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10 Best Ways to Reach Out to Customers During the Pandemic

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Many businesses have been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result, businesses and brands have been scrambling to adapt and innovate their marketing strategies. Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, it is wise and crucial for brands to alter their marketing efforts - the refusal to do so can result in grave consequences, evident by the number of businesses which have collapsed during these difficult times.

If you are at your wits' end trying to reach out to customers, we have simplified it for you. Here are 4 best ways to reach out to your target demographic during these uncertain times.

1. Focus On Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Enhancing your brand's online presence is especially integral now. Remote working and staying home has become the new norm, forcing numerous industries and consumers to shift online.

Thus, brands should start pivoting their focus to digital marketing - engaging their customers through a variety of digital content such as video content and blog posts. Additionally, connecting with customers through social media channels such as Instagram and TikTok can help to increase your brand's reach and awareness.



For example, fashion brand YISHION has been producing consistent digital content such as giveaways and style tips on its Instagram page. Providing consumers with a variety of content across digital channels can help to capture the attention of your target audience.

2. Focus On Marketing the Relevance of Your Product/Service

The covid-19 crisis has resulted in a change in consumer needs. As such, your product or service may now be perceived as irrelevant. Hence, it is imperative to convey to consumers how your product or service can continue to fill their current needs. Emphasise on the USP (unique selling points) of your product/service and innovate! Find fresh ways to differentiate your brand from your competitors. This would convince consumers that your brand is worthy of staying in their lives.

3. Support Your Customers

These are tough times for everyone, not just for businesses but customers as well. Just as your brand needs support, so do your customers. A survey done by Shareablee has found that 46% of surveyed consumers expressed their preference for more optimistic content from brands. 56% also indicated their preference for content relevant to the "new normal".

Avoid aggressively promoting your products or services. Instead, try using your brand's platform to radiate positivity through entertaining content or supportive messages. As seen in the example below, supportive messages can be in the form of motivational quotes.

Demonstrating support for your customers can be beneficial to your brand's image as customers perceive the brand to be empathetic during times of crisis. Furthermore, it can also help to build strong customer relationships. More than ½ of surveyed consumers in Mckinsey & Company’s research expressed that the way a brand responds during these unprecedented times would significantly influence their purchasing behaviours after the pandemic.

Evidently, beyond the pandemic, positive brand image and strong customer relationships is surely going to come a long way in reaching potential customers and retaining current ones.

4. Build a Brand Community

The current pandemic has resulted in a drastic shift in consumer behaviors. More than 60% of consumers over the world are changing their purchasing behaviors for convenience and value. If brands seek to retain customers and to expand their customer base, building a brand community is an excellent way to do so.

As seen above, Singapore’s online fast fashion brand Young Hungry Free has established their very own brand community - #YHFAMILY. The brand has even created a telegram chat for those in the community to interact with one another.

A brand community can help provide both potential and current customers with a sense of belonging, especially when they get to interact with others who share similar interests. Consequently, with more attachment, this helps to build customer loyalty - consumers are thus more inclined to purchase from your brand than other competitor brands.

5. Give back to the community

A little kindness goes a long way. Consumers are going to remember you for your actions during times of crisis. Give back to the community in ways that you can - engage in Corporate Social Responsibility and demonstrate to consumers the human side of your business.

Let's take a look at some brands that have displayed empathy through their actions.

Uber offered free rides and meals to NHS' staff last year in support of frontline healthcare workers.

Source: AXIOM

Local fitness studio AXIOM also offered social welfare and healthcare workers a complimentary class.

While giving back to the community is going to influence consumer sentiment and help to expand your brand awareness and reach, it has to be genuine and from the bottom of your heart.

Consumers can tell if your actions are ingenuine and this could prove to be disastrous for your brand's identity.

6. Optimise your SEO

Optimise your website so that your site can rank higher on search engines.

This would help you to drive more website traffic and thus reach out to a broader audience.

Be sure to include relevant keywords in your website's content.

7. Relook at your Email Marketing Campaign

If you have yet to adapt your EDM's content to be more Covid-19 related, you should probably start now.

Avoid sending out your usual email content that has no relevance to what your consumers may be facing now. This does not mean that your EDM has to consistently scream COVID-19 news.

Instead, provide your consumers with helpful tips or positive content to help them get through these difficult times.

Source: Bravissimo

For example, lingerie brand Bravissimo adapted its EDMS to provide uplifting content its customers. Although the EDM did not directly mentioned the coronavirus, Bravissiomo cleverly referenced the virus subtly.

By adapting your EDMs such that they would be more relatable to your customers, this would likely boost your open rates and help your brand reach out to more potential customers.

8. Be sensitive

During these challenging times, sensitivity is imperative. You need to thread carefully with your actions - such as the tone or the type of words used in your marketing content. Take one wrong step and your campaign may receive severe backlash.

Fashion brand BOOHOO faced backlash when it attempted to market fashion face masks amidst a shortage of PPE in the US' healthcare sector. Many criticised the brand for trying to profit off the crisis and BOOHOO eventually withdrew these masks.

From BOOHOO's backlash, we can learn one lesson.

Before launching a campaign or product, consider how your consumers might feel or react, during a time like this. A brand that is cautious and sensitive in its marketing efforts would leave a positive impression on consumers - thus expanding your reach.

9. Creativity is Key

To effectively reach out to your consumers, your marketing campaigns and content need to stand out. This is especially crucial during a time where most brands are going to be ramping up on their advertising spending.

Innovative marketing content is going to capture the attention of your target audience.

Take Ikea as an example. Last year, as part of it's Stay Home campaign, the furniture brand came up with a video which had an intriguing concept. The video spoke from the perspective of a home and showed viewers the little joys they can experience while staying at home.

Heinz took an interesting approach in its ketchup puzzle campaign. The Covid-19 crisis had resulted in various social distancing and stay home restrictions. With most people cooped up at home, puzzles quickly shot up in popularity as a way to kill boredom. Heinz swiftly adapted to the new trend and came up with their own puzzles. Their campaign was well-received by many. Some even filmed themselves attempting the puzzle and posted it on Youtube!

During a time like this, innovative campaigns are definitely going to score you higher points among consumers.

10. Listen to your customers

Gather feedback from your customers and make them feel heard. The last thing you want to do is to launch a marketing campaign or product that nobody would appreciate.

An excellent example would be fashion retailer Reformation. The brand sought to gather feedback from their customers through their EDMS and Social Media platforms.

Listening to your customers would enable you to better pivot your marketing campaigns and content to appropriately cater to their present needs. Consequently, your brand's reach would also be significantly boosted.

We know these are difficult times for everyone but we are all in this together. Let us help you in reaching out to your customers. Contact us here. Meanwhile, stay safe and press on. 

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