What to Do About COVID Marketing Burnout

Mother working from homeIf you’re getting a little (or a lot) tired of hearing about COVID, the new normal, and every other pandemic-related kernel of news, marketing, and thought leadership, you’re not alone. Much of the business world has been burned out on the “new normal” for months.

Back in May, the Harvard Business Review featured a piece about companies overcoming the pandemic slog. The article highlights how many businesses were energized in the initial days of the pandemic. After all, weren’t you a little excited about all the ways you could shift your marketing to adapt to the rapid changes? How many digital events did you host for customers? How many photos of people wearing masks did you post on your social media accounts?

But what now? What do you do several months into the pandemic with no near-term end in sight?

Some of your events might be falling flat as people start to get back to the office or even travel. Your employees might be getting a little tired of being cooped up in a home office. And emphasizing your internal social distancing measures in your customer-facing marketing won’t matter to customers who don’t usually visit your business in person.

Your COVID-centric messaging might be striking the wrong note and creating a drag on your efforts to push your business forward. Here are some tips for overcoming COVID marketing burnout and getting on the right track.

Rethink Your Message

If you’re tired of hearing about COVID, don’t you think many of your customers feel the same way? According to one study, more than 60 percent of Americans felt overwhelmed by COVID coverage as early as mid-April. Imagine how they feel five months later.

Take time to consider what kind of message you’re sending your customers at this time. Is the majority of your current marketing still focused on masks and social distancing, or are you looking forward and marketing for business growth? How your business deals with the COVID situation is always important, but inform your customers on a need-to-know basis. For example, customers probably need to know if you require a mask to enter your building, but that information shouldn’t be the cornerstone of your message at this point.

While you aim to use your marketing to foster growth, keep in mind the need for empathy in ongoing difficult times. Just as your organization might have faced furloughs and layoffs, many of your customers are likely still dealing with that reality. It’s not business as usual just yet, but you can have a forward-thinking marketing message.

Re-engage Your Data

As you shifted your marketing message to react to the COVID situation, how much did the resulting data from those campaigns matter to you? Odds are, your business goals spiraled out of control across the board, and your expectations changed. As you start to reshape your marketing again, don’t let actionable data fall to the wayside.

Results still matter, especially as you look to progress your business through the situation. Are your new campaigns working? Do you see signs that customers are returning to certain behaviors and not others? You need to engage your data to see these insights. Shape your future messages around what you learn from the data to keep things pointed in the right direction.

Recharge Your Team

Just as your customers are humans who require empathy in a difficult time, so too are your employees. Sure, they might have it better than most by avoiding layoffs and furloughs, but your team is just as susceptible to COVID burnout as anybody — especially if so much of your marketing messaging has centered on the pandemic and how your business is reacting.

Look for ways to recharge your team and get them thinking about post-COVID goals. Just as your marketing should be aiming for growth, your staff should be as well. Consider ways you can engage and appropriately entertain your team. If your employees are still working from home, host a virtual happy hour with games and prizes. Sure, a digital event might be a reminder of how we have to deal with COVID, but it’s making the best of the situation.

Being safe during the ongoing pandemic is important, as is sending messaging to that effect when it’s pertinent. However, setting your organization’s sights forward is important too. What kind of changes can you make in your business to avoid COVID marketing burnout? Share this piece on social media and let us know your ideas.

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