The COVID-19 pandemic has put much of the world on pause.
However, as a brand, the COVID-19 pandemic shouldn’t bring every marketing effort in your company to a halt.
Staying totally silent with content creation is the wrong choice.
Here are six crucial reasons to keep creating content during this pandemic and beyond, no matter what the virus and economy throw at us.
1. People Are on Their Digital Devices A Lot
Let’s first address the fact that people are on their phones/tablets/laptops all the time nowadays.
While cooped up in quarantine and working from home, millions have turned to digital devices for everything from news to entertainment.
The Washington Post just recently reported that iPhone weekly screen time reports are through the roof. App usage is also seeing a surge as people browse Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others for hours on end.
So, what does this have to do with your brand’s content production?
Well, to put it frankly, you’ve got an audience of bored, technology-addicted customers at your fingertips.
Even if people are clutching their wallets tightly during this uncertain time, there’s still a huge opportunity to reach out and influence large groups of customers through your content right now.
Publish that new blog post.
Share stuff on Facebook.
Keep up with your Instagram posts.
Trust us – people are looking, and even if they don’t purchase anything, they’ll notice what you’re publishing.
2. Quarantined Customers Are Looking for Distractions
Speaking of bored quarantiners on their phones, let’s talk about how you can provide online distractions for customers.
Confinement, reduced social and physical content, and frustration have led many people to feel extremely anxious while isolating.
As a brand, you can either view this as an intimidation factor or as an opportunity to provide people with the distraction they need to manage their concerns.
Everywhere you turn, people are talking about the pandemic and its repercussions.
Although this is an angle you can take in your content, you can also produce messaging that isn’t about anxiety-inducing topics.
Take a look at the recent Netflix hit show, “Tiger King.”
Why is it so popular? Is it because it’s stellar quality or beneficial to people’s lives?
No – it’s because it’s downright distracting from the concerns of the world around us.
That’s why it’s been watched by more than 64 million households.
People are desperate for entertainment and interesting content during a time when they’re practically on house arrest.
What can your company do to give people a little distraction right now?
If you’re a skincare company, write a blog about tips for taking care of yourself while you’re at home.
Are you a toy business?
Publish posts on innovative ways for keeping kids entertained.
No matter what kind of brand you’re a part of, there are strategies to give people a source of distraction. You’re only limited by your own creativity.
3. It’s Important to Take a Position
Sometimes, taking no position is worse than taking a bad position.
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The absence of commentary on COVID-19 could lead people to think your brand is tone-deaf or simply uncaring, and you certainly don’t want that.
Use content as a method of positioning your COVID-19 related messages.
Everyone, from brands like Nike to Coca-Cola, is speaking out about their thoughts and actions surrounding the virus.
In doing so, they’re taking a stance people can admire.
There are many ways to take a position through your content.
- Write a post about your charitable donations during the quarantine.
- Provide free value to customers/followers.
- Send your thoughts and positivity to those who need it.
- Support healthcare workers and other essential employees.
- Discuss what your brand is doing to keep people safe.
- You can also use your “re-positioning” around the coronavirus to improve current content marketing strategies.
For instance, have you seen the home security systems that are highlighting the importance of safety right now?
Or the car commercials that emphasize “comfort” more than before?
Healthcare products that boast of “immunity-boosting” properties for your family?
Take a look at what your position on COVID-19 is and how it can play a role in your content production.
Ignoring the virus and its repercussions isn’t an option – it’s time to speak up in a way that works for your brand.
4. Content Is a Long-Term Investment
Feel like your brand isn’t getting much attention during the pandemic?
That’s understandable – these are uncertain times in which people are being pulled in multiple directions at once.
However, that doesn’t mean halting content production is a good idea.
People might not be engaging with it right now, but there are some kinds of content that aim at long-term goals. Rather than driving on sales-focused content, try to look toward the future.
Over the next few months, write content that can:
- Improve brand awareness by showing your personality and beliefs.
- Inform potential buyers about the current status of your business and products.
- Build trust with customers through continuous communication and support.
- Increase customer loyalty through feedback and engagement, as well as special offers.
- Boost leads by reaching out to customers through entertaining, informative pieces.
- Don’t think of each blog post or social media campaign as a here-and-now strategy.
- Think of it as an investment in people’s long-term awareness of your brand.
When the Content Marketing Institute gathered responses for the 2019 B2C Content Marketing survey, it found that nearly 90% of the most successful brands stated that content marketing helped them increase brand awareness over the course of 12 months.
We don’t know where this pandemic will leave us in a year, but we do know that things will continue to change.
Your content right now needs to be about brand awareness – something that will lead to revenue.
5. Can’t Get Many Conversions? Gain Followers
With the recent economy’s instability and the impending recession that’s been predicted, many people are holding onto their hard-earned dollars tightly.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that many businesses are experiencing fewer conversions during the pandemic.
Even Google search ad impressions have begun to decrease to 7% below average. Conversion rates on PPC ads have dropped by an average of 21%.
So, you might be thinking, “Why would I waste my time using content to reach customers?”
The answer lies in your mindset about producing content.
Writing blogs, creating social media posts, and starting new campaigns isn’t just about earning revenue – it’s about gaining followers on other platforms.
As TechCrunch pointed out, Under quarantine, media is actually social.
People are no longer following brands solely for shopping purposes – they’re following them to connect, and if you can harness that energy, you can substantially bump up your follower counts.
Business as usual posts won’t cut it.
Entice followers with posts about how you’re adapting and how you can be there for them during this difficult time.
Did you know that back in October 2019, Chipotle was the only major restaurant chain with a TikTok presence?
Now, hundreds are adapting to go where their people are – on entertaining social media platforms.
By Mid-March, brands like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram had all experienced at least 40% spikes in usage.
Instead of worrying about how your customers are distracted and unwilling to spend money, jump on the chance that they’re very present on media platforms you can access.
If necessary, start new content accounts where you feel you can reach out to a higher number of potential followers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially when people could really use a good chuckle or some interesting news.
6. Consistency Is Always the Key
More than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute as of May 2019.
There were nearly 75 million blog posts published on WordPress sites in April 2020.
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of companies with more than 5,000 employees publish content on a daily basis.
Consistency and regularity are two huge aspects of content success.
Although it might be tempting to take a break from religiously posting while everyone is quarantined, such a disruption could hinder some of the success you’ve already garnered.
Additionally, Google is always on the hunt for fresh content.
All of your content has a shelf life, and if the search engine doesn’t consistently pick up on new content, your SEO results could suffer.
You might not need to publish on a daily basis, but try to keep up with your schedule as much as possible, despite the circumstances.
Content is a tool – which means it’s only as effective as the brand that wields it.
During the pandemic, and after, it will be up to each individual company to see how they can make their content worthwhile.
Still, it seems clear that the companies that continue to produce content, even during this strange time, will come out ahead as the leaders, educators, and popular brands.
Don’t let your marketing fall by the wayside just because the rest of the world is on pause.
Adapt to this new pandemic society and learn how to maneuver around its ups and downs.
Remember: content marketing is a long-term game, so don’t get too stuck in the right here and now.