The Golden RulesOf Copywriting During Coronavirus
We’re at the point in the pandemic where even if your business practices aren’t directly affected by COVID-19, it’s time to start talking about it. We get it, it’s intimidating to approach something that’s affecting our nation in a way we’ve never seen before. We’ve put together the golden rules of copywriting during coronavirus to help you as you navigate what to say and how to say it.
#1 – Be Honest
If your business is having to close the doors on some of your locations or if your company is facing hardship, don’t be afraid to get real with your audience. Acknowledging how your company has faced challenges through this season validates the ways your customers’ lives have been affected. Now is not the time to pretend that everything is business as usual. When you’re copywriting during coronavirus, honest connection is a top priority.
#2 – Be positive
That being said, don’t be a doom crow. Highlight the strength of your staff, the support you’re receiving from your community, or how thankful you are for your clients. Talk about how we’re getting through this and the hope you have for the future. Now is the perfect time to practice gratitude and hope in your messaging. Focusing on the positive will also keep you from accidentally stumbling into being exploitive during this pandemic. Simply put, don’t leverage suffering to make sales. Now is not an appropriate time for fear tactics and they won’t be received well – by your clients or by society at large.
#3 – Be Flexible
The ways that customers have historically related to your business may not be reasonable or wise right now. The feature that used to be your stand-out UVP might not matter in the COVID-19 climate. Your normal taglines or brand voice may read as insensitive in light of the current times. Be flexible with your messaging. Center your stance around alleviating a pain point your target audience is currently experiencing. If you can make them money or save them money, this is going to be easy for you. If you’re offering more of a luxury item than an essential one, maybe the UVP of what you offer now is a sense of normalcy. Copywriting during coronavirus is about finding creative ways to connect to a core need your customer is experiencing.
#4 – Be Sensitive
If your brand voice is usually in any way sarcastic or aggressive, take a temporary respite from this style of writing. It could easily be read as dismissive or making light of an event that is causing a lot of suffering worldwide. Consider how your audience’s experience has shifted. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, maybe now is the time to tell your audience that it’s ok if they’ve gained weight. You’re here for their whole journey, not to pass judgment on how they’re coping with COVID-19. Imagine how that would be received as compared to something written about staying fit that could cause them to feel shame. For copywriting during coronavirus, better to be interpreted as too sensitive than to find yourself apologizing for a faux pas you won’t recover from in this economy.
#5 Don’t Be Tone-deaf
Read the room. Look, before coronavirus, there were plenty of words or phrases that played just fine in your copywriting. Right now, it’s best to avoid phrases that have double meanings and could be associated with COVID-19.
-Killer (like a “killer deal”)
-Contagious (“create contagious content”)
-Health or checkup-related terms (“give your campaign a pulse check”)
#6 – Be Accurate
There’s no time like an international pandemic to make sure that your information is accurate and sourced well. Regardless of your messaging, if your information is false – you’re going to be perceived (at best) as untrustworthy.
We suggest you take your facts from these 4 sources while you’re copywriting about coronavirus.
Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization
The Department of Public Health for your state
Factcheck.org’s Coronavirus Coverage Guide
Make your messaging during coronavirus centered on supplying accurate information and conveying to your audience that you are in tune with their needs. If you need help executing that or aren’t sure how to approach copywriting during coronavirus, let us know. We’re here with you and we’d love to help.