Susannah Morgan, deputy managing director at Energy PR, offers her advice on keeping audiences engaged during the Covid-19 crisis.
Whilst the current economic climate and uncertainty around the long-term effects of Covid-19 present a challenge for businesses across the world, it is still possible for toy brands to thrive, and there has been a spike in online sales. With parents trying to entertain and educate their children at home every day, brands have a fantastic opportunity to position themselves as the solution to this challenge. However, this must be done sensitively and intelligently if it is to resonate with discerning consumers.
Share good news stories
There remains plenty of opportunities for brands to work with the media to generate brand awareness and drive web traffic. Whilst coronavirus inevitably continues to dominate national headlines, consumers are also looking for light relief and, as a result, there is huge demand amongst print and digital media for positive news and inspiring stories to counter the darker headlines.
Adjust your messaging
The world is a very different place now, so it is important to re-evaluate your messaging and tone and adjust them if they no longer seem appropriate. Audiences might not have as much disposable income as before but play and learning have never been higher on their agenda. Focus on this within your messaging and use your comms to convey how your product can help parents keep their children amused or add value to their educational development whilst nurseries and schools remain shut.
Routine is important right now. So, create content that your target audience can engage with on a regular basis – daily or weekly tips, challenges for them to complete or funny videos showing characters doing incongruous things would all work well. Behind the scenes content is also effective, so consider offering your audience insights into product development or the next instalment of the story you are telling. Use this as an opportunity to brainstorm with your agency and create a content plan that will truly resonate with your audience.
Build a sense of community
Combatting loneliness and creating a sense of community is also important. Children are missing their friends, and parents are under more pressure than ever before. So, harness user generated content to create a sense of community and encourage brand engagement amongst your audience.
Evaluate your channels
With more people shopping online than ever before, now is the time to ensure your website is kept as up to date as possible and your social media channels are working as hard as they can. Add content from customers using your products to encourage engagement and purchase and make sure reviews are prominent to support buying decisions.
Don’t overlook the effectiveness of email. Emails have a longer life span than social media posts and creating a strong email marketing campaign will keep your brand front of mind. It is easily measurable and allows you to share news, offers, updates and user generated content, as well as gather feedback, introduce other products your audience might like and encourage purchase.
During challenging times, it is crucial that brands are seen to be human. Letters to customers from your company’s CEO offer an effective way of doing this and provide the opportunity to explain what you are doing to keep operating safely, helping to make your brand relatable and provide reassurance to your audience.
Hang on in there
Finally, and most importantly, hang on in there. As Captain Tom Moore said: “The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”
For more advice about managing your communications during Covid-19, visit: www.energypr.co.uk/