Marketing During a Pandemic: 9 Tips for Mindful Copywriting

Our lives look nothing like they did in February when COVID-19 was just a blip on our radars. Overnight, we were propelled into a world of closed businesses, shuttered schools, empty public spaces, and covered faces. Now, most states are slowly reopening, but one thing is certain, our new normal will be vastly different. We need to adjust our copywriting accordingly.

If you are a business that has been struggling to adapt, you will take heart when you read the following tips. These are steps you can take right away to fine-tune your copywriting strategy.

Digital marketing while social distancing doesn’t have to be cold and impersonal.

1. Acknowledge the situation. Without being negative or alarmist, address the situation head-on with your copy. When you are straightforward and conscious of the state of the world, you build trust with your audience. Once you have clearly acknowledged the crisis, tell your clients how you have changed your products or services, and then begin explaining the benefits!

2. Empathize. People are in panic mode. They might be struggling with financial or job insecurity, grieving, or trying to stay healthy any way they can. Write copy that speaks to their heart. Right now, your customers need to know that you care about them—creating the sense of community we all need.

3. Tone down your sales pitch. Yes, of course, you want to convert, but instead of a hard, salesy pitch, go for a gentler approach. Anxiety is high and people are feeling vulnerable. COVID-19 has not been merciful. You need to meet your audience where they are. Dial it back a bit and tell your customers why you are their best choice for your product or service!

4. Amp up the value. This may seem counterintuitive at a time when you could be hemorrhaging money in other areas. But the pandemic consumer is not the same consumer we had pre-coronavirus. Everyone has grown and changed immeasurably under the stress. Perhaps your karate studio now offers online classes. That is a smart move. You have just expanded your business and your clientele.

Maybe you offer a small discount and free shipping in your online boutique store to entice customers to hand over their credit cards.

You could even create a freebie, like one week of free Zoom yoga classes, for signing up to your newsletters or email list. Once you have those emails, get started on high-quality blogs and newsletters to build a relationship with your new subscribers. Do not forget to direct their attention to your paid products or services, while you continue to deliver value straight to their inbox.

5. Calm their fears. The pandemic is causing uncertainty in every element of our lives. Each day we watch while it threatens our health and our livelihoods. That is enough to put even the most grounded person on edge.

Your copy should be an escape. Do not be afraid to detour from your usual topics of interest. Do you usually post diet tips? Maybe everyone would really love to see your home workout. Or share a photo of your family doing something together (maintaining good social distancing, of course).

Do not forget the all-powerful call-to-action (CTA). Even amid calming fears, let your customers know what action you want them to take next. Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Follow you on Instagram? Watch a video you posted on YouTube? Tell them!

6. Invite your friend, SEO, to play. If your copy is on your business website, you need to be using SEO. Do your research on your main keyword, then your long-tail keywords, and use them throughout your copy. However, try not to jam keywords in. Your copy should flow naturally.

You can dig deeper and ensure that you optimize your headlines. Use numbers, powerful, emotional words. Just remember that you want to incite curiosity, not create click-bait.

7. Tell a good story. Storytelling is powerful copywriting. Stories are how humans connect to one another. As you weave your story you should always bring it back to how YOUR business is the ultimate solution to the problem.

8. Address their doubts. Even the most confident among us feels shaken and struck down by doubt and limiting beliefs. Many people are in survival mode, prioritizing food and shelter. Everything else is secondary. Put yourself in their place and write empathetic copy that positions your product or service as the ideal solution for surviving the upcoming months, which will surely be challenging. Stay connected to your consumers and stand in solidarity with them when times get tough.

9. Ask for help. Now it is more difficult than ever to find a semi-decent work-life balance. If you have been wearing all the hats, you have been doing too much. It is time to partner with a savvy copywriter who can help you tackle copy and content projects more efficiently.

If you’d like to discuss how I can help you craft compelling copy, email me at sara.a.beck@gmail.com.

The pandemic is not going away anytime soon, and how your business navigates this tricky time will be remembered, too. Make it for all the right reasons.

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