Responsible copywriting during COVID-19
The coronavirus crisis has tipped the global economy and everyday life upside down. If your business is keeping going and can offer a product or service that is in demand – that’s great but how do you market it?
Well, you need to be relevant while also appropriate during what is an unprecedented time, when frankly many people are dying, are unwell, fearing for loved ones and facing financial challenges. It’s important to address the issue with tact, empathy and mindful marketing. Make sure your messaging still has a purpose, offers quality communication and shows strong support for your customers.
Responsible copywriting and tone of voice is everything. It’s important to strike the right positioning and use of language. Here are our tips for sales copywriting during this crisis:
Coronavirus has impacted individuals on a personal level, so the risk of coming off as insensitive is higher than ever. It’s best to avoid humour and aim instead for positivity.
Your tone needs to be serious but not sombre and go for uplifting rather than dismissive of the situation.
Avoid bragging or being exploitative. Have a filter based on humility and empathy for anything you say about your brand. Right now, a lot of people are just trying to stay afloat.
There may be a market for your products or services, so your business is set to capitalise but focusing on that is a big turn-off and taking advantage of people’s misfortune is potentially damaging for your brand.
Check for the insensitive use of usually harmless words, for example, avoid ‘viral’, ‘infectious’ or ‘spread’ in marketing campaigns. Think also about phrases that are out of step with social distancing like ‘get in touch’ or ‘stand together’.
Provide helpful information
Brands should exist to provide value. If what you do supports or enhances people’s lives during this difficult time, then make sure you share it.
Communicate the benefits and educate customers about your brand’s unique value. Does it help people to work from home more efficiently? Can you provide home fitness workouts or equipment? Do you have a solution to help ease the PPE shortage?
Don’t add to the panic. Be mindful of using dramatic language, as well as any third-party information or links that you’re sharing. Keep it factual, realistic and show understanding.
Use words to reinforce the safety of your audience such as ‘contact-free’, ‘virtual’, ‘remote’ ‘downloadable’, ‘delivery’ and ‘hygiene’.
Think contribution and not conversion
Keep the focus on helping people and not helping yourself. So, think about how you can support your customers and not about your conversion rate. The aim is to ensure brand awareness by providing value for your customers that can make a positive impact.
Use words such as ‘contribute’, ‘play a role’, ‘navigate’, ‘cope’, ‘respond’, ‘support’. Avoid words like ‘advantage’, ‘offer’, ‘gain’, ‘profit’, and be careful with words like ‘opportunity’ and ‘make the most of’.
Avoid urgent call-to-action such as: ‘buy now’ and ‘don’t miss out’ because it won’t resonate with people. Nothing is as urgent as COVID-19, so instead go for ‘find out more’ or ‘call us’.
Connect with your audience and be personable. We’re all in this crisis together. People are using social media as a source of human interaction so show your human-side and engage.
Think about creating employee-generated content that’s relevant to, for example, how you’re adapting your operations to meet customer demand in a light-handed way. Demonstrate how your products are benefiting your customers and encourage user-generated content.
Envelop your community by offering support, inspiration, participation and understanding.
During COVID-19, your messaging may need to change but the principles of writing great content remain; make sure you educate, provide value, be engaging and convey to your audience that you’re in tune with their needs.