Why Killer Creative and a Purposeful Strategy are Integral to Your COVID-19 Strategy



“Theories are not facts, and business as usual is a theory.” — Oliver Yonchev, Managing Director, Social Chain


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Though it may feel like everything has been put on pause due to COVID-19, the fact that we need to share stories hasn’t. Now more than ever we have an incredible opportunity as marketers to capture the elements of life today and deliver timely experiences to our audiences. The world is different, however, so naturally how we visualize our realities must also shift which can present barriers when taking up creative arms and finding ways to innovate.

During #SMWONE Social Chain‘s Oliver Yonchev brought attendees through three key principles: relevant storytelling, self-aware brands, and speed needed in order to turn away from the standard of business as usual and prepare for the future.

Here are the primary insights and takeaways:

  • Theories aren’t facts
  • The case for purposeful content and creativity is a strong one
  • Great storytelling hinges on being self-aware, timely delivery, and relevancy

What does this process of adapting actually look like? According to Yonchev, it’s time to close the yearbook and turn away from those old theories of having to post ‘x’ amount of posts daily or weekly and return to what truly matters in marketing: creative ideas that are productive and positive for the benefit of humanity. If we follow those old theories in an evolving landscape, with increased choice and this ‘always on’ mentality, also known as business as usua, will lead to content overload that can cause distraction and deter innovation in meaningful moments.

Everyone loves a good story

For starters, great storytelling strives from going deeper and by bringing in that depth. How to create depth when it comes to social content? Social marketers, look out your windows and understand what is happening in the world! Look for cultural moments, emotional sentiments, and distribution methods. Oliver continues to say that “indifference is where marketing goes to die.” We need to think outside the box by bringing in those known truths of our culture and turn them into something beautiful. Does, #NoFilterNoFuture sound familiar? If not, check it out, Social Chain partnered with Brita and opened up eyes by turning one conversation into a mass movement.

“The best campaigns understand culture and lean on creativity. Our work for Brita did both.” Specifically, Yonchev referred to the #NoFilterNoFuture, a breakthrough social media campaign aimed at encouraging people to take action to reduce single-use plastic waste, while driving awareness and purchase intent for Brita’s Filtering Water Bottles.

The larger point to remember from this example: take the current pandemic of COVOID-19, use it, and create something positive.

Know yourself

As social marketers, we need to understand how we are perceived by others, and how we see ourselves. Only then can we convey a session of relevancy and purpose behind what we communicate. “The gearing of algorithms have made social media a game of outrage, and attention-seeking. It’s for this reason that brands need to know when they should speak, and more importantly when they shouldn’t,” he shared.

Yonchev continued to give sight on being careful of wrongly assuming. Know where you stand within your followers, and think before you post of how your brand or business is perceived. We do not need to create a double standard without realizing. A good best practice to pocket when you’re uncertain if something you share will have negative repercussions: take the time to fully understand what your brand sounds like and convey this in a way that has a human touch that is easily decipherable. This may take slightly different formats as you navigate between channels, but generally, this will be helpful rule of thumb to apply across each.

First-Mover Advantage

When it comes to speed, always remember the first-mover advantage notion. Stay on top of your game, and run forward, not backward. Yonchev emphasizes that “relevance moves quickly, and brands brave enough to act fast, stay relevant.” But when staying relevant we need to keep quality in mind, it’s important to be mindful of the speed at which brands are relaying messages. If your brand uses multiple social media platforms keep up with them, listen to your following, and take in feedback. Have quick responsiveness regardless of your brand’s reputation from the past.

At the end of the day, you just need to remember Yonchev’s famous lines, that “theories are not facts,” and “business as usual is a theory.”

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