Virtual Campaigns For Social Media Engagement
With a serious lack of in-person activities this year due to COVID-19, marketers have had to embrace social distancing. Simultaneously, marketers had to find creative ways to use social media in order to develop relationships with potential customers. This created a need for enhancing social media engagement with current and potential customers.
While some companies have converted their existing campaigns to a digital platform, others have completely reimagined their marketing approach. This approach included focusing on finding new and innovative ways to connect with audiences, completely online.
The Objective of Going Digital
The objective of getting people together and collectively experiencing an event still stands, only now it’s in a digital sphere. The challenge marketers are faced with today lies within creating engaging virtual events. While planning virtual events, marketers must present experiences as an attractive option for specific audiences.
Before considering ways to do this, it’s critical to understand how the consumer has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Industries are contracting and cutting cost where available. Individuals and families are facing job loss, as well as a major decrease in income. In turn, both are much more likely to be limiting the potential for spending on non-essential products and activities.
However, just because consumers aren’t buying as much as they were before the pandemic, doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. This time should be used to connect with consumers and develop stronger brand relationships.
Developing strong relationships as a marketer will not only strengthen these consumer and brand bonds. Newfound, solid relationships can positively impact a brand in the long run.
Appealing to these consumers requires rethinking the standard messaging approach from a marketer’s point of view. Social media is king when it comes to reaching target audiences these days.
Engaging The Consumer During COVID
In the beginning of quarantine, celebrities and influencers began using live streaming on social media platforms. Live streaming on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram is a great way to connect with large user bases. Celebrities were aware that their followers were on their phones more during quarantine than ever before. Because of this, it made the most sense to talk to them through social channels they were already regularly utilizing.
The shift toward online community-building became very popular for the everyday social media user during quarantine. People are now actively seeking out ways to stay connected by creating online “events” such as virtual happy hours and group gaming.
Additionally, video content in general is in high demand. Research shows that 80% of users prefer to watch brand videos rather than read articles or browse blogs. This explains why the social media video platform, TikTok and Instagram Reels have largely taken over social media this year!
Big Brand Engagement on Social During COVID
Chipotle is a great example of a company closing the gap between their in-person, curated experience, and the new, remote world we’ve been forced into by COVID-19. Seeing an increase in apps like Zoom and Houseparty, the fast casual behemoth adapted and brought together up to 3,000 fans for “Chipotle Together” sessions on Zoom. These vary in content from guided meditations to workouts led by NFL stars.
An added benefit of hosting these virtual events online and via social media is the opportunity for Chipotle to tap into enormous pools of users that follow particular celebrity guests. Connecting with users presents not only a promotional window for the brand, but a more impactful opportunity to show that Chipotle is aware of customers’ current needs. This is prime social media engagement Offering this relatable content contributes to building long-term connections and trust with customers.
Overall, even beyond Chipotle, the mass quarantine periods have illustrated the great potential of online events. An estimated 151.5 million live video users tune in every month, 15.1 million higher than what eMarketer.com predicted in early 2020. To read more about virtual events and to learn how your company should be approaching them, check out The Future of Events!
Reaching Target Markets During a Pandemic
Because the variety of channels have been drastically reduced to digital platforms, targeting, as a factor in the marketing process, has become much simpler. This has relieved some pressure that allows marketers to focus time, energy, and money into other factors, such as solid content and brand messaging.
Rather than continuing to push traditional communications, brands have pivoted to explaining their own position in the current climate, sharing resources, and offering online promotions.
Marketers are now much more focused on the community aspect of communications. Rather than caring about how to make their content go viral, it’s more important to focus on how to remain consistent. This, in turn, will contribute to building trust and customer loyalty. Overall, the company with benefit from consistent content and engagement much more than with sporadic, one-off, casual interactions.
Pivoting your social media channels to focus on building trust and empathy will positively benefit your brand image. It’s simple. Listen to customer testimonials and share company stories. Users tend to align themselves more with a brand when they can connect with the people behind it, so don’t be shy!
Remember, people want to feel like others see and hear them, even when it is a brand seeing and hearing them. A little personality can go a long way in the digital marketing world.
- Understand who your customer is and what their needs are
- Use social media as a way to get to know your customers and for them to know you better, increasing social media engagement
- Don’t be afraid to show some empathy and personality within your brand voice on social media