Bill Swanston

How to be a voice and not just noise when everyone’s saying the same thing

It’s been a year since COVID-19 changed the way we live, but today normalcy is on the horizon. For the past several months, our televisions, radios and newsfeeds have been inundated with vaccination excitement, encouragement and apprehension. As we see vaccine ad after vaccine ad, we can’t help but become a little numb to the static. Trying to get your message heard in this oversaturated market is difficult, but not impossible. Before you execute your next campaign, here are a few things to consider when talking about the virus and the vaccines.

Don’t dismiss fears, dismantle them
The most effective way of making your brand’s voice heard is by listening. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a marketer, is not listening to your target audience. For example, many Americans have concerns over the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Do not dismiss their fears. Instead, confront them head on and use it as an opportunity to explain why the vaccines are beneficial not just for them personally, but for their loved ones as well. We’ve seen our fair share of myth-busting campaigns that seem effective on the surface, but we know how difficult it is to change someone’s mind with just one ad. If you’re up to the challenge, we recommend doing your research (via focus groups, surveys, etc.) and listening to what the data tells you.

Address the three elephants in the room
Their names are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Research them ad nauseum and be prepared to answer questions – how they’re similar, different, how they work, what they do to the body, the science behind each of them, etc. Questions will arise, especially if you are implementing a social media campaign. Anti-vaxxers and the vax-hesitant smell weakness from a mile away, so come strong and heavy with the facts and be prepared to correct misinformation. Reassure your consumers that the vaccine is a standard of care, just like the flu shot.

Connect on their level
Remember life B.C. (Before COVID)? So does your target audience. They think about it, talk about it, dream about it and are becoming increasingly desperate for it. Capitalize on their sentiments, memories and desires by anchoring them in reality. Give them real-life reasons on why they should get a vaccine – hugging their grandmother again, traveling, sporting events, etc. Studies have shown that minority communities and those disproportionately affected by the pandemic are a little more skeptical about the vaccines, so do your research and help build confidence. Messaging should be simple, open/honest and comprehensive – leveraging scenarios that are relatable. Maybe a backyard barbecue with their extended family is more important than going on a trip to Italy. We always recommend a healthy dose of nostalgia based in reality, Doctor FredSwan’s orders.

Educate yourself before you attempt to educate others
Before you dive into creating your next brilliant COVID-19 related campaign, make sure you are educated on the vaccines and the attitudes surrounding them. Observe how competitors are handling strategy, messaging and tone. See what’s already being done, ask yourself what’s missing and create a better campaign with a more compelling message. And when you do decide to create that amazing campaign, provide free educational resources to your consumers so they can get vaccinated with confidence. So we can get back to how we want to live.

Let Frederick Swanston help build a strong vaccine campaign that will stand above the rest with effective, strategic, data-driven marketing. Contact us here.