2020, a year most of us will probably want to forget. Toilet roll became more sought after than gold, we were forced to wear face masks and hand sanitiser seemed to go through the roof. As an industry, the creative circuit is pretty good at coming together to collaborate and present a united front during tough times. The impact of COVID-19 has only made this trait stronger. Using our talents to raise money, show support and encourage creativity when everyone was trapped inside the same four walls has made us very proud to be part of such a great industry.
Like any other agency, we had to rethink and develop campaigns in a different way to keep within restrictions and social distancing. Any photoshoots were suddenly on the backburner, along with our research workshops and filming. But that doesn’t mean we’ve let it set us back.
Over the last few months brand communication has focussed on gratitude to our amazing keyworkers, educating the public on safety measures and spreading some positivity through communities. But, with COVID-19 not about to disappear anytime soon, where to next?
Social distancing has meant more people are staying at home and this has resulted in behavioural changes that open new opportunities. Consumers are seeking ways to escape and entertain by downloading gaming apps and spending more time on social media channels (we talk more about this in our TikTok in Healthcare blog post). Streaming TV has also become increasingly popular. This shift in behaviours has got us thinking differently about future campaigns and some of the tips we need to keep in mind.
Have a strong online presence and keep conversations relevant
Even though most companies should already be doing this, now more than ever, it’s especially important. Being able to connect and communicate with your audience, will keep building those relationships with customers. We’re not just talking social (although we think this is crucial) we also mean focusing on online and virtual events and training sessions. Remember, jobs have been lost and worlds turned upside down, be mindful of your tone of voice and empathic to people’s situations. The brands that are winning are the ones keeping it real.
Know WHY you want to use social media
To build a social strategy, before you even begin you need to know WHY you’re doing it, maybe it’s brand awareness, to start conversations or simply sell more. This will make you think clearly about how you can do this and help you build a mix of content that sets you apart from everyone else. Getting these steps right will result in what you do and products you sell being successful.
Don’t be afraid to change your strategy
Ultimately, brands want to build audiences that will stay around for the long haul. Just because something has always worked for you, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better strategy out there that suits you better. Many companies have also had to be nimble in their approach as regulations change. We helped Ordnance Survey shift their strategy from outdoors to indoors overnight at the peak of the pandemic.
At the end of the day, there is no business unaffected by COVID-19. It’s sad that some industries are struggling because of the outbreak, while others have seen rocketing sales. But as a business, we want to take on the challenge like we would any brief by facing it head on, thinking it through, and finding a solution by learning and working together with our clients.
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About The Foundry
The Foundry is a strategic communications agency, based in Manchester, delivering fully-integrated marketing campaigns for B2B, B2C, public sector and healthcare clients.
Marketing services that support patient education include qualitative and quantitative research, social media campaigns, educational websites, CPD programmes, online learning tools, in-clinic training materials, posters and patient literature.
For more information, call 0161 926 8444.