How to keep your customers engaged during the coronavirus lockdown: Copywriting Top Tips
Updated: Apr 29, 2020
If you are a business owner, you have more than likely been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current lockdown has radically changed the ways most companies trade and communicate with customers. But whether you have closed indefinitely, reduced your services or are adapting your business to meet social distancing guidelines, it's never been more important to keep your target audience invested and on-side.
But how do you keep your marketing fresh and relevant when you are forced to close your business?
Here are 6 top tips to make sure you engage your audience from a (social) distance.
1. Be crystal clear about your strategies
You need to make sure customers can easily find out your lockdown trading policy. Are you available for Skype consultations? Offering delivery? Business as usual? Send an email to your customers explaining your position, and make the information readily available on your website and social media channels.
If you have been forced to close for the safety of your customers and staff, make sure you tell your customers and thank them for their support. Prioritising staff and client wellbeing shows compassion and integrity, and will build respect for your brand.
A thank you goes a long way: This clear statement on APT’ Window Cleaning's website goes the extra mile - thanking customers and even offering personal support to vulnerable clients.
2. Post positive, relevant content
Take the opportunity to write or share positive articles that resonate with your customers (as you can see, I try to practice what I preach!).
Think about the challenges your target audience may be facing during lockdown, and offer practical solutions and advice in your field of expertise.
A local bakery might write an blog post entitled ‘Home baking ideas that are perfect for young children”. A spa might post content promoting mental and physical wellbeing whilst working from home. A homeware store might share “10 ways to brighten your home office”.
Whatever your business, you have something of value to offer your customers. Remember to post regularly, and keep the content relevant to your products and services.
3. Be honest
If delivery is slow or response times are longer than usual, don’t be afraid to say so. Transparency builds trust in your brand, and customers will be more forgiving if you are upfront about the current pressures on your business.
People pull together in a crisis. Don’t underestimate your customer’s capacity for compassion and understanding in these uncertain times.
4. Provide entertainment
Right now, many people are crying out for amusement. With so many traditional forms of entertainment unavailable, many artists are creating videos, audio recordings and even streaming live shows from their homes to actively engage their followers.
The good news is, you don’t have to be Bruce Springsteen to entertain your customers! You can host a competition, start a podcast, publish a quiz related to your business, or create a ‘behind the scenes’ video showing how your product is created.
Social media games are a great way to get your customers interacting on social media. You can find some great ideas at Social Media Examiner: 4 Fun Ways To Improve Your Facebook Engagement.
Beating the lockdown blues: With UK theatres currently closed, vintage rock 'n' roll band The Bluejays have been entertaining their fans with 'isolation recordings', podcasts and 'meet the band' videos.
5. Support your customers and your community
Ask yourself: how can your business “do your bit” to help in this crisis?
Can you donate your product to an NHS charity? Provide free delivery? Offer discount for parents home-schooling their kids? If it is within your power, supporting your customers and your community will boost trust in the long-term.
Of course, right now not everyone can afford to give away products or services. So be innovative with what you offer. How-to video tutorials, activity pages for children or free consultations all give something back to the community, without costing you a penny.
Sweet and simple: Bloom Boutique have collaborated with their Pinterest and Instagram communities to create inspiring, downloadable colouring prints for adults and children alike . This unique gesture promotes mindfulness and calm, with the help of artists @ashelizabethart, @these.little.treasures, @rachelcastleandthings, @mutha.hood, @milliemarotta, @art_n_people, and @wonderandrah
6. Whatever you do, do something!
The situation is far from ideal, but it does present a unique opportunity to communicate with your customers in brand new ways. Netflix may be calling you (I had to drag myself away from a binge to write this), but staying silent throughout this lockdown could be catastrophic for your business.
So make sure your brand’s voice is still heard. If you speak to your target audience with honesty, humanity and humour now, they will be ready and waiting to invest in your business when we reach the other side.
Laughter is the best medicine: This topical 'TOILET PAPER' reference from The Meating Room made me chuckle out loud. And guess what? It stuck in my mind! A little good-natured humour gives your brand warmth and personality. Credit goes to Chris at Fat Sloth Media.