From March 8, 2020, to March 14, 2020, search behavior on Google for “financial help” grew 203% over one week. COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different people in different ways but financial wellbeing is something everyone is concerned about. People are thinking about how to meet day-to-day necessities like rent or groceries — and extend to issues such as how best to pay bills, how to make online payments, and how to manage investments. After a lockdown consumers’ behavior of spending and saving money has changed. In fact, Google searches for apps in the Finance category grew 31%. Now financial situations are rapidly changing, so people want helpful and up-to-date information. For consumers, who have several financial products, it’s understandably overwhelming to try to stay informed of their financial condition. As proof, search interest for “how to invest” grew 61% from March 8, 2020, to March 14, 2020, versus the same week the prior year. In this uncertainty it is most important for brands who have a high social responsibility to help people build confidence and alleviate concerns about their financial security. You need to engage with consumers in ways that are relevant and helpful and don’t come across as tone-deaf or self-serving. Not sure how to help? Google offers us three useful and valuable strategies for assisting people that financial institutions are uniquely suited to deliver. Focus on demonstrating empathy for what people are experiencing The question brands should ask themselves is how to do so in ways that address consumers’ most important questions and concerns. That could be an online support center to lead people through digital transactions. Or it could be how-to videos or posts which show them how to go paperless, how to use your online shop or self-service. Consumers should know that you are there for them and ready to help. During hard times advertising can be complex but brands that continue to communicate during these times will likely be the ones that are remembered in a post-COVID-19 world. Your brands should be a real-time source of truth for people. Brands must carefully navigate through dangerous waters and provide only useful information for their costumers. People expect brands to help more and advertise less. So marketing that manages to support their own employees and audience with valuable campaigns will generate loyalty and trust. Globally, people are most in favor of brands responding to the outbreak by providing flexible payment terms. So brands that have the resource to offer adjustable service should provide some relief and lend a helping hand. That could mean deferring scheduled payments for existing customers, delaying first payments for new customers, or working individually with them to find solutions adjusted to their specific circumstances. In this unprecedented time, brands can be there for customers by using their power to guide consumers in this hard period. Doing so is not only helpful — it’s key to maintain positive, authentic, and lasting relationships beyond the short-term.