Experiential MarketingPro Motion Blog

4 Ways Brands Can Make Real Connections Virtually During the Pandemic

We acknowledge this is a difficult time for the world and for humanity. We are worried for our own families as well as the sake of our neighbors. As an experiential marketing company or a brand marketer, there are also anxieties about when we all can get back to activating programs and the ability to do our work when mass gatherings are closed down for the foreseeable future. So how can we find a light at the end of this strange tunnel? 

First, take a look at what Pro Motion President, Steve Randazzo, reflected on and what he is grateful for right now: 

Right now, we can’t do our work in a normal fashion. What we can do is continue to build strong relationships and connections to set us up for success in the future. If you’re in the industry or are a brand struggling right now, consider these ways to make real connections during the time of COVID-19.

  1. Care about what’s going on and let your audience know you do 

Don’t be insensitive by going about business as usual right now. Depending on your size, your company should release a public statement responding to the current pandemic and ways you are taking action. The response should be authentic, empathetic, and actionable. If your response involves financial support to certain groups, make sure that message is clear. If it’s more focused on empathy and solidarity, make sure it’s authentic. For us smaller companies, we are following up with our field teams, clients and vendors one on one in an effort to make sure they know we care.

2. Stay active on social media

During this time of isolation and a lot of home-bound work, people are constantly tuning into social media and the news. So this is definitely not the time to let your feeds go dark. Make your online presence consistent and continue to connect with your target audiences. Share important information regarding public health precautions or offer free resources people can utilize during this time. Uplift nonprofits and other groups doing the work to combat this virus.  Also, some of our most engaging posts have been about showing how we are being human. We don’t use social media to sell anyway – we educate and inform.

3. Create a community through shared (virtual) activities 

Go beyond passive ads and posts. Create a community through shared activity that people can do from home and that gets them talking to one another. One trending activity is an instagram story template. These templates allow people to share personal information with their own audiences via fun questions, gifs, emojis, or words. We have participated in a few FaceBook Live events for our industry and it has been helpful to be sharing information with others in the same situation as us.

 

4. Offer a virtual experience that people can tune into

Create a partnership with a musician for a live video concert; set up an interview with a celebrity; hire trainers to lead workout or meditation classes on live stream. Everyone is online right now. Take advantage of that and offer some joyful experiences right to their home through live music or activities they can participate in. 

Artist Chris Martin of Coldplay hosted a live stream concert from his home piano.

Above all, remember that your interactions with your audience right now should be real, authentic, vulnerable and if possible, supportive. Steve added this quote from the inspirational Maya Angelou in his book, Brand Experiences, and it is so valuable today. 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”   

 

Can’t wait for our next post? Learn More About Steve Randazzo’s Best Selling book, Brand Experiences: Building Connections in a Digitally Cluttered World. Click here to download 2 free chapters!