From bars to cinemas, shops to restaurants, most businesses that are operating are doing so at a drastically reduced capacity and with a range of social distancing measures in place. There is no denying the profound effect this has had on people’s wellbeing, not to mention the detrimental impact on profits and trade in general. Social distancing is unfortunately here to stay for the foreseeable future, so discussing it in marketing copy is now unavoidable. This presents significant challenges for content writers and business owners alike. In this article, Probella explains how it is possible to talk about this practice in a positive way that can help to boost engagement, rather than limit it.
The overwhelming feeling amongst the majority of the world’s population at the moment is a sense of trepidation and uncertainty. With no clear indication as to when the current situation may come to an end, potential customers are reluctant to return to their usual shopping and spending habits. When discussing social distancing in marketing copy, there should always be a focus on reassurance. Explaining how these measures keep us safe and allow life to continue is always preferable to criticising the regulations that are place. Similarly, outlining the different ways in which your own company has changed their approach to work in order to keep people safe demonstrates that you fully understand the situation and that you are committed to doing business in a responsible way. This kind of reassurance can help to boost consumer confidence and businesses who demonstrate that they are fully on board with any and all new measures that their government has put in place are likely to out perform those who try to continue as if nothing out of the ordinary is happening.
Facts and Explanations
Disinformation is a serious problem at the moment and conspiracy theories are rife. It has never been more important to discuss social distancing carefully and to make a concerted effort to base all of your assertions on genuine facts, rather than hearsay. Simple, clear information about why the measures are in place can also be helpful. For example, bars will need to explain why their regulars can no longer stand at the bar and chat to each other and restaurants will need to outline why they require patrons to pre book. Though these measures are definitely inconvenient and potentially damaging in some ways, they are also the only option we have in terms of reducing the spread of the Corona virus. Masks have proved to be extremely unpopular with certain sections of society in both the USA and the UK, but medical experts still maintain that wearing face coverings in enclosed environments does provide a relatively effective safeguard against the continued spread of Covid 19. If you need to update your landing page copy or mention social distancing in a blog, spend some time fact checking and also make direct references to any sources of information you are using as a guideline. This might interfere with your usual brand voice and identity, but it is a necessary measure that will need to be adhered to until a vaccine or effective test and trace program has been implemented.
Find the Positives
This is probably the most challenging thing to do in terms of a marketing perspective. Reduced customer numbers, limited time slots and restricted menus mean that there are not many positives that you can take from this situation, but its important to try and find something that you and your customers can hold on to. Many customer facing businesses have been using social distancing as a way of emphasising their focus on efficiency and quality of service. With fewer customers to serve, staff can potentially offer a more personal and relaxed service, compared to the often-hectic busy periods that many businesses would experience in the pre Covid days. Some people also enjoy a little more personal space, so this element of social distancing may feel like something of a bonus for anybody who does not like to be enclosed spaces with large groups of people. There is no doubt that finding positives can be challenging when discussing social distancing but acknowledging the reality of the situation is essential if businesses want to survive this problematic period in history.
It will not be forever
Addressing social distancing as “the new normal” has been par for the course for some time, but this is not always the best way to go about it. Imagining a world where hugs and handshakes are no longer permitted or where friends can no longer meet each other in groups is incredibly depressing and ultimately, unrealistic. Reminding your customers that this situation is temporary and will not last forever be a good way of keeping up morale. Phrasing things carefully so that your content explains the measures you are taking are necessary on a short-term basis, rather than trying to be emphatic or domineering will usually make your copy sound a lot more welcoming. Unfortunately, some businesses have taken a similar approach to government writers and have been coming across a little too authoritarian. Though it is clearly important to emphasise the importance of complying with regulations, it is not the place of businesses to lecture or berate their customers. Even if the information is accurate, this kind of tone will understandably create bad feeling and the wrong kind of dynamic between customers and business or service providers.
You cannot avoid discussing social distancing if you are a business owner and making sure that you get the tone right is essential. We recommend hiring a professional content writer to help you if you are struggling to do this. If your budget will not stretch to that, take a look at the information that is presented on other business websites to get a feel for the tone that works for you. Ultimately, social distancing should be discussed in a way that clarifies how necessary these measures are, but it should never sound as if you are barking orders at people. Even in times of global instability, quality customer service and positive communication are essentials that every business should prioritise.