The ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc for the economy and businesses, and brands are having a tough time staying afloat at a time when not only are they not able to operate as usual but their target audiences are also preoccupied with keeping themselves safe and healthy. Ideally, brands want to ride out the pandemic with the least disruption while staying connected with their customers and being perceived as socially responsible.
Brands also need to recognize that the expectations of their followers on Instagram have changed due to the pandemic and they cannot afford to keep up the pretense of “business as usual” with their content publishing strategy. While pushing for sales can leave a bad taste in the mouth, posts assuring followers that the brand is there for them can often be seen as inadequate and tone-deaf. If you have not altered your brand strategy to meet the changed circumstances, it is still not too late for you to change your Instagram marketing strategy to keep your brand solidly entrenched in the minds of customers. Some practical tips:
Keep Communicating with Customers
Even though you may have been forced to shut shop temporarily due to the pandemic, it does not mean that you should stop communicating with your customers. Your followers expect to see that their favorite brand is alive and kicking and managing to deal with the situation as best as it can. By using Instagram posts, you can show your followers how you are dealing with the new situation and what products and services are on offer and how they have been adapted to the changed circumstances. Use the posts in the feed as well as devices like Instagram Stories to show exclusive peeks into what is happening behind the scenes in your business, what you are still being able to do for your customers and the community, and how you are ensuring that morale is being kept high. As grim as the pandemic situation is, it is still a great opportunity for you to give insights about certain aspects of your business and brand that normally you would have not been able to deliver. Brands can use Instagram strategically to create a more intimate and personal bond with their followers so that they have top-of-the-mind recall and keep interacting with you. If required, brands without a large following can buy followers on Instagram for nominal amounts.
Buy Followers on Instagram to Raise Engagement while Assuring Followers That Safety is Paramount
With safety being the driving force behind every decision, your target audience will also be very interested to know how safe it is for them to buy and use your product. You can use Instagram show to show your followers all the safety precautions you are taking to ensure complete safety for your staff as well as your customers. You can share with them informative posts on the sanitization procedures you are following at your workplace, the social distancing norm compliance by rearranging the office and production layouts, as well as how their logistic partners are following all safety rules while delivering products to the retail outlets or the homes of customers. According to https://www.cdc.gov, two people should ideally be separated from each other by at least six feet to prevent the infection from spreading easily.
Keep Adding Value to Customers
With the pandemic limiting the opportunity for customers to access your products and services, brands can alter their strategy to give less focus on sales conversions and more on providing valuable resources that can add value to the customer to ensure retention of brand loyalty. Brands who want their followers to remain invested with them can think about using Instagram to deliver content that will help customers to attain their objectives albeit in a limited way. For example, many gyms and fitness centers that are unable to remain open have launched videos and posts demonstrating how their members and other followers can use simple techniques at home for working out without the help of specialized equipment. Restaurants and cafes that are no longer able to serve customers their favorite dishes can think of conducting cooking classes on Instagram to keep their audiences locked in with useful and entertaining content. Even salons can instruct their customers on beauty regimens that will keep them looking at their best till such time they can again resume normal services.
Even though brands have to deal with a lot of uncertainty regarding their operations, they need to appreciate that the disruption is no reason for them to disconnect with their audiences. While it is can be insensitive to push sales at this juncture, brands can continue to remain relevant to customers by keeping the channels of communication open, using Instagram to inform customers how they are dealing with the changed situation, how they are trying to ensure safety and how customers can still derive value from them.