Communication in a post-pandemic world is a tricky matter. Businesses have made the move to a digital-only environment. When it comes to the way we convey messages and share information, using digital tools is not a novelty. This begs one important question: how come businesses face a communication crisis during the pandemic while most are relying on tools that have been around for a long while?
Digital tools have never been used as the sole platform for communication. However, amid a pandemic, offline communication is as good as cancelled. Therefore, it’s essential to learn the lessons of a digital environment to face the challenges of post-pandemic audience interaction.
Face-to-face prevails everywhere
What’s so challenging about virtual offices? As mentioned, emails and digital communication tools have been a major part of everyday business processes for many years. However, they have never received the attention they deserve to grow as a stand-alone communication strategy. Even companies that worked with remote teams relied on scheduling face-to-face meetings to create a bond of trust. Therefore, it’s understandable that businesses face obstacles when they choose to run their teams using only digital tech. Almost half of all business individuals find it difficult to create a trustworthy relationship with a remote team. The underlying reason for the communication issues we face has to do with the role of face-to-face interactions in conveying a message. Indeed, digital communication lacks social clues that are typically provided in a live meeting. Things such as tone of voice, posture, micro-expressions, and even hormonal hints are absent in digital communication. As a result, 51% of individuals report problems in understanding the context of communication. A whopping 48% struggle to manage conflicts that arise in digital channels.
Everything needs an emotional hook
During the pandemic, consumers have turned to digestible and engaging content format: video. Video content plays a significant role in gradually transforming their interactions with brands. For brands, it is a unique opportunity to showcase a more authentic and relatable side of the business. With video content comes the need for authentic communication that not only hooks customers but also is meaningful in their current situation. As a result, brands that rely only on an offline experience without embracing the behavioural changes with the help of a video production agency miss on a unique opportunity. Even when long video content is not an option, video marketing offers an emotional engagement specifically because it doesn’t require the creation of lengthy content. Marketing videos don’t need to last over 30 seconds to make an impact.
Getting offended is a new national sport
The pandemic is a divisive topic that sees many individuals refusing to wear masks for fear of limiting their freedom. Businesses have faced a digital backlash from non-maskers who claim that strict mask policies are discriminatory. Fines and legal consequences threaten business owners who don’t follow mask regulations, which unfortunately can exclude non-maskers. As a result, they face negative feedback from some customers. Pandemic communication can lead to public conflicts for businesses, which need to be handled “gracefully” in the public eye.
In a post-pandemic world, our communication strategies need to address new needs and behaviours. While digital tools are no novelty, the way they are used during lockdown can lead to conflicts, missed opportunities, and profit losses. It’s up to businesses to identify issues and manage these before it’s too late, from renewing emotional engagement to conveying the right context.