Content marketing has long been promoted as one of the most efficient ways for brands to connect with their customers. Of course, who would have guessed that this connectivity would become precious in the time of COVID-19.
But, as the increasing number of people are self-quarantining and practicing social distancing, it’s easy to feel estranged from our previous lives and routines. There’s also a lack of any sense of community for some.
Admittedly, we can’t pressure brands to restore that sense of community to us. However, what they can offer is their support in these challenging times. Not only that, but they can also devise content strategies that will make people feel more connected and normal.
This would be a good course of action for companies to take because it could foster brand loyalty. And trust us, this is something that could pay off as soon as the coronavirus becomes nothing but a distant memory.
Our point is — don’t give up on content marketing. In 2019, the average person spent 144 minutes per day on social media platforms. Although we still don’t have the statistics, imagine how much that number has increased in the last months with everyone glued to their screens. The internet is the place to be now if you want to increase your brand awareness.
So, what are some of the ways in which you can implement a content strategy during COVID-19? Well, we’re here to provide some answers and hopefully help you navigate through these unprecedented times.
Now more than ever before, your target audience needs to have a sense of the familiar. One way in which you can fulfill this requirement is by being consistent with your content. Give them something to look forward to at least once a week.
Of course, no one expects from you to work around-the-clock to produce more posts, but come up with a routine that will surely bring a smile on your customers’ faces.
For instance, you can reveal to them that you’ll designate a specific day of the week to publish uplifting content. So, you can commit to #MondayMotivation and inspire your audience with positive quotes to help them begin a new working week. Remember, even in the midst of a global pandemic, people are still working from home.
Alternatively, you can use your platform to share some good news from around the world. This will be a clear sign that you care about your target audience and want to remind them that there’s a silver lining to look forward to.
Another of your marketing strategies can be to promote the service of others. In this way, your consumers will be assured that, although you’re running a business, you haven’t lost touch with reality. You acknowledge that people are suffering around the world and that they need help.
So, use your content channels to shed light on nonprofits and charities that are working gruelling hours to help those in need. We assure you that there’ll be those who’ll proudly share with a friend that their favorite brand is using its platform to spread awareness.
Apart from being a decent thing to do, this move might bring benefits to your business. Not only will it encourage your audience to do their part, but also it will bring you and them closer once they realize that you share the same mission during the pandemic.
Yes, it’s crucial that you shine a light on others, but don’t forget about your business either. After all, most people are following you to stay up to date with your brand. And what do they want to know in the time of COVID-19?
Well, the answer is obvious. With so many companies closing, they want to know if there are any disruptions to your normal services as well.
Needless to say, you can also use content and social media to spread the message that some things are still the same. Let’s say that you’ve decided to still ship your products. How can your customers know that if you don’t inform them?
Trust us, even when countries are in lockdown, there’s nothing wrong with posting a quick note to assure your target audience that it’s business as usual for you. Plug your brand to prove to your customers that there is still some normalcy in the world.
Now, let’s take a look at one company that knows how important it is to post relevant content in this day and age.
It goes without saying that all websites should be looking out for their users and ensuring that they have first hand information. And, during this pandemic, the most efficient way to alert them is by including a banner on your homepage.
Apple is one of those companies that are providing status updates on their businesses regularly. If you visit their website now, you’ll encounter a banner which highlights retail store information amid COVID-19.
Even though the stores have closed, their team is still working remotely and is there to answer any question regarding their products.
Coming up with new content requires a lot of creative thinking and sometimes a quick turnaround. But it also provides a chance for businesses to reflect on how their audience is affected by the coronavirus.
This might mean that you need to put a stop to your pending projects and focus on delivering new posts that will be more relevant to these times. It goes without saying that the quality of your content shouldn’t suffer — your users already know what to expect from you and delivering something subpar might affect their loyalty to your brand.
Undoubtedly, most brands do understand that there is a need to publish content aimed at COVID-19, so expect a fierce competition!
If you’re unsure how to approach this, we’ll provide you with an example of a brand whose content goes well beyond a typical blog post.
Delish, a site providing cooking ideas, uses a catchy phrase to advertise that “social” has a new meaning in 2020; it doesn’t have to stand for the act of sitting next to someone. To support this, they’ve published a guide to throwing a virtual dinner party.
In it, they cover everything, from platforms you can use to connect with your friends and to the way your room should be decorated. Of course, they return to their core offerings — recipes — in the middle of the post.
Believe us, we know how difficult it is to create content. That’s why we’ll give you some tips on how to draw your own ideas and surprise your audience.
Don’t lose hope, there are many ways to find inspiration for your next post and we have some tips on how to do that. Let’s dive in!
Google offers many services that focus on providing analytics. And the best option out of all of them is Google Trends.
This website is primarily used if you want to monitor trends in Google searches. You can search any topic that comes to your mind and look at the volume it is receiving. Additionally, Google Trends allows you to make country- and sector-specific searches to narrow down the results.
After choosing your country, you’ll get completely localized details. And this is helpful in that you’ll have targeted keywords for your focus market.
Aside from the above, the website displays the most popular stories at any moment in time.
Social media platforms are another good starting point in your quest for relevant content ideas. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should examine everything that’s being posted on them. Firstly, decide which accounts you want to focus on (hint: go with the competitors in your field).
So, head over to their Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter page and check what they’re posting. While you’re doing this, it’ll be wise to check the engagement each post receives on average. Look for those which have a high engagement rate because it means that people are particularly interested in the content that post sheds light on.
All that is left is for you to create content which will surpass that of your competitors.
Here the key is to search for those keywords that are trending now, but that are still evergreen topics for your particular brand. For instance, posts covering homeschooling activities for sites aimed at parents or makeup tips for a cosmetics company would all be popular during and after the pandemic.
On the flip side, you might also want to think about the future. Once people stop social distancing, they’ll probably be interested to read about topics covering large social gatherings or outdoor events. So, don’t only think about the present — think several steps ahead of your competitors.
In the end, you should strive to put the new content higher in your site architecture, especially if it is relevant to your users.
This is hopefully obvious, but let’s say it just in case — you shouldn’t force your content or focus on COVID-19 too much. If the new content can educate others and brighten their days during these dark times, then, by all means, post it!
But don’t start posting things just for the sake of doing it. You’ll lose your customers and drive them to your competitors. And we’re sure you don’t want to do that. For the time being, follow our tips and see whether you can come up with relevant topics that will leave a lasting impression on your audience.