The way marketers relay a brand’s message through choice of words and tone of voice is key to the success and wellbeing of their clients and their business, especially in response to COVID-19.
Scott Johansen, Tag’s senior copywriter, creates and contributes content for leading financial institutions and insurance providers. He offers six tips for marketers on how to communicate relevant information in crisis.
“My writing career has been focused on regulated industries, specifically financial services,” explains Scott Johansen, Senior Copywriter, Tag. “From video scripts to brochure copy, we are seeing a shift to simplicity and brevity, and a need for a more digital, mobile-friendly approach that shares important information in a direct and authoritative way, without losing personality or heart.”
Here are Scott’s 6 tips to successfully communicate during COVID-19 and beyond.
1. Give thought leaders a voice: Thought leadership was out of fashion for a while, but it is definitely back and it is needed. We want to hear personally from real thought leaders and trail blazers. These personalities should reach out to their customers, consistently, in their own words (not mine). Show us and tell us what we can do to get through this.
2. Lead with FAQs: This is not the time for frequently asked questions to be buried at the end of a communication. Email content should directly answer the questions that your clients would be bringing to their financial advisors or customer service agent, clearly, succinctly and immediately.
3. Acknowledge pain, fears and concerns: This is a difficult time for everyone and when approaching financial services customers, marketers must take a tone of empathy and a voice of solidarity. Conversations about 401(k)s and investment accounts, like college funds, life insurance and future planning must be had now. Lead with an instructional approach that is both authoritative and compassionate, think: “how to,” “when to,” “where to,” “now what?”
4. Reassure with objective facts: Move away from salesy jargon, don’t over promise and instead be a strong and informative resource that allows your banking or insurance client to develop a short-term strategy (the next few months) and to plan for the future (the next few years).
5. Use positivity rather than fear: Write content that gives people perspective on what really matters, even if it goes against what would normally be advised by the business. Removing money from your 401(k) early is rarely the first call-to-action of an advisor but in many cases, it is happening now. Clearly tell your clients how to do it, when to do it and what happens if they do it.
6. Establish trust and credibility: This is pretty simple. Be transparent and truthful.
Tag works with brands and agencies to help financial services marketers stretch their “big idea” across markets and regions, formats and delivery channels, making sure the right content reaches the right audience, with speed and agility.