room and face the issue head on. The worst thing you can do is to simply ignore what is going on, continue with business as usual and hope it all goes away. In this day and age, the market demands transparency and authenticity from the brands they buy from. So while “sweeping it under the rug” worked in our parents and grandparents generations, it’s not going to fly around here.
Now listen, I am NOT saying you should make every single post, email and piece of content you write be about what’s going on in the world…
But to dodge the subject entirely would seem tone-deaf or inauthentic. How many of you got emails in your inbox days or even weeks after the world went into lockdown that were clearly automated and scheduled before the pandemic.
Let’s just say that KFC’s “Finger-Lickin-Good” ads looked “Pretty-Freakin-Bad” after the outbreak.
Keeping your messaging current and consistent with what’s going on in the world – and in the minds of your customers – will help establish trust, relevancy and reliability.
And it doesn’t always have to be serious, guys. If your brand language is usually playful and uplifting, there are ways to still keep to that voice entact.
Take Poo-Pourri, for example. For those of you who are not aware of the company, they are a “poop-positive” brand that produces pretty-smelling toilet sprays. You heard that right — it’s a thing!
Poo-Pourri is known for their punny ads and commercials, taking toilet humor to the next level. If they had tried to take a serious approach in their recent messaging it would have sounded totally forced and off brand.
Throughout the lockdown, they kept their marketing and content lighthearted by making references to that quarantine life, keeping your bathroom hygiene in check while working from home and even having a positive mindset with their hashtag — #LetThat-💩-Go.
Oh and one more thing — now more than ever, make sure whatever news or messaging you relay is ACCURATE.
With the amount of conspiracy theories, unbacked opinions and fake news circulating online, it’s important for your brand to deliver facts from reliable sources.
#2. Prioritize Existing Relationships
One of the best things you can do right now is to invest time and energy into strengthening your relationship with your current customers and clients.
According to a recent study of nearly 300 top marketers at US-based companies, despite the economic downturn, customers are prioritizing trusted relationships when making buying decisions, even over low pricing.
Which makes sense because trust and connection are among the driving factors sustaining our morale as we adapt to the current climate.
According to the same survey, 70% of marketers believe that customers are also motivated by the social activism, outreach and investments of the brands they support.
Let’s use this surprising market example — jewelry. You would think that jewelry would be among the least prioritized purchases right now.
While the market has definitely taken a hit, many luxury and independent names such as Bulgari, Asprey and Tiffany’s are donating proceeds to COVID-19-related causes and increasing outreach to their current clientele.
As a result, and – of course – also given cancelled travel plans, postponed investments, and decrease in social expenditures — loyal customers of these brands are more inclined to purchase jewelry for their sentimental value to make up for the sudden change in their lifestyles.
Yes, we are talking about an audience that falls in the higher income bracket. And no, this doesn’t necessarily mean that jewelry brands are raking in more profits right now than normal. But these efforts are keeping these non-essential businesses afloat during this time, and clearly indicate the value that can come from having a strong relationship with your customers and clients.
#3. Step Up Your Game On Social Media
What do customers do when they are confirmed to their homes, with fewer work hours and minimal outdoor activity? Look at their cell phones for a taste of life outside their bubble!
Remaining visible throughout the pandemic is critical to build brand engagement and value, retain current customers and connect with prospects.
Social media is probably the most important tool for marketers to achieve this. According to the survey I referenced earlier, 84.2% of marketers say they used social media for brand building… and 54.3% say they’ve used it to effectively retain customers during the pandemic.
For example, as museums and galleries around the world were forced to cease their operations, the Getty Museum in California launched the ‘Getty Museum Challenge’, daring their followers to continue celebrating their love for art during lockdown by recreating their favourite artwork using objects found around their house.
The campaign was a great success, with entries that went viral for their humour and creativity, lifting the mood of viewers around the world amidst the pandemic.
#4. Make Your Marketing Relevant
Making your marketing relevant to the current circumstances and lifestyle of your customers will give you a great advantage, especially if your products revolve around activities that are now restricted or banned temporarily.
For example, we see a lot of these changes in the restaurant and fashion industries. Besides moving to delivery and pickup options, many restaurants have also taken the grocery approach and are selling their dishes as frozen meals or even meal kits for those who prefer to cook it fresh at home.
Fashion labels have adopted creative ways to position their products as loungewear, at-home wear or remote work wear for the frequent zoom caller.
Brands like Zara even had their models photograph themselves in the label’s Spring and Summer collections in home environments…
And festival wear makers, iHeartRaves, switched up their game by presenting their clothes as fun lingerie and funky loungewear.
I love a creative pivot that works.
#5. Meet Your Customers Wherever They Are
As I mentioned earlier in this video, empathy is a key advantage in times like these.
What would be some of the more unique concerns and pain points that your customers have right now, beyond the obvious? How can you use your copy to resonate with what they’re going through and how they are feeling?
And more importantly — how can you be of service without making conversion your utmost priority?
This is also an invitation to revisit your customer avatar profile and make some updates to your customer support messaging.
Based on the characteristics and goals of your current ideal customer — think about what their life looks like right now. What challenges are they facing? What is their stance on what is going on in the world? How can you back them up and what can you do to address their needs and desires best?
For example, given the sudden breakdown of the travel industry, nearly 90 percent of travel marketers have slashed their budgets. AirBnb was quick to offer financial solutions to their hosts and connect them with potential guests in different ways.
Hosts can now offer online experiences, activities and classes such as art, cooking, meditation and virtual tours for a small fee.
By doing this, AirBnb is also paving the way towards a new definition of travel — fostering humanity and diversity by helping travelers discover new destinations and cultures from a distance.
Watch This Instead
There you have it — five marketing and messaging pivots for staying relevant in today’s environment.
Above all, it’s oh so important to keep a growth mindset during these challenging transitions. Remember that change is constant, and that pivots are NEEDED for growth.
Yes, the current global situation has made it more urgent with very little time to adjust, but these unexpected innovations can lead to success, longevity and relevancy!
I’ve had countless students, clients and mastermind members tell me that their business has taken a huge leap in 2020 because they’ve been able to refocus on what matters most and let go of things that are no longer working.
And I’m here to help you guys do the same! Leave me a comment below if you found this article helpful!
Coming up next — the post many of you have been waiting for — my own step-by-step method to critiquing a sales page. Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel so you don’t miss it.
Until next week, I’m Alex. Ciao for now!