How to Re-Engage and Re-Ignite Your Customers, Your Team, and Your Community Post COVID-19

By Megan Driscoll

COVID-19 has undeniably altered the consumer landscape. Carefully considered communication plans have turned sideways. Brands are uncertain if they should continue communicating with their customers as they normally would or go dark. Consumers are maxed out on COVID-19, yet checking the news constantly.

As the CEO and founder of EvolveMKD, a social media and PR agency based in NYC, my team and I have researched and developed flexible recommendations to re-engage and reignite your customers, team, and community as we start the process of entering a new normal. By fusing traditional concepts with innovative methods, businesses and brands can leverage approaches that are personal, prepared, engaged, and impactful that can (and should) be used even as we begin to come out on the other side.

Engage digitally with clients, media, and customers but still emphasize experiences.

Pre-COVID-19, brands and editors met in person to discuss new product launches. Overnight, we’ve culturally transformed––making social distancing and digital interactions the new personal and considerate approach. To this end, our team held media desksides virtually, which allows journalists and editors to engage with a brand from the comfort of their own home. We foresee this being a potential mainstay because of efficiency and an added bonus of saved travel time and fewer/zero expenses.

When you’re developing new digital marketing and social advertising campaigns, focus on the human aspect and remaining relevant to your consumers while providing a clear point of purchase for consumers; online sales and e-commerce are on the rise. Social media users across generations are consuming more content post-outbreak and are actively engaged – brands should look to use influencer marketing to build awareness and thoughtfully “re-introduce” your brand as part of a back-to-normal consumer strategy. Influencers act as a familiar/authentic face and when leveraged properly, can incorporate narrative storytelling that resonates with how consumers felt and continue to feel during these uncertain times.

Continue to Stay In Touch

Staying in touch with consumers is a priority, but make it count. Provide helpful information and transparency. Social distancing can make us feel alone, so it’s important to integrate the human voice and experience into storytelling and brand campaigns. Messages need to be genuine and self-aware, but community-driven, acknowledging our collective coronavirus experience and geared toward wellness. Don’t abandon this approach in the time to come.

Create authentic, meaningful connections with clients by checking in on them more. Invite them to virtual hangouts and celebrations like team happy hours. Every Wednesday, EvolveMKD invites a “special guest” to casually meet the rest of the team (now virtually) and get to know them more. For editor birthdays, we are sending e-gift cards for groceries, champagne, and workout classes.

Be sensitive to messaging while acknowledging economic shifts

Content must reflect a level of mindfulness in what you’re posting and when you’re posting. Focus brand promotion on more economical lines, necessities, and comfort or distraction products. Hold off on promoting luxury brands or services for the time being.

Continue to support your local community

Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), especially as we look to rebuild our community. Show your company’s values and how you care by partnering with organizations aligned with your brand. For example, EvolveMKD recently supported fundraisers for PPE, and a global free mental health service. You can also host company-sponsored virtual fundraisers. We chose to support an NYC-based service that provides free delivery to locals in need. Philanthropy has been a value of EvolveMKD even before COVID-19 and we encourage companies, in any way they can, to do their part in the months to come.

In closing, operating a business during COVID-19 has undeniably proved to be one of those most difficult times in my career, but there is a silver lining due to the changes in how we function, interact and engage our stakeholders. Whether it’s engaging in experiences with media and consumers, keeping in touch with clients, or continuing to support your local community, it will prove valuable to “show up” for your stakeholders in a way that re-engages and re-ignites!

Want to know more? I wrote #Resolve To Evolve on how I built a profitable people-first agency from the ground up.