The Current

Thoughts on industry trends from your BVK friends.

Three Ways Your CPG Brand Can Leverage the Power of Earned Media Right Now

April 8, 2020  |  Sarah Schmidt, Julie Caan

BVK

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many consumer-packaged goods (CPG) marketers to reevaluate their earned media efforts. Resources are in a constant state of flux, buying cycles are hard to predict and the pressure to do more with less has never been more real. This climate has many brands considering if they should pause their efforts altogether, however, that could mean missing out on opportunities to meaningfully engage with your audience in their “new normal.”

Before you hit the pause button, consider this. Although we are in a perpetual state of uncertainty, one thing is certain: an increasing number of consumers are turning to social media and trusted consumer media outlets for entertainment, ideas and inspiration — and there’s room for your CPG brand to thoughtfully be a part of the conversation.

Team BVK is continually monitoring the social and traditional media landscapes to ensure our clients are staying top of mind in the earned media space. Here is a roundup of some interesting insights we’ve gathered from the past couple weeks, plus three ways that CPG brands can leverage these learnings to create earned media moments in the stay-at-home age.

What We Know

How Your CPG Brand Can Thoughtfully Enter the Conversation

In the age of social distancing, consumers are craving positivity and human connection more than ever before. So, what does all this mean for your CPG brand? We’ve rounded up three ways you and your team can position your brand, products or expertise through social media and media outreach:

1. Be helpful: Brands striking the right tone are providing activities, entertainment or sources of inspiration. To start, consider what your top product does best and how it can help your target audience solve a problem in the current age — and don’t be afraid to think outside the box! The final content could look like a game or activity sheet for kids, a livestream cooking demonstration or a unique new way to get even more use out of a tried and true product.

Here are a few facts to spark your creativity: On YouTube, videos containing “Cook With Me” in the title have more than doubled year-over-year, and Pinterest has experienced a high volume of searches for topics like “home organization,” “spa day at home,” “make-up tutorial for beginners” and “kid-friendly recipes.” There’s also been a spike in demand on Pinterest for lesson plans and crafting projects for kids.

2. Make their day: Social media content creators who typically rely on outings outside of the home are in search of new material. Enter: your brand. Seek out creators and influencers who resonate with your values and audience personas and send them a care package perfectly curated to their interest and needs.

She has dry skin? You have the remedy! His favorite frozen treats no longer hitting the spot? No problem!

Your brand may end up as the subject of their next Instagram story, Facebook post or YouTube video, generating increased reach and telling your story in an authentic and relevant way.

3. Share a story idea: Although they’ve lost access to their beauty closets and test kitchens, rest assured, consumer lifestyle editors are still writing about the things they know best, albeit through a stay-at-home lens. Find ways to creatively incorporate your brand, top products or subject matter experts into their coverage by understanding what they’re talking about and how they like to be engaged.

Keep in mind, while at least half of their current online stories relate to staying at home, they still have print articles to publish in the coming months. And before you pitch a long-lead story from an editorial calendar, take the time to inquire about how the original topic may have changed considering recent events.

While the pandemic may have shifted the landscape, it’s important to find ways your brand can stay relevant in the earned media space — now and in the future.

Interested in discussing ways your CPG brand can strategically enter the earned media conversation? Contact Sarah at Sarah.Schmidt@bvk.com to learn more.

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