3 Genuine Marketing Strategies For The COVID-19 Era

By Todd KuhnsLast Updated on Apr 14, 2020
3 Genuine Marketing Strategies For The COVID-19 Era

At AppInChina, we help foreign companies market their games and apps in China.

A dramatic shift in consumer habits has opened up new opportunities for both B2C and B2B. At the same time, companies must tread carefully to ensure their marketing efforts, however sincere, are not interpreted as insensitive or profiteering from a tragic event.

So here are 3 strategies to safely and successfully gain new users and downloads right now, no matter your product or service:

Rethink WHERE you advertise.

It’s obvious that, during this time of quarantines and joblessness, more people are spending their time online on video streaming sites.

But don’t overlook more affordable opportunities from the equally dramatic increase in mobile app and game usage. Verizon reports a 75% week-over-week increase in gaming apps last month.

Now is the time to increase spending and messaging in these areas, through mobile ad networks, sponsorships, or partnerships with games and apps.

App Annie screenshot
A free App Annie account gives you access to popular app charts (appannie.com)

Go to App Annie and search for the games or apps that are currently most popular in your target market area and identify which of them likely appeal to your target market. You can approach these games directly for sponsorship or ad opportunities, or use services like Google AdMob to target your marketing to your niche market within the mobile sphere.

Offer something of real value for free.

Preferably this should be something people can take advantage of online and at home. Fender Play offered 3 months of online guitar lessons for the first 100,000 people to sign up. It was so successful that they upped the limit to 500,000, and later 1 million.

This perfectly fulfills a present need, as many people at this time are picking up new hobbies or dusting off those guitars they always intended to play but were too busy for until now.

fender play advertisement
Fender initially extended its offer to the first 100,000 to sign up, but later upped its quota.

Overall, it comes across as a genuine, honest attempt to help people pass the time at home in a useful way. Three months is a generous amount of time, the lessons are 100% online year round, and no credit card is required. I suspect Fender will follow up with a discount for those who choose to continue their lessons after the free period has ended.

The key is to make the sign-up process as painless as possible, and be sure your free product is truly free. You may require a basic registration, but fight the urge to capture credit card info upfront for your “free trial”, which just comes across as a cheap ploy.

Link: Down Dog keeps yoga app free during the pandemic

Resist virus-themed messaging.

How many emails have you received from random companies with some version of: “We just want you to know we are here for you during this difficult time”? Did you really need to know that the flower delivery company is still ready and waiting for your order? Or that your bank has instituted mask wearing policies for its back office workers?

Each and every communication to your customers and prospective customers should be valuable to them. If you are a restaurant that needs to reassure customers that you have implemented heightened hygiene and safety protocol, by all means, send it out to give your regulars valuable peace of mind, which your business depends on. If you are a logistics company fighting rumors that your deliveries may be slowing down soon, you need to assure your customers you have extra staff on hand and are keeping them healthy.

Otherwise, rise above the tide and don’t use a tragic event as a thin excuse to create another touch point. Remaining authentic and sincere is the best long-term strategy to building trust in your company and brand.

quote: "If you're your authentic self you have no competition."

Stay safe!