As shelter-in-place rules continue to change across the country, it’s an important time for brands to stay connected with consumers. Social media is a tool that makes this possible, and a spike in impression inventory across paid media campaigns underscores its success in doing so. In fact, according to internal reporting data from my company, Quotient, there was a 33 percent spike in impression inventory between March 20 and March 26 as compared to March 13 and March 19. As more consumers actively use social media as a means of connection during the lockdown, brands should rethink how they're reaching consumers and create more meaningful interactions. Here’s how:
Be Nimble in Evolving Communications
According to internal data from Quotient, weekly online spending has increased up to 107 percent, and this trend isn't expected to slow down any time soon. To assist consumers and better serve them in the channels they already frequent, like social media, brands should first look to their existing content and identify if there are any newly relevant or helpful features to highlight.
The need to stay home has inspired many consumers to turn to grocery delivery and curbside pickup, for example. These services should be brought to the forefront of communications. Oftentimes, this could be as simple as a call-to-action swap in existing social media ads. Similarly, a campaign centered around spring cleaning could update its messaging to the top five surfaces to clean in the house without having to re-concept existing creative.
At a time when consumer needs are changing on a weekly or even daily basis, brands will be able to get more out of a campaign and pivot quicker by using what already exists.
Provide the Most Wanted Tips and Information
Understanding what consumers are searching for while they spend more time at home, even as restrictions relax, gives clues into what will be helpful for them. In mid-May, for example, Quotient’s Social platform saw notable increases in popularity around a number of topics, including “Food Storage” (111 percent), suggesting that meal prep and cooking at home is a continuing trend. “Hygiene” saw a 34 percent increase in popularity, highlighting the continued desire to stay healthy, both in terms of cleanliness and the need for proper rest. “Coffee” also increased 29 percent, which underscores that at-home, amateur baristas are keeping mornings caffeinated and more enjoyable.
Brands should be at the forefront of these searches — and become a reliable source of information — by offering content relevant to what consumers are thinking about. For example, a food storage brand could provide make-ahead recipes for Sunday meal planning. Coffee brands could provide tips on how to make iced coffee drinks in the summer months.
Brands that continue to stay relevant with their consumers in uncertain times will be the ones that thrive in the months ahead.
Make a Lasting Impression
In addition to social media, video streaming services like Facebook Live, and conferencing services like Skype and Zoom have moved out of offices and into consumers’ living rooms, providing even more ways for brands to make connections. Video provides a way for brands to bring consumers closer together in new or unexpected ways.
For example, food brands can livestream a chef using their ingredients to cook a delicious meal. Laundry detergent brands can show a series of videos with different ideas on how to work out using (or reusing) heavy bottles of product.
Brands can simultaneously entertain and educate consumers in a way that’s both considerate and authentic through video. In doing so, brands will be appreciated today and remembered in the future, fostering a new level of consumer loyalty.
Nikki Frazer-Reid is the vice president of marketing for Quotient, a technology company that delivers personalized digital ads and promotions to consumers based on deep knowledge of their purchasing behaviors and intent.
Nikki Frazer-Reid is the vice president of marketing at Quotient, a CPG digital commerce marketing solutions provider. In her role, Nikki is responsible for marketing across the digital promotions, media, and analytics company to drive growth in the B2B and B2C sectors through demand generation, communications, product marketing and marketing operations. With a knack for creativity, strategy and passion for data, she has spent her whole career in the tech industry, previously holding executive roles at Triplebyte and Planview (via acquisition of Spigit).