While for the time being, we remain in a situation with an end date that remains uncertain, we’d like to remind you of the old adage that this too shall pass. In time, things will return to a relative state of normalcy, and we can use this to prepare for the moment the crisis, or any crisis in general, is over.
Although a crisis tends to force us all to adapt in unexpected ways, the stage following a crisis is the best opportunity to display new discoveries or opportunities to the world, and it’s never too soon to begin planning for that next step forward.
As a crisis is generally characterized by being unpredictable, it’s likely that a situation like this will force you to completely rethink a brand strategy that took you months to prepare for and deliver a new message in record speed. Of course, this initial period is extremely difficult to plan for, but as a new direction begins to take form in the following weeks, you can begin to think about how your message may unfold in the future.
As we explored in our previous article, thorough planning is an essential step to ensuring that you can deliver the most effective message to the right audience at the appropriate time. Right now, both influencers and audiences are craving the right output from brands and are awaiting your guidance. Rather than creating campaigns that are simply reactive to the crisis, use the time to form a reliable and cohesive standing, and reach out to influencers as soon as possible to workshop and finalize tasks so they are prepared to launch the next campaign when it’s time to act.
This brings us to the campaign. It’s important to create a post-crisis campaign;
1) Fits the marketing strategy that you created during the crisis so that the shift isn’t too jarring for your audience,
2) Follows the guidance of health officials and governments, and
3) Is relatable and still grounded in the reality of the situation.
For example, let’s imagine that you’re a cosmetics brand that has opted to inspire your followers with a stay-home focused campaign. You ask your beauty influencers to create content that inspires experimentation with their products to create bold new looks and call the campaign Experiment at Home. In time, the circumstances around the crisis begin to change, and on the advice of respected global health officials, people are encouraged to responsibly meet with a limited number of friends at home.
As you have predicted this eventual changing of the situation, you successfully pivot to share the content of at-home influencer meet-ups for a campaign called Experiment with Friends, following this model until the crisis abates. While this is only a hypothetical example, by looking forward to the longevity and adaptability of your campaign, you can be sure that your content continues to make sense to your audience while respecting an ongoing story. This will also ensure that your campaigns seem grounded in reality, which has never been so important considering how valued authentic influencer marketing campaigns are right now.
This foresight will also make sure that you have planned for the type of content that you will need for the campaign. Perhaps influencers will be able to produce some content in the midst of the crisis that can be referenced to post-crisis. Of course, we must always stress that brands never encourage their ambassadors or audiences to act against restrictions and guidelines provided by governments and health authorities. This not only puts people at danger but is the kind of behavior that could instantly ignite a shitstorm.
This doesn’t mean that brands should spread bad vibes and pessimism. We’d argue the opposite, and say that brands could be at the forefront of expressing a communal sense of relief, celebration, or hope in the face of adversity. As long as this is done tastefully, responsibly, and true to character, audiences will respond favorably.
The best way to ensure that the right brand message is being created is by briefing your influencers as accurately and timely as possible. This will avoid any confusion, and opens an ongoing dialogue that could help strengthen the campaign or spark new ideas. Keep in mind that influencers have been gaining their own unique insights into their follower’s behavior, so it always pays to consult them. You will be surprised how much guidance they can offer you, especially in an uncertain situation like a crisis.
To keep the planning of your influencer marketing campaigns streamlined and efficient, we want to present you Collabary’s Campaign Manager tool which mainly can be used to;
1) Select and invite influencers to your upcoming campaign. Agree on their tasks and finish the negotiations.
2) Be as clear as possible about what you are after, but also use this time to gather any input from content creators about what they think may work best.
3) Provide them with guidance on how they can best use the campaign manager to keep track of deadlines and deliverables, campaign targets, and mood boards.
Even though the Campaign Manager has many more features to offer, these are the ones helping you most effective to stick to your plan and to be one of the first movers after the crisis.
Just because serious events can happen that shift the world into a totally unexpected situation, there is no reason that brands should not provide solidarity with their followers. If done with careful and responsible planning, brands and their ambassadors can address their audiences during crises meaningfully and guide them through and beyond the changes.
Just because an end may not be clearly in sight, this doesn’t mean there won’t be one – and this can arise as fast as the crisis itself. Some careful consideration now could amount to an impactful campaign on the other side, so take the time to plan for the future and craft a campaign that considers a new horizon.