How to market your brand during a world crisis

Unsure of your marketing plans during world turmoil? Same! So here's a few tips on how to approach content with care.

How to market your brand during a world crisis?

Let’s not start by labouring something you already know. 2022 has been a lot. Add in the fact that it might just be trying to usurp its predecessor years of 2020 and 2021 as THAT YEAR, and jeez. It’s still only March. 

Like everyone else, we’ve been having a lot of discussions here at Twain. Because even if what you do in your daily grind isn’t directly impacted by everything else going on around us – you’re still doing it in an everchanging world and we’re all wondering what’s next. 

Uninterrupted focus? Does anyone remember what that feels like?

The first point to labour (no matter your labour) is it’s totally okay to be finding things tough. But we’re going to try and reflect on some tips we’ve learned throughout this never-ending epic news day we find ourselves in. 

Roll with it

We’re hopeful(ish) when we can manage it. 

If we can find a plus in the chaos of 2020, it felt like a new age of digital. We’re looking forward to helping more people tell their brand stories online as we enjoy new ways to tell ours. Additionally, it’s all taught us the importance of being flexible. 

In fact, while it’s great to see in-person events and plans form again – we’d urge all our clients, and followers, to always remember the benefits of virtual access to those who are still choosing to shield, and for many disabled people. 

Twain Tip: Having a hybrid in-person and virtual stream of an event ensures you get to engage with a wider audience, including those who can’t afford the time and/or cost to travel. 

We know people like to argue about whether flexible working should continue or retire (who may or may not be landlord-adjacent) but either way, a lot of remote workers still cite the positives. 

Buffer has been tracking remote working attitudes and trends since 2018. In their latest report, surveying 2,118 people hailing from 16 different countries, a massive 97% of employees said they’d recommend working remotely to others. This is in addition to 97% saying yes to working remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. 

So it’s no surprise that 89% of European companies surveyed planned on having a hybrid workforce post-pandemic. 

Our first takeaway for dealing with a chaotic, tricky and scary new world?

Roll with it. The change, the challenge, the uncertainty: whether it’s on-screen or in-person. It will lead you somewhere new but that new might be your new best if you use it wisely.  

Now’s a fantastic time to look at your online presence and check if it’s working the best way it should. 

It’s okay to be unsure

With so much going on, what do you say? How do you say it? What might others say about what you said? 

Marketing is getting as tricky as it’s ever been. And if you do it right, it’s getting better too. 

So, if you’re revising your social media strategy again? Or if your blog plan now feels less certain than it was earlier this year? Or you’re wondering how something now sits in your really complicated social timelines? Same. 

We even dedicated a whole blog to it (replacing what we scheduled last month) because we bet so many content creators are feeling it right now too. 

TwainTip: Yes, we all have our purpose for being online. Our sales targets, our ROIs and our campaigns. But we’re also people going through stuff or watching our fellow humans go through a lot of awful stuff. 

And while we need the light relief of jokes or the mundane relief of shopping, it’s difficult to know what the best approach is right now.  

That’s okay – the fact that you’re even mulling it over is a great start to ensuring your content remains appropriate and sensitive where it can!  

Get real

Your passion doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And what you do affects the real world whether you want to acknowledge it head-on or stick to non-controversial marketing 101. 

You might be a creator (or getting there) but you’re firstly a consumer too. You’ve seen the emails, the Insta stories, the ads – you’ve rolled your eyes or you’ve unsubscribed. 

Because some will get the tone completely off. As much as the world still turns and people still buy, search and engage - lives are being affected in such monumental ways. The last thing you need to see is marketing that shamelessly tries to turn pain into profit.  

What’s our take?

In the past, when something significant – good, bad or otherwise – happened, you might hit a pause on your marketing till things aren’t as fresh. Now, the significant events are every minute of every day. There’s no option but to jump on in.   

Don’t reduce or belittle what anyone is feeling or experiencing.  If you haven’t at least tweaked some of your words, pictures or content to reflect what’s going on – you either seem like a robot or an ass. 

And if the thought of getting real makes you anxious? Everyone is right now. But not acknowledging it – ever – feels hollow. Cold. 

We’ve seen plenty of CEOs and VPs do it. For us, it definitely wasn’t the way forward in marketing. Our values were. That’s why we have Twain. That’s why we want to help you. 

Does that mean we’re an NGO or a charity? No. Will everything we post be for the greater good? Sadly, no. 

But we want integrity and authenticity. We want content that tells you about what we do, that helps what you do, but is genuine. 

Be real. Be honest. Don’t fake anything. We’re tired of that. Don’t claim a cause for a spike in engagement and throw it away. 

Our biggest TwainTip? Say something real or don’t say anything at all. 

Be you

People don’t engage with your brand. Or your company. They engage with other people. You have a personality. Let it be seen from time to time. 

Be funny. Be impassioned. Be reflective. Be more than an incentive or a meme if the occasion calls for it. Let your audience or customer see what’s behind the screen. Trust us, they’re looking. 

If you feel like all this authentic marketing is a minefield? Good, it is. Admit it, admit you’re trying – people won’t be offended by someone willing to learn and listen. Because they’re learning too. 

TwainTip: Content shouldn’t be exclusively business or heart and never the two shall meet. We’re complicated people in a very complicated world. Have a purpose – have your call to action – but also have a feeling. Be you. 

That doesn’t mean you have to address every issue. Or by not addressing something, you’re somehow in favour of it.  

Just know it’s okay to be tweaking your plans (and content) right now – and if you want to be fully transparent and admit you’re a bit lost, do it. 

One of our clients recently told us they were overwhelmed with the news and trying to find ways to help Ukrainian LGBTQ+ communities. They’d held off on posting their planned schedule of social content for a few days. They asked us what should they post next? 

Our answer: exactly that!

People are looking for authenticity. Are you in the market? 

Finding content management and approaches a bit tricky? Let us know. 👇

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