Yeah. The world feels pretty %$#^&! right now.
Seriously….have you seen Contagion? It is eerie just how similar it is to our current situation.
Literally. Part of the virus from the movie even came from a bat. A BAT. ????
WHAT DO YOU KNOW STEVEN SODERBERGH?!???????
Ok, ok…before we dive down that dark, dark hole of Hollywood conspiracy let’s just….not. 2020 has been tough enough without adding in some self-induced schizophrenia.
Honestly, we’re not here to get you down. Actually, we’re here to give some good news for businesses that have made it through the first half of 2020:
The expansion of the digital universe and this global shared experience right now has actually opened up a lot of opportunities for businesses to get in front of new audiences and use this moment to provide authentic, far-reaching value to their communities. Now is the time to really connect with your people and build relationships that could last a lifetime.
That said, although there is a lot of opportunity, the last thing you want to do is come off as opportunistic.
To help you out, we’re going to give you a couple home truths so you can reach out to your community in a way that will demonstrate why you are the kind of company that they want to support now and going forward.
At Good Monster, we’ve been working hard both within our own company and for our clients to find the best way to communicate with potential customers during this time. Through research and some good old-fashioned trial-and-error we found that the two most important factors that ensure your company won’t come off as money-grubbing dillholes are:
Your company MUST have both to make the genuine connection that you want to make. These qualities might seem intuitive, but there are some nuances you might not have considered so let’s break it down anyway.
Honesty. Face the current issues HEAD ON and your audience will trust that you are a company that has their pulse on current events. That means you can’t skirt around the fact that nearly 45 million people have applied for unemployment this year, or that there have been several major inethical breaches of safety in the black community that have drawn attention to years of discrimination, or that there have been over 2 million cases of COVID-19 within this country in the past 3 months. This all exists. Acknowledge it and share in the real-life anxiety and trauma of the year and people will know that you are a company that takes them into account. All this said….there is such a thing as toooo much honesty, so don’t shove the dire state of the world down their throats either. Honesty + optimism for the future is a good policy. For example, if you’re selling binoculars you could say, ‘Yeah, it’s a scary time, we totally feel you. Some good news, though? The black bears are having a frickin’ field day in Yosemite so maybe it’s time to bust out your binoculars and watch some wildlife take back the country. Here’s a great discount (no strings attached) to get you started.’
Helpfulness. So, remember all those things you’re being honest about? Now here’s when you get to do your part: what can you do to help out your community? Where can you save people money? Can you provide humor in a dark time? Or free products that will make their lives easier? Offer people genuine goodwill value and you will build trust and gratitude in your audience. One word to the wise though, make sure not to have any sneaky add-ons if you offer them free or discounted products…..i.e. Don’t offer a month of free access to your super cool indie movie streaming site and then auto-charge them as soon as their trial period ends. Alternatively, don’t offer to send them a free package of sunflower seeds to brighten their garden and then say, ‘Oh but shipping is $12.99’. People will catch on. As our CEO John Timmerman says, ‘Don’t be a Spammy Scammy Slick Rick.’
TIME FOR AN EXAMPLE.
There’s a company called ‘Infusion Tea’ out of Orlando that really rocked their outreach. At the beginning of quarantine, their sales declined dramatically because loose leaf tea is largely a non-essential purchase. So what did they do? They made packages of toilet paper and loose leaf tea and stapled it to signs in front of people’s houses and called it Tea-p’d.
They both were honest about the pain points in their community (i.e. lack of toilet paper and a need for humor during a dark time) and did something that would both acknowledge the situation and provide value, all while lifting the spirits of their community.
They were massively successful. They got 1300 orders from local homeowners.
The moral of the story here: Give Back and Go Forward.
Give to your community in an authentic way during this time and your company will have a future.