Moving Beyond ‘We’re Here for You’ — Updating Your COVID-19 Advertising Copy to Show Customers You Can Meet Their Needs

You've no doubt changed the way you do business since the start of the pandemic, but have you focused on evolving your COVID-19 messaging strategy?

Evolving Your COVID-19 Messaging Strategy

With the continually changing landscape, it can be difficult to ensure your marketing campaigns reflect the current moment. But that shouldn't take a back seat to updating your services. If you've implemented social distancing in your stores but haven't made that known to customers, for instance, they may choose to buy from someone who has communicated those kinds of changes.

During the 2020 holiday season, customers deviated from their normal shopping habits to meet their safety and convenience needs. About 75% of consumers have moved to brand-agnostic shopping to fulfill those needs. Because of this, you can't rely on pre-COVID-19 advertising copy. Instead, you need to alter your message to explain how you're meeting people's needs now.

Evolving Your Coronavirus Messaging Strategy

If you want to make the biggest impact, start by updating your website and social media pages. Once that content is updated, move to all advertising from print to broadcast and digital. Above all, you want to make sure that your COVID-19 advertising copy is consistent and fresh across all channels. Customers who see your campaigns on Facebook, YouTube, on TV, and even in stores should be able to identify your brand instantly.

As you begin to update your creative and copy to showcase the changes your business is making during COVID-19, keep these best practices in mind:

1. Empty empathy doesn't sell.

At the beginning of the pandemic, businesses everywhere said they cared during these "trying times." It's time to move beyond those empty platitudes. Be descriptive — show and tell your audience the practical ways you're there for them.

For instance, we know families are sick to death of cooking at home but wary of overspending. Taking those preferences into account, a restaurant could offer family dinner specials. Similarly, a realtor could provide virtual walkthroughs, or an auto dealer could adjust its complimentary services to include free vehicle pickup and drop-off.

Everything you've done with customers' security and preferences in mind is fair game for your updated marketing messages. The newness might have worn off for your company, but that information could be a key differentiator for a customer waffling between your businesses and one down the street.

2. Give people clear reasons to shop with your brand.

Everyday life continues to change as coronavirus cases rise and fall. Stay on top of those changes to demonstrate your organization's responsiveness and compassion. How? Listen to customers closely to understand their pain points.

The more you know about your customers, the more tools and choices you can leverage to draw them to your company. Plenty of other organizations are already winning hearts by changing their protocols. Case in point: Doctors who had never tried telemedicine before the pandemic experimented with virtual office visits to serve their patients better.

3. Update your messaging at least monthly.

Given how quickly things are changing at the moment, your messaging can become dated in the blink of an eye. Plan to review your digital and print collateral pieces at least once a month, if not more frequently.

To make sure this happens, assign the responsibility to a point person. That way, you'll never have to worry about getting behind the proverbial eight ball. Your customers will appreciate your business remaining current and alert.

What if you have bad news to share? Turn it into a positive by taking a few pointers from Lululemon. The fashion brand had to close many of its brick-and-mortar stores at the start of the pandemic. Not only did Lululemon inform its customers promptly, but it also used those closures as an opportunity to highlight its online services.

The changes businesses are making during COVID-19 run the gamut from subtle to extraordinary. Take steps to help consumers understand the unique ways your company has adapted to meet their needs by creatively and earnestly evolving your coronavirus messaging strategy and output.

Want to upgrade your COVID-19 advertising copy to make sure it's accurate and enticing? Partner with Cox Media Group Local Solutions today!

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