Now is the Time to Connect With Your Audience
I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t be another marketer who starts an article about COVID-19 by saying something like “in the midst of these unprecedented times” or “as we try to navigate this uncertainty…” So instead, I’m going to jump right in and tell you one thing: now is the time to connect with your audience.
I know. You have so much going on right now. So much to think about and honestly, so much to worry about. Why would you take the time to try to connect with your audience?
Now is the time to connect with your audience for two reasons:
- Frankly, they’re online and more willing to respond now.
- They need you now more than ever.
They’re more willing to respond.
Be honest – are you spending more time on social media now than you have in the past? I think it’s safe to say that most of us are. Check out this graph from Social Media Today that shows app usage up 20% YoY. And this was just through the end of March.
With people spending more time online, it’s safe to assume that they’re looking for distractions and for some positivity — something to help them through these times. So why not meet them where they are and use this time to find out more about them?
Back in March, right as things were getting really serious, a client of ours had some questions around Instagram Live statistics: when do people want to tune in, how long do they prefer videos are, and what’s better: weekends or weekdays? I immediately went to my go-to sources to try to find the best research I could on this. But then it dawned on me: why wouldn’t I just go straight to the source?
We created some Instagram stories asking those exact questions, only we went to our audience. The result? Quite possibly the most responses we’ve ever had on Instagram Stories for this client. People were more willing to let us know their opinions now than ever before. Is it because they’re spending more time online? Is it because they had run out of posts to browse through on social media? Is it because they felt like the brand really cares about them?
Whatever the individual reasons for this extra engagement, it was clear through this experiment that people are more willing to respond right now. They’re looking for ways to connect and find community. So be the brand that gives them that! Double-check the demographics you have on your target audience by simply asking them on social media. See what they really care about and what they want from you. Now is the time.
They need you.
We’ve all been drowning in emails from different brands letting us know how they’re handling COVID-19. But I believe the ones that are going to come out of this on top are the ones who choose to be real humans and connect with their audience members on a real, personal level.
No matter what service you offer to your audience, they need you now more than ever. You just have to find out how. Can you be a source of optimism or learning for them? Can you be a fun distraction? Can you offer your services at a discounted rate or in a more accessible way? Can you help get them involved in helping your community?
Some brands may need to dig deeper than others here, but I believe that any brand can be needed during this time. You may need to shift around your business model, your messaging, or how you’ve always done things, but I know you have something unique to offer your customers right now.
Now is the time to communicate that and bring your audience together. Now more than ever, we all want to feel like we’re connected to something. Why not take it upon yourself to be that something or that community for your people?
Now more than ever, we all want to feel like we’re connected to something.
We’re all going through this together. There’s no guidebook on how to survive a pandemic like this, and there’s no history book that can tell us what worked for companies like ours in the past.
But we do know this: our customers are online more often now, they’re looking for ways to connect and feel better when everything is uncertain, and they’re ready and willing to shift their loyalty to the brands that make them feel comforted and optimistic.
Why not be that brand for them?