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Comms in the Time of Coronavirus: How to Write Effective Digital Content

The coronavirus pandemic has not only changed business trends but also consumer priorities. It has emphasized what’s essential and what’s not. That perspective has shifted the entire digital marketing landscape, pushing copywriters and advertisers to change the way they communicate.

Whether you work for a social media and PR agency or write social media posts for your startup, here are some guidelines to help you continue to communicate effectively while standing strong with consumers.

Be sensitive

The pandemic has affected individuals on a personal level, so there’s now a risk of coming off as unintentionally insensitive. Plus, in social media, one small mistake could easily hurt your brand reputation. It’s best to steer clear of humor or wit when writing posts. Usually, it’s common for brands to keep a conversational tone, but being overly casual amid a pandemic can be off-putting. Instead, make light of the situation by keeping an optimistic and inspirational tone.

Be optimistic, but don’t overpromise

Through optimistic copywriting, you can inspire hope and promote forward-thinking in embracing the “new normal.” But keep in mind that this pandemic is an unprecedented situation. Don’t overpromise, even if your goal is to keep up morale. All you can promise your audience is your unwavering commitment to handling the changes brought about by the situation and serving them the best way your team can.

Ensure accuracy

Effective copywriting provides information while delivering a brand message. Your intended message may be “We are here to help you,” but that will not come through if your information is inaccurate. That could ruin the trust you’ve worked so hard to build with your target audience for the past years.

Get the facts straight by using or citing only credible sources. And make sure to review, edit, and QA the content before publishing it. Keep in mind that social media captions and ads are easily shared and screenshot. Even if you take down an erroneous post, someone might have a copy of it somewhere.

Ease up on the urgency

“Call now” or “Book an appointment today” buttons are fine. But steer away from excitement or urgency-driven calls-to-action (CTAs), such as “Grab your discount before it’s too late! “Don’t miss out on our promo today!” These CTAS will not likely resonate with consumers right now. After all, nothing is as urgent as putting an end to the coronavirus pandemic. Focusing on urgency and quick sales will only cause your brand to come off as either ignorant or insensitive, and that can hurt your brand image.

Adjust for relevance

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From scheduled posts to existing pay-per-click ads online, check your offerings and adjust them for relevance. Apart from rewording urgency-focused CTAs, rephrase irrelevant value propositions like “more shoppers in your doors” with something more timely or neutral, such as “more online purchases.”

Also, adjust the verbiage. Use words to reinforce the safety of your consumers, such as “remote,” “contact-free,” “online,” and “in-home.” Likewise, check for irrelevant words like “event” and “gather.”

Adapting your social media ads or digital marketing strategies during the ever-shifting pandemic situation is tricky. But while your offers and messaging may change, your standards as a writer should be the same. The goal is to keep delivering information, add value, and convey that your brand is here to help.

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