Breaking Through the Noise of COVID Communications
In a virtual and disconnected world, businesses everywhere have had to find new ways to stay connected with consumers and deliver impactful messages. Americans are consuming information about COVID-19 and re-opening plans through a variety of different channels including TV, social media, family or friends, and the workplace. This onslaught of information makes it nearly impossible for an organization to break through the noise and ensure their priority messages are being received.
As Americans begin to re-engage in real life following vaccine rollout, it will be even harder for organizations to find the best way to connect as communication habits and priorities continue to evolve. It is imperative for businesses to be strategic about their communication approaches and deploy personalized, multi-channel campaigns that run over a sustained period of time in order to reach consumers and lead them to act.
Here are a few tips for organizations looking to improve their marketing efforts, activate consumers and encourage engagement:
Meet people where they are
Before COVID-19, single one-and-done, two-channel and generalized outreach campaigns might have done enough to effectively reach consumers, but life in a pandemic is different. Consumers are facing “noise” in all aspects of life, making it harder than ever for messages to stick. It is time to embrace this change and accept the fact that what used to work in the past might not be as successful in today’s stressful climate. Businesses need to meet people where they are, understand individual circumstances and adjust their messaging so that it can truly connect with the specific needs of consumers.
Establish multiple touch points through various channels
It is also incredibly important for businesses to engage with consumers multiple times through their preferred communication methods. With a multi-channel approach, messages will reach consumers where they are most likely to engage – whether it be email, SMS (text messaging), social media, direct mail, etc. In fact, Gartner Research shows that using four or more channels can increase the effectiveness of outreach by up to 300%. Everyone will have a different preference when it comes to how and when they like to receive reminders or information. By establishing multiple touch points over an extended period of time with a consistent message and call-to-action, organizations can maximize their outreach efforts significantly.
Share tailored, relevant, and personalized information
If businesses share generalized, or worse, irrelevant information, consumers are sure to tune it out. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, organizations should analyze consumer data and behaviors to really understand what their target populations need and want. With these insights, organizations can develop smart campaigns that are targeted to those most likely to act because it matters to them.
Clear, concise, and digestible language will also go a long way in making sure the consumer can easily follow the steps laid out for them. The right tone in the right channel is another way to get your messages heard. For example, a friendly tone is appropriate when texting or using social media, while a more formal tone could be more effective within an email or direct mail pamphlet. Businesses can also help to make the process easier by coupling information with click-to-call links or URLs.
Getting consumers to act is key to achieving priority business objectives like retention, engagement, loyalty, and revenue growth. This has proven to be difficult during COVID-19 as consumer priorities continue to shift. By accepting this change, meeting people where they are and creating personalized, targeted, multi-channel outreach campaigns, businesses can feel confident that they are reaching the right consumers in the best way to connect and engage within a disconnected world.