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Why Content Marketing Is Critical During the Covid-19 Quarantine

Many companies have achieved profound success through content marketing over recent years. However, no one currently implementing this strategy has experience with it during a pandemic. In other words, the companies that mastered this art in a pre-pandemic era are forced to rethink the messaging that they publish today.

There is currently an inordinate amount of chaos in the world, and consumers are looking for help navigating it. Now is not a time for the hard sell. It’s not a time to try and pass advertising copy off on your social media channels and call it a marketing strategy.

Mass unemployment has slammed Canada and the U.S., so many consumers are already feeling the pinch. People who are feeling the financial strain of a turning recession won’t be in the mood to be bombarded with sales copy. If they sense a piece of content moving in that direction, they’re more likely to close browser windows and move on.

There’s a general sense of financial fear and tension hanging over life in the US and Canada right now, and companies can feel the brunt of this consumer change. Another common, natural reaction might be to close down your business’s marketing department. It’s difficult to attract new customers when you’re not talking to them.

Content marketing offers companies the ability to lead during turbulent times. The methods for striking success might be individual to your business and your industry. We will discuss some potential content marketing tactics below. But first, let’s talk a little more about what the shifting of the consumer mindset means for your company.

The Shifting of Consumer Mindset

Customer priorities have shifted due to the pandemic. Their buying patterns revolve around products that somehow help them navigate a strange new world. If your product or your message doesn’t somehow help them during these difficult times, you may get lost in the shuffle.

The brands who rise to meet customers on this uncertain ground are the brands that will be remembered when the world shifts back into some kind of new normal. Content marketing helps you build up some momentum and create a memorable presence now, to better position your company for livelier economic times.

Here is an informative guide that can help you get a better idea.

Now is a time to generate a friendlier, livelier tone in your messaging. It’s a time to focus on generating trust. This may mean playing the long game in certain circumstances, rather than the immediate sale.

Below are some strategies for how brands can begin to think about their content marketing in the Covid-19 era. These are ideas meant to help you shift perspective and see through your customer’s eyes. This ability is one of the core tenets of content marketing during the good times, and it is especially important right now.

Strategies for Content Marketing During the Covid-19 Lockdown

 Identify Key Opportunities

 Maybe your business is not in the medical or healthcare fields. Maybe you don’t offer a product that will help people recover from being sick. But that doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of luck in the uncertainty of a pandemic and/or a recession. One key question to ask yourself is:

How does what I sell offer my customers comfort?

If you’re a SaaS company, maybe you have a platform that makes it easier for remote employees to stay organized. If you’re in a B2C industry, maybe what you offer is some much-needed entertainment, or a distraction from the stress.  Another key question to ask at this point is:

How does what I sell fit into the current normal?

If you don’t have an immediate or obvious answer to this question, you could talk with someone you trust outside of your business to provide some third-party insight. It may be that you need to offer gift certificates until things return to some level of normalcy. It may be that a hard pivot in what you produce is necessary.

Once you have an understanding of where you fit in, how to sell that particular product or service becomes clearer.

Stay in Your Lane

Social media platforms are filled with conversations around Coronavirus and its impact on various aspects of life. At times, you might feel like stepping in and giving your two cents about a topic, but as much as voicing your opinion is necessary at crucial times, it’s essential to recognize when to pull back and observe. A good question to before you make a statement through your business is:

Am I qualified to speak authoritatively on this topic?

If the answer is no, you may want to shift to a more knowledgeable topic that you have experience and expertise with.

For instance, unless you have the medical credentials to back a certain opinion, or you work for a medical company that has a direct impact with Covid-19, it might be best to avoid commenting on health-related topics.

Make sure that your brand messaging revolves closely around the nature of your business. You may not be able to talk about the effects of the virus, but you certainly may talk about the impact on your industry.

Generate positive discussions in your community, talk about how your services have helped people through these tough times, and how you are a value-driven company that prioritizes customers.

A Change in Conversational Tone

With content marketing, a conversational tone is key. One way to think about this is to picture yourself out for coffee with your prospect and adjust your message accordingly. While going out for coffee might not currently be possible, we can still use this as a barometer for the level of conversational content that we’re trying to produce.

This means not using corporate industry-speak to get your point across. It means talking with your customer in a way that will engage them in the conversation, not force them to leave it entirely. This article talks about why a shift in in the conversational tone of your content marketing is so important right now.

Content as Entertainment and Value

A friendly and educational approach, while offering the highest levels of value goes a long way in winning over your audience. Instead of giving users the hard sell on your product or service, content marketing shows them why and how they should use it.

It’s about offering helpful tips and strategies they can use, versus straight advertising and sales copy. This approach shows readers that you care about them, and it goes a long way in establishing a stronger long-term relationship.

This approach carries with it the added advantage of casting a wider net. There are people who may be genuinely curious about your industry but may not be ready to purchase quite yet. If you can provide value in an easy to understand manner, people will remember you when they’re ready to purchase.

Strike a Balance Between Optimism and Sensitivity

 The general public is awash in a sea of negative-focused news articles and social media content at this point. People are justifiably concerned and scared about the outcomes of the pandemic. If you can provide a feeling of hope, it will help your company to stand out in these uncertain times.

A good question to ask for these situations is:

How can I say something in a positive manner?

The key is to not be overly optimistic to the point where it sounds like you are making light of a difficult situation. The balance between optimism and empathy for difficult times is key.

Showcase Your Brand Philanthropy

Do you have a popular product or program that people could especially use right now? It might be the right time to offer it on a deep discount. If you work with your audience at a time when money is tight and economic fears are high, they’ll remember it down the road.

Conclusion: Improving Your Company’s Content Marketing During the Pandemic

The internet transformed how we’re consuming information. Consumers are savvier than ever, and they use an unfettered access to information to research purchases before they buy. In fact, 81 percent of purchasers are researching before purchasing from a retail store. You can benefit from providing the type of background information that will help them to make more informed decisions.

The brands that think of their content marketing as a separate asset, providing value above and beyond their products and services, will do the best in a shifting economy. When you can shift your perspective to fully consider the customer experience from your audience’s point of view, you can provide an enhanced level of value. Follow the strategies above to strengthen your brand and create a message that will resonate, even during tough times.

If you’re struggling with your content marketing during the Covid-19 pandemic, or you’re unsure of how to improve your brand during a pandemic, you can talk with an experienced digital marketing agency today!