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How Unpolished Content Can Create Authenticity for your Brand During a Pandemic

The impact of COVID-19 on consumers has challenged brands large and small to look inwards and define what it means to truly be authentic. How do you sell when your consumers' lives are turned upside down?

By: Becky McKinnell


Man sitting outdoors at a restaurant shooting candid video content on his phone

Whether you have more time than you know what to do with or you’ve never worked so hard in your life, it’s time to get scrappy and think creatively about how your brand can connect with your customers in a real, meaningful way.

Match your internal and your external voice

Owning a business during COVID-19 has felt like being thrown into the leadership olympics. There is nothing more challenging than leading in this world of uncertainty we’re living in.

Screenshot of The Skinny Dip email

In the example pictured, Taylor Ivey , CEO and owner of the boutique stores, The Skinny Dip, shared the email (cost: $0 additional dollars) that she normally sends to her team internally each week with her entire customer list (purposely!). When you read Taylor’s message, you can feel the sincerity in her voice and her genuine desire to help people stay positive and in control.

Reflect on how you’re talking with your team, how can you share that message with your customers?

Share beyond social media

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc are typically platforms brands would turn to first to post behind the scenes content, highlight team members, and post real time updates. Today your customers crave what’s happening right now for real, not a polished email about how to wash your hands properly.

Don’t obsess over being perfect. Post unpolished content to get your message out. Challenge yourself to expand content from your social media stories to other areas of your marketing like your emails and your website.

For example, you can use a tool like VideoAsk to create a video message to customers on your website. In the example pictured, Becky McKinnell of iBec Creative uses this video chat tool (cost: $0 additional dollars) to share a specific personal message from her home office that addresses the current pain points of marketers having to pivot their plans quickly.

Relate to everyone’s “new normal”

“How are you?” is a genuine question these days. Consumers want to know about the people behind your brand and connect with others, just like them. We’re all actually going through these ups and downs together, so take advantage of even more ways you can relate to your customers.

Kempton & Co. email screenshot

Accessories brand, Kempton & Co., uses their newsletter to share pictures of what their employees' work from home days look like (cost: $0 additional dollars). Many of us relate to having a new furry sidekick at our desk and the reality of spending 8 hours a day in a makeshift home office.

People will remember how you make them feel. Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and share “the real you” everywhere your customers are. If there is a silver lining to COVID-19, and I know there will be, I hope that more authentic content sticks around.

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