Raise your hand if you are tired of hearing the phrase ‘in these unprecedented times’. Yeah, us too. While it’s absolutely correct it starts to lose some meaning after the 100th email, especially when those emails are from every email newsletter you’ve ever subscribed to. When people are overwhelmed with information over all channels, especially when it’s important information pertaining to their health, it can lead to a feeling of anxiety or exhaustion and certain things stop getting through. This is not the time to push your messages harder to break through the noise, but rather take a gentle approach that’s transparent, easy to understand and sensitive.
It can be really tempting to over communicate during a crisis, especially one that’s on a global scale and relevant to everyone in your audience group. While drastically increased communication may be necessary in some fields, it may not do every business justice. We have compiled some of the advice we have been giving our own clients to give you some tips on how to communicate effectively as a brand during this time, without giving the wrong impression or adding to the information clutter of already anxious minds.
Avoid Communication Fatigue
When you do have information you need to convey, there are a few things you can do to avoid communication fatigue and increase your chances of having your message received:
- Use a multi-channel approach. Quick updates can go on social media, whereas more in depth changes warrant an email. Your most important communications should still go across all channels, but by spreading out the messaging you can ensure that you’re meeting the customer where they’re at in terms of content saturation.
- Don’t repeat yourself over and over again, especially in direct marketing. If your content is the same as your last communication, it’s not going to be valuable – save reminders for less direct channels like an Instagram or Facebook story.
- Invite two way communication wherever possible! While this is always recommended, it’s even more important now when people are feeling a little bit cut off. Try to invite feedback or encourage user generated content if it works for your brand.
Sense Check Your Content
In Australia, we’re currently entering a new phase where the daily updates are slowing down and drastic changes aren’t happening as rapidly. Some restrictions are lifting, others aren’t and there’s a mixed sentiment between people who are keen to get back to a safe normality, and others who don’t think restrictions should change yet. To make sure your content feels relevant, we recommend the following:
- Plan and schedule your content on a more short-term basis to account for changes. A two-week period should be enough now, but always be prepared to make adjustments and be flexible based on the latest news.
- Match your imagery and messaging to the current climate and restrictions in your area and ensure your content would feel appropriate to the most sensitive individual in your community.
It’s okay to have been quiet if your brand doesn’t have anything to say. At the very least, just keep your social media accounts active so your customers know you’re still in business and you don’t lose your spot in their algorithms. Your audience will respect you for not weighing in unnecessarily, and you may be able to explore opportunities to serve them better through your content.
Every business is going through the effects of the pandemic differently, and your communications should reflect this – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to getting through this. If you find yourself wanting advice, take advantage of our free strategy health check.