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„Times are changing you“
The corona crisis will have lasting effects on the consumer and work behaviour. As the desire for proactive information gathering grows, especially in times of crisis, media consumption has risen significantly. While in the real world contact barriers and consumption restrictions prevail, digital channels are gaining in importance and reach. Companies are currently faced with the challenge of having to act flexibly, change familiar working methods and react quickly. Since the understanding and perception of brands will also change in the long term, companies should take advantage of the changed media usage behaviour. In strategy and communication planning, social media must be used even more in the future in order to be able to tell targeted messages and facts digitally and reach the relevant target groups.
The world is becoming virtual, communication increasingly digital
While the new "get-together" consists of virtual meetings, sooner or later communication will also have to be digitalized. It is a fact that people love stories across generations and cultures. Stories are simple, not abstract and inform without additional work. Digital storytelling describes the transport of effective stories into the virtual world. The method of storytelling is nothing more than the conscious and targeted telling of stories, which puts the needs of the audience (the stakeholders) in the foreground and conveys relevant messages. But especially in the fast-moving social media world, the 1x1 of effective and goal-oriented communication must be observed. After all, successful companies, brands and products have one thing in common: they inspire their customers. Cleverly used, effective stories can create a win-win situation, as they reveal facts and arouse curiosity, as well as providing a deeper insight by considering the factors of transparency, trust and credibility. Strategically used, they can change the mindset and attitude of the relevant target group and motivate them to take a certain action - in the best case, to buy.
Looking at the most important social media channels, LinkedIn has prevailed over Twitter in the German-speaking world: While LinkedIn is on a strong growth path (with 14 million members), Twitter has only 1.4 million daily active users in Germany, according to an ARD/ZDF online study. The strength of Twitter is not so much the huge community as the strong multipliers who use the platform and whose messages end up in high-reach mass media. In principle, activities should be concentrated on personal channels. As with LinkedIn, the corporate channels receive less attention. It has become clearly established that in "social" media, people should actually be the senders of the information.
And Instagram? Many still think that the channel made famous by "catching for likes", on which the Bibis and Caro Daurs of this world rump around, has no relevance. But one should not completely ignore the importance of a platform on which Angela Merkel (1.4 million followers) as well as the Pope (7.1 million followers) are represented with their own profile. Especially the consumer group "Generation Z", which is so important for the marketing industry, is mainly oriented towards pictures and videos. This "Visual Turn" describes the radical change in communication behavior and the growing importance of images that tell a story visually. Pictures, graphics or videos make up around 90 percent of the information we absorb every day. They are processed 60,000 times faster than text messages and are six times more memorable. Instagram makes use of these facts and the associated shift from factual text messages to emotional images (visual communication). Since the trend is just beginning, communicators will have to adapt even more to the changed information behaviour or the communication behaviour of this target group in the future and communicate more visually.
Time to seize opportunities
"The word crisis is composed in Chines of two characters - one meaning danger and the other opportunity“ (John F. Kennedy). In this sense: Take advantage of the economic respite and see the current challenge even more as an opportunity for change.
A short guideline to Go:
- Review the current strategy to be prepared for the next challenge:
- Prioritize your communication goals
- Put messages to the test (be sure to respond to the current situation)
- Go new ways in times of social distancing:
- Stay in touch without getting infected
- Reflect on your target groups
- Stay present and approachable as a brand
- Communicate promptly, transparently and understandably to all stakeholders
- The changed (consumer) behaviour shifts the balance between online and offline further towards digital
- Articles must be filled with content in order to convey direct added value
- In times of crisis, storytelling gives way to storydoing, it‘s no time to convey brand messages
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