As a Digital Marketing Consultant and Professional Marketer, I understand that this kind of thing should never have to be written but sadly, there is no choice. if I had the money for every COVID-19 email or text I got from companies this week that had nothing to do with the current crisis, I would probably be able to fund the development of a vaccine myself.
The major problem is the entire world’s attention is on COVID-19, so all the amateur marketers out there are independently coming up with the brilliant idea to leverage that attention and jump on the COVID-19 ( coronavirus ) campaign.
If you are at that point and considering whether to get the benefit of this keyword to get some extra attention or some free traffic to your website, here is my advice to you: don’t do it.
The following are five guidelines to help you decide whether your marketing should be referencing a current global crisis or not:
Can you help solve the COVID-19 crisis or get one step closer? If not, step back.
I mean, there is no justification for my local pizza store to be sending me COVID-19 related sales pitches by text. There just isn’t. Just because COVID-19 is all everyone is talking about, connecting it to sell more pizza is just truly transparent and cheap if I am being nice.
Of course, if your product can bring the world closer to a resolution, then yes, now is the time to put your marketing team to work. But if your business has zero relevancy to the current crisis, do us all a favor and stay on the bench for this one.
If you want to increase sales by driving the traffic to your website, think twice.
This just makes my blood boil. Not to get to meta here, even writing this article knowing it addresses COVID-19 felt a little off to me, but after receiving so many spammy emails and messages, I figured someone has to write it. If you are interested in creating content about the current crisis, ask yourself a very simple question:
Is your goal to increase sales by leveraging the traffic generated by the coronavirus?
If so, then just don’t. If more sales happen as a result of your truly valuable content, that is OK. I am sure Purell saw an increase in sales, but their product is also helping to save lives.
See how that works?
If you can add value to the conversation and stay objective, engage.
If you have a product for remote work, then, by all means, feel free to share your insights on the industry, and please, for the sake of us all, keep that content focused on objective value and not on self-promotion.
If you have real insights or thoughts to share on the crisis, no one is telling you not to, but try hard to keep it focused on the readers and their needs and less on your company and your needs.
If your product makes life easier in a crisis, let people know about it.
You don’t have to be developing a product that directly saves lives for you to talk about COVID-19. If your product helps people and makes their lives easier, really in any way, then, by all means, share that with the world. What you should not do, however, is pretend you are solving the crisis.
Be open and transparent, try not to come off as if you are capitalizing on the misfortune of millions of people. It is not a good look for your company, despite the short-term spike that it might generate.
Use common sense. Are you being sensitive or blatantly spammy?
Common sense is quite uncommon nowadays if I am judging by my inbox. A global crisis is a time to be more sensitive, not less. Ask yourself if you are trying to do good for your readers or your investors. If the former is the case, great, click publish.
But if you would like to realize some kind of success by using this crisis as a campaign, take a step back and think twice what that says about and your brand’s moral sense.