4 essential elements of coronavirus messaging

In the unprecedented times of this coronavirus pandemic, it can be hard to figure out how to maintain engagement with your audience and not strike the wrong note or appear transactional. And when most buyer journeys can take three to nine months, it can be tempting to hit pause on advertising. The challenge with the pause strategy is that while buyers may delay a final purchase decision, their buyer journey does not stop. Most marketers use a mix of messaging (e.g. brand, product, promotional offer) that they dial up or down depending on seasonality, business considerations and other factors. To maintain engagement, awareness and consideration, now is a good time to consider dialing up brand advertising. A video tribute to your industry is one way to stand out amid the deluge of corporate COVID-19 responses and widen your lock on brand loyalty.
There are four essential elements to consider when crafting your video tribute.

  1. Acknowledge the current hardships.
  2. Be authentic and craft a message from the heart that moves beyond transactional.
  3. Offer curated information your clients can actually use.
  4. Embrace brand tribalism by making your customers feel like they are part of a community with shared values and experiences.

Here are two recent corporate videos that embrace these four essential elements.

Trucking: Mack Trucks

Woman standing in front of semi truck
John Walsh, vice president of marketing for Mack Trucks, weighs in on the thought process behind the 80-second video and dedicated landing page they launched on April 6. The video was created by Mack’s in-house marketing team, all working remotely, pulling from previously shot video and photography. 
“We wanted to express our sincere gratitude to the numerous trucking company employees, dealers, drivers and service techs across our industry who continue to step up, despite personal and economic hardships,” Walsh says.
Result: All four essential elements are included in this authentic, heartwarming video. They acknowledge the hardships truckers face; it’s authentic with no hard sell; the landing page offers specific, industry-related COVID-19 information; and finally, with the social media initiative #thankatrucker, they invite the viewer to engage with the Mack tribe. The video and hashtag create engagement, social sharing opportunities and work to burnish Mack’s reputation. 

Construction and agriculture: Vermeer

Two workers wearing construction hard hats
The marketing team at Vermeer came up with a 30-second video that pays tribute to the individuals that “keep all of us connected and working from home” and a webpage that goes into more detail about the ways utility contractors are keeping us connected.
Ryan Benbo, senior director of marketing at Vermeer, says they created this video to pay tribute to the workers in the underground construction industry who are keeping people connected through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our corporate culture is one of caring — caring for and supporting the people who do the hard, important work that keeps people connected to the necessities of life. It is our hope this word of thanks elevates those individuals, whether they are doing the important work of underground infrastructure, clearing vegetation and brush from electrical lines, managing natural resources or operating farms and ranches to provide a healthy food supply,” Benbo says.
Result: All elements of a good tribute video are on display to the unsung heroes who keep the infrastructure of social distancing networks going. The webpage provides more details about how COVID-19 impacts the essential business of utility contractors. Plus, the video and webpage create sharing opportunities and elevate Vermeer by striking a positive note during these times.


Reinforcing your brand and maintaining engagement helps sustain business momentum on two fronts. It reinforces brand loyalty with existing customers, who are 60-70% more likely to buy from you, and it strikes the right note with those new prospects during their buyer journey. Both forms of reinforcement can have a positive short- and long-term business impact, particularly as you navigate business growth during this coronavirus pandemic.
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