Opinion: How brands are finding their place in the COVID-19 conversations

Sahil Vaidya The Minimalist

Sahil Vaidya of The Minimalist pens down a few marketing strategies adopted by brands that helped them break through the clutter during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to various eye-opening turns in the world and there was significant momentum in the sphere of digital marketing. In the current scenario, the path of thought-provoking and inventive content has been a successful way for brands to reach their target audience. It’s incredible how brands have been using the power of social media in the past few months, to take a step towards promoting the safety and well-being of their consumers through powerful content.

Consumers have also become very selective when it comes to the content being offered to them. Here are some interesting ways in which brands have broken through the online clutter and reached the hearts of the consumers:

1. Inclusive Marketing

The era of inclusive marketing is here, where the consumer relationship isn’t limited to buying and selling anymore. Brands are making their consumers feel seen, heard, and cared for. For example, Urban Company launched a campaign for Women’s Day which encouraged women to show love and appreciation for other strong and beautiful women in their lives, breaking the age-old stereotype that women are always working against each other to grow in society.

2. High Engagement High Data Driven Content

Brands are shifting their focus from Sales Driven content to content creating high engagement on their platforms. This means that brands have to invest that much more into understanding what their consumers are looking for and hence Brands now highly depend on content backed up by the right data. Moment Marketing is one such tool that helps brands engage with customers. Brands like Zomato, Amul, Swiggy who have been active in creating relatable content, started churning content keeping in mind the Covid19 sentiments.

3. Virtualization Of Experience

Webinars turned to Seminars, Offline Billboards switched to Google Banners and Offline stores found their place on E-commerce Websites. With these changes that took over during the pandemic, it became immensely important for Brands to define the best user journeys on their websites, social media, and other digital platforms. Brands have now started using technology to enhance customer experience with the help of AI, Lives, and chatbots to add that X factor to their offerings and keep the consumers engaged. For example, Facebook hosted Live Shopping Fridays to give businesses a chance to exhibit their products without any boundaries.

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4. Social Causes Became The Prime Focus

Brands started to show their humanitarian side by lending a helping hand to the society that makes them what they are. Influencers like Niharika NM, Saurabh Ghadge made sure to use their enormous reach to provide Helpline numbers, information on the availability of medical aids, bringing attention to audiences who were in dire need of help. Brands like PayTM took a step forward to raise funds to donate oxygen cylinders.

5. Storytelling Through Videos

Studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more videos from their favorite brands and businesses. And hence, Brands started focusing more on storytelling and connecting with their consumers on an emotional level rather than pitch for lead generation through their campaigns. For example, Donatekart made a video to free young girls from rural India from the shackles of societal taboos against menstruation and bring about a positive change. 

6. Health & Safety Took The Driver’s Seat

As the pandemic set in, brands, as well as consumers, shifted their focus entirely on healthy and hygienic ways to lead lives. Brands like Dettol started rolling out new hygiene products like Laundry Sanitizers and Swiggy made sure that consumers feel safe to order online and accept deliveries from complete strangers by setting up protocols like regular safety checks at the restaurants, temperature checks for their delivery men, and contactless delivery.

This empathy-driven approach has been a welcome change in the digital ecosystem. This approach is here to stay for a while as human sentiments are at a peak and brands need to be wary of it.

This article piece is authored by Sahil Vaidya, Co-founder, The Minimalist.