12 Savvy Corona Virus Marketing Examples You Can Steal

With the spread of corona, many businesses have had to shut down offices and stores. We're now forced to accept a new "normal" as customers are in isolation, quarantine, and heavily practicing social distancing, it can be challenging for a business to make sales. People just aren't shopping as they use and who can blame them.

It's not business as usual. But should we still be marketing?

Absolutely yes, and here's why:

Our old ways of marketing and selling to customers just don't match or apply to our current events. Edgy App found that in a survey of over 35,000 consumers, 78% believe brands should help them in their daily lives during this pandemic.

The new way of marketing is aware of current events, humanized, relatable, and more sales savvy than ever before.

If you're looking for ways to keep your business afloat during all this crisis, take a look at these savvy corona virus marketing examples you can steal for your brand. These are fan favorites that are sure to boost conversions and sales along the way.

If you need more help with your business, don't forget to check out Wishpond's COVID-19 SOS Marketing Series. We share expert advice from the world top marketers, sharing their best tips and tactics for service providers and eCommerce stores.

Let's get started.


1. Let Customer Know You Know What's Going On

Don't make the mistake that customers should know that you're aware of how much corona has affected their everyday lives and activities. Before you even start implementing a new marketing strategy, you need to let your followers and customers know that you're aware of what's happening. You'll now start catering your content to follow suit.

Take a look at what Instagram for Business. They posted this across all their social media platforms.

Now Instagram has millions of followers and customers to boot. If this multi-billion-dollar company sees that letting customers know they're in the loop is such a valid asset, why shouldn't your business consider doing the same?

Not only does doing this save you from falling from social grace, but you give customer assurance that you're taking measures to ensure their safety and whatever content/services you provide is in their best interest!

The Econsultancy found that 88% of enterprises report that they have created a dedicated team to deal with the impact and implications of COVID-19, up from 61% two weeks ago.

Now I know that some of us can't afford the luxury of having a dedicated team, but we can have dedicated efforts towards tackling it.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

Feel free to share your Corona Marketing or Business policy or response on your social media. You don't have to share everything but let them know you're actively mindful; despite what might be happening, you're still in business keeping your customers and employees in mind.

2. Market Where Your Customers Are...Online

We're all stuck at home, our Customers, Employees, CEO's, and family members. It's unavoidable.

So where's the one place that most people are escaping to during this crisis...online. Now more than ever, people are binging shows, scrolling through their feeds, sharing content, and they're hungry for more!

Spending money on a billboard that no one will see, printing flyers, and putting yourself in newspapers when people are afraid of cross-contamination isn't going to get you far.

It's time to invest in digital marketing. Digital Marketing includes social media, google ads, landing pages, online referrals, PPC ads, and more.

Statistic: Share of social media users in the United States who believe they will use select social media more if confined at home due to the coronavirus as of March 2020 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Macy's has taken to pushing it's shopping app so that customers can shop from the comfort of their homes, and offer deals for home deliveries.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

For brands that haven't even started to invest in online marketing, you're going to have to work 50x harder to outdo your competition because you haven't gathered your online community in your branded spaces.

This could mean taking over social media yourself, asking an employee to do it for you, or hiring a marketing expert like Wishpond to do it for you.

If your brand is already online, then that means you'll have to find more innovative ways to stand above all the noise bombarding your customers' desktops and mobile phones every day.

Again now is not the time to stop marketing. Marketing Week found that just 8% of consumers think brands should stop advertising due to the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 50% also think brands should talk as they have always have done, while 50% think companies should talk about their brand in a carefree and light way.

3. Create Mobile-Friendly Ads

More than 80% of internet users own a smartphone. And 83% of mobile users say that a brand's seamless experience across all devices is very important.

Mobile marketing is no longer a trend; it's a staple to online marketing that brands need to take seriously. If the average smartphone user checks their smartphone 150 times a day, before coronavirus made us all stay home. So you shouldn't be surprised to see an increase in mobile devices due to the coronavirus outbreak worldwide as of March 2020.

All further information on this statistic can be found at Statista

Start placing your ads where customers get the most screen time; Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and Pinterest. Create ads that are mobile-friendly using sizes like 1080 pixel width, and go up to 1350 pixels tall.

Check out Wayfair's Instagram story ad, showing off all the cool items customers can buy to work from home effortlessly and in style. They know that people are checking their phones, so they create high-quality mobile ads that will meet their ideal customers in that space.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

When marketing on mobile, you have to be sure that you have the right balance between high-quality images and images that load quickly on your social or online platforms.

Don't forget to download The Absolute Corona Virus Facebook & Instagram Ad Guide for Brands to help you with your ads.

Funny enough, you don't need to have a team of graphic designers to create stunning mobile graphics. Check out Visme as they offer thousands of beautiful templates to create stunning ads and content for your brand.

4. Make Your Content Relatable

It's encouraging how quickly many companies were able to transition to remote working arrangements during the spread of coronavirus.

One of the many ways marketers and business owners had to pivot their marketing is that they now had to create content that was relatable to their customers "new normal," staying inside and social distancing.

Creating relatable content allows you to connect deeper with customers on an emotional and psychological level. It shows that you're not oblivious to their circumstances and draws them into your sales pitch.

North Coast Naturals is a company that provides plant-based, certified organic & natural health products and powders.

During corona, a lot of people are worried about their health now more than ever, so they started to create ads that highlight key ingredients that can help to boost the immune system and keep customers healthy during this time.

The ad above North Coast Naturals highlights how tasty corona is but how healthy it can be, they understand that people are worried about their health, but they want something delicious as well.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

People are stuck inside, lonely, bored, and missing their old life, giving them content that feeds into their needs.

Find your product's best features and see how it can be applied to the current needs of your customers. This allows you to stay true to your brand and stay reliable simultaneously.

You do want to drive customers to your business, but you want to avoid being tone-deaf. Take a look at what your competitors are (not) doing to see ways you can improve your own services and ads.

5. Focus on Pain Points

Next to relatable content, you want to focus on creating ads or content that focuses on the customer's pain points. What are customers solely in need of that have now become daily necessities in their new quarantine life. Then pitch how your product can fix that problem.

Due to the nature of what's going on, you may need to sell added features like free delivery or create new products entirely to supply the demand and need from customers. Sometimes this could require new marketing tactics and methods to ramp up sales.

Just over 67% of global enterprises report that they have changed their marketing strategy in some way – through discounts, messaging, partnerships, or similar – in light of the situation, a 41 percentage point increase from the 26% who had done so a fortnight ago.

The perfect ad example is from the American Brewery companyAnheuser Busch. They decided to create a hand sanitizer to help with the growing demand for it. We all know hand sanitizer is like gold during this corona crisis.

I know what you're thinking, beer company... hand sanitizer. But despite the unexpected product launch, it was greeted with high praise, and they were able to make enough sales to keep operations running.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

Think outside the box when it comes to marketing. No one knows how this is all going to end. We've seen crazy ideas help put brands that were under the radar before corona, sudden on everyone's map. Think about neighboring businesses to partner with, and combine efforts to reach more people and keep your supply chain/resources flowing.

If you play it too safe in this environment, you'll only end up further behind when it's all done—left in the dust while other brands continue to thrive as they continue their marketing efforts.

6. Have Fun With It... Seriously Have Fun

Brands that carry humor get the most engagement. Why? These are uncertain, and hard times, people are dying and in fear of their life just to go outside.

So when we see fun ads, bring entertainment and joy, we instantly gravitate towards it because it's the opposite of what we're used to seeing every day.

People want to take their minds off of current affairs and have fun, so why not run an online contest.

Samuel Adams Beer decides to host a contest giving away a free year of takeout! Free delivery of your favorite food and beer at your home.

Need help with your next contest ?

Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create high converting contests today.

7. Remember to Adjust Your Value Proposition

A value proposition introduces you to prospective buyers and helps you make a strong first impression. Your value proposition should describe; how your product or service solves/improves problems, what benefits customers can expect, and why customers should buy from you over your competitors.

Now ask yourself, if your current value proposition is suited to the time?
If not, then it's time to get innovative and rework your value proposition. Take a look at Seaway Pools & Beachcomber Hot Tubs.

Instead of saying, "Hey, we have the best hot tub accessories," their new value proposition is that we'll come to you, stay home, stay safe and enjoy quality products sent directly to your home.

Here are 7 of the Best Value Proposition Examples We've Ever Seen.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

Your new value proposition shouldn't just be used on your ads, and they should be used across all your online platforms and branding. This allows you to look cohesive no matter where or how customers find you and your products.

8. Remember to Celebrate Your (Niched) Holidays

People still want some resemblance of normal. This means still celebrating the holidays you love, including your niched holidays.

By ignoring all of the holiday opportunities you could be taking, you could be missing valuable opportunities to take advantage of trending topics with fun and relevant "holiday" content on social media.

Run deals and specials, just as you would if everything was going fine, but tailor your ads to the customer's needs. Take a look at Cactus Club Cafe Facebook ad celebrating National Take-Out Day.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

Your brand doesn't need to celebrate all (social media) holidays, just the one that matters to you and your brand. Take the time to review popular holidays that your customers will love. If you're not sure where to start, check out Sprout Social's complete calendar of hashtag holidays.

9. Use High-Quality (Product) Images

People are consuming content at a higher pace than they would usually do. Every brand is working overtime to grab your customer's attention. That means the big guns are out. Now is not the time to slack off on the quality of your (ad) images.

If you notice that your pictures are lacking some luster, you might want to consider using editing tools like Preview, VSCO, or Adobe Lightroom. Or you can reach out to a photographer to take some detailed shots. You don't have too many people to take photos, only the photographer and you.

Rumpl sells amazing blankets for outdoor and sports lovers. They use high-quality product images to show off the quality of the material, features, and customers.

10. Incorporate Video in Your Ads

Video ads are getting more impressions and viewers than ever before. It comes as no surprise that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. Not to mention 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices.

Again, there's a lot of competition out there, and you want your ads to be eye-catching, entertaining, not to mention short and sweet. Canva now allows you to make great gifs and animations with easy to use tools, templates, and designs that can add a little something extra to your next video ad.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

Be sure to create video ads that can be enjoyed or understood with or without audio. Most social media users, mute autoplay videos on their profile or feed.Unlike platforms like YouTube that require audio for any ad campaign, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You try to add typography or illustrate the message of your ad without ads.

11. Keep Nurturing Your Leads

Social media isn't the only place to nurture your leads online, don't forget email marketing is still relevant to date. People are still checking their emails, either because they're working from home or looking out for sales and deals from their favorite brand.

You have to rework all aspects of your marketing to fit what's happening now! Again you might come off as tone-deaf or insensitive. A survey from a SmarterHQ webinar learned that all retail brands (100%) adjusted their messaging, based on behavior caused by the pandemic. Again this doesn't mean you shouldn't email your customers; what it means is that you should change your approach or volume.

Adore Me had launched its new collection just a few weeks before the corona became a global issue. They took the initiative to inform their customers that they knew what was happening and the measures they were seeking to handle this situation. They also started sending fewer emails and focused on nurturing rather than heavy selling.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

Email Marketing Specialist Jordie van Rijn says that retailers and online brands should be doing the following with their email marketing:

  • Treat data differently during this period. Shopper behavior looks different right now. Keep your data separate during this time. Remember that customer's actions today might not be the same after the pandemic.

  • Stop blasting and no more messages to your entire list. Send personalized emails using trigger-based behavior—nurture who's buying and remove those who have never bought an item from you.

  • Stay flexible and don't overcomplicate your process or priorities. Move quickly. Keep execution simple so you can pivot when the situation occurs.

Here are some helpful guides to ensure that your emails are welcomed, not avoided:

12. Give Them Hope for A Better Tomorrow

Last but not least, give your customers hope for a better future. Sometimes giving back can grow your business. No one knows what's really going to happen during or after corona has passed.

Your marketing is obviously going to be affected by that, but it doesn't mean you can't inspire your customers to stay with you through it all.

Walgreens adapted their Ask a Pharmacist series into short, informative videos that customers' common questions related to COVID-19. The brand also quickly converted an existing email campaign creative into a video ad to explain how people can safely take advantage of online care services and free prescription delivery.

And finally, to help combat the challenge that many communities face with limited access to COVID-19 tests, Walgreens instituted drive-thru testing for first responders.

Covid-19 Marketing Tip

People want respectfully transparent brands, trust is such a valuable and rare commodity you have to reinforce with your new or current customers. During this time, selfish brands are going to be looked down on, while brands that aspire to help, no matter how small, will have a better preference with shoppers.

At the same time, you should help or inspire a cause that connects well with your brand, so you don't come off as fake or riding the crisis wave.

The RunDown

There's a lot of ways business can reinvent their business to grow and thrive during it all. You just have to keep your eye open and ear to the ground.

Here's a recap of the 12 savvy corona virus marketing examples you can steal today:

  1. Let Customer Know You Know What's Going On
  2. Market Where Your Customers Are...Online
  3. Create Mobile-Friendly Ads
  4. Make Your Content Relatable
  5. Focus on Pain Points
  6. Have Fun With It... Seriously Have Fun
  7. Remember to Adjust Your Value Proposition
  8. Remember to Celebrate Your (Niched) Holidays
  9. Use High-Quality (Product) Images
  10. Incorporate Video in Your Ads
  11. Keep Nurturing Your Leads
  12. Give Them Hope for A Better Tomorrow

Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.