Creating Content During a Crisis
If there’s one thing that’s universally accepted it’s this: nothing stays the same forever.
And that couldn’t be any truer than right now. Businesses are trying to weather the COVID-19 storm and wondering how they should use content to reach their target market, as well as what to post and what to scrap from strategies put in place earlier in the year.
Take a look at our thoughts below on how we’ve been approaching content creation strategy on behalf of our clients.
1. Time for EQ
It’s time to turn up the empathy. Don’t mistake this for being insincere – intelligent marketing is about articulating a message that resonates with your audience – and right now the focus should be on empathy.
So, if your previous marketing strategy was about numbers and salesmanship, it’s time for a different script.
2. Find relevance
Whilst it’s hard to scrap a previously cleared marketing plan, if it doesn’t fit our new reality, then it needs to go. You need to find relevance for your brand, business and goals in context to the bigger picture. And in case you’re thinking of adopting something you’ve already seen, just remember that one size does not fit all.
Develop a communication strategy that offers deeper insights into the crisis, whilst being consistent with your brand identity. If you’re a fitness studio that is shut down, move online, offer free classes and build on subscriptions. If your business offers financial services, let users know through email blasts what steps they can take to safeguard their wealth and potentially even grow it. Build brand loyalty, trust and confidence with the right kind of content.
3. Support potential and existing customers
Consider the challenges your target audience is likely to be facing at this time. Buying your product or service is unlikely to be a top priority.
Make selling the secondary goal and helping people your primary objective – because that’s what most of the world needs right now. Identify the pain points your personas would be facing and plan all your content around being supportive and helpful to your audience. People currently need all the help they can get!
4. Revisit your buyer personas
Due to the difficulties your followers and customers are facing, your buyer personas have changed. If you’re using these as goalposts then recognise that the pandemic has moved them. Unless, of course, you have a section in there that considers behaviour during a world crisis!
Your personas should include goals and challenges, and these are most certainly different now for a huge number of businesses and customers. People that were thriving, for example, could now simply be trying to survive. So, consider the importance of aligning your buyer personas with these changes, and then produce great content accordingly.
5. Reach out to your audience
Audience feedback is key in ensuring that your content is hitting the right mark. Whilst it’s important to target personas, getting up-to-date feedback, whether it’s answers to questions, surveys or studying your analytics, is a valuable practice during this difficult time.
Spending time creating content is great if it’s useful to your audience. So, see what your audience and data say about which content has gained traction, or what people are looking to engage with at the moment.
6. Connect digitally
With social distancing in strict enforcement across most parts of the world, people are spending more time on the internet than ever before. To effectively target and reach their audiences, smart businesses have increased their presence across online platforms.
Sometimes, the best marketing strategy is the simplest – to offer hope and say that you are there for your consumers. According to Twitter, COVID-19 related tweets are being shared every 45 milliseconds and #coronavirus is the most used hashtag of 2020. Equally, a recent report by Brands Get Real (a Sprout Social initiative based out of Chicago, USA) shows that 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect people. Brands that help do this, especially as they navigate a crisis, create a powerful and impactful message.
- Go native
Native content, or unduplicated, original and researched content with the correct keywords, is a type of marketing where a paid ad matches the look, feel and function of the media on which it’s appearing. Traditional marketing works on an interruptive model with pop up, strategically placed ads. Native content, on the other hand, is a great alternative to these display ads, and conveys a brand’s message organically. The success of this kind of marketing is based on relevance, engagement and shareability.
How you as a brand and a business connect to your audience right now will not only determine how people respond to you now, but how you’re seen when things get better. Get in touch with consumers and communicate with empathy, resilience and hope. Conversely, being tone deaf to what is happening around you, coming across as opportunistic, or proceeding like its business as usual, won’t win you any fans!
Good luck with creating your content. Above all, remember that all crises eventually pass and that better days are ahead.