The first six months of 2020 have been the longest ten years in recent memory.
Everything has changed: the way we do business, the way we socialize, the way we communicate, and the way we consume.
The one thing that hasn’t changed – if anything we’re doing more of it – is that we’re still consuming. Online shopping, takeout for delivery, movies-on-demand, live streaming, ebook lending libraries, and more.
COVID Content – What Should You Be Writing About?
Now is most definitely not the time to take a break or ease up on your content. People are starved for it while stuck at home.
But what kind of content are folks looking for during a global pandemic? What do they want from you? And should you update your content strategy accordingly?
It’s time to put your plan under the microscope.
Have Your Goals Changed?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: content must have a purpose. You need to be clear on your goals before publishing your latest blog post or sharing that Instagram meme.
Maybe your goals are the same as they were before the lockdown, and maybe they aren’t. But you need to ask the question and know the answer.
So, what do you want to do?
- Continue to build trust and relationships with your audience?
- Point out that you’re still open? Announce that you’re re-opening?
- Share new COVID protocols in place so people feel safe coming back to you?
- Highlight stories of what you’re up to lately or how you’re helping your local community?
- Explain what has or has not changed?
- Something else?
As with content at any time, you need to know what you’re hoping to achieve with it during COVID.
Based on your situation, you may not need to change much, although a focus on content that is relevant and community-minded is especially important right now.
Who’s Your Audience?
Again, this is no different than content at the best of times. You need a purpose (goal), and you need a concrete audience. Content without one or both is ultimately meaningless.
The best content for you is the content that most connects with your audience. How well do you know them?
- Who are you speaking to? These are your buyer personas and ideal customers.
- What do you already know about them?
- How can you connect with them on the topics that matter most to them?
But most crucially, what if anything has changed during COVID? How are their struggles, priorities, wants, interests, and dislikes different today than they were six months ago. Identify the similarities and differences.
- Talk to them. Your audience is right there waiting, so engage with them. Surveys, polls, questions, and discussions provide hard data you can turn into new insights.
- Stay up-to-date. Read industry news. What’s trending? What’s popular? What’s working for others in your niche?
- Research. Try a service like Dig’s consumer intelligence platform, Upsiide, and our global panel to provide real-time insights on how the #COVID19 pandemic is affecting the daily lives and decisions of both US and Canadian consumers.
Tactics like these can reveal what your audience cares about right now. And that’s like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Activities People Miss Most While Social Distancing
Our Quarantine Must-Haves
Actions That Can Protect or Enhance Your Company Reputation During COVID-19
What Consumers Expect from Government and Other Institutions During COVID-19
Will it all apply to and be relevant for your audience? Maybe not, but it’s your job to find the insights that are universal.
COVID Content – Find the Common Threads
In the end, your goal with content marketing is to find ways to connect directly and with relevance to your audience. That’s the whole point.
What stands out to you? Where do you see your audience in these charts? Where does your business fit in? What can it solve? Where are you also struggling? Where do you have personal stories to tell?
Let’s say you know from your research and conversations with them that your audience is going stir-crazy, suffering from cabin fever while trying to maintain a good work-life balance in a dynamic that has shifted to a new work-from-home paradigm.
You may set a goal to remind them that you’re in the same boat, trying to conduct business-as-usual online. You might:
- Share humanizing stories about the challenges and frustrations faced by you and your employees in this new normal
- Create simple but compelling content in fast and easy-to-digest formats like videos, infographics, and fact sheets so as not to consume too much of their limited “free time”
- Draft a letter from you to them where you connect over your shared priorities and concerns in this unprecedented territory
Or maybe you have a physical store, clinic, or studio and you know they’re worried about coming back once the restrictions are lifted. You could:
- Promote content that explains the health and safety precautions you’re taking, and how their safety is your #1 priority
- Remind them of all the reasons why they should want to come back with fun, engaging stories and behind-the-scenes content featuring you, your staff, and your products
- Highlight the benefits you provide to them with your products or service
Once you have the data, you can glean the insights that reveal exactly what they’re looking for and what they need.
And COVID or not, that’s the kind of content you should be sharing.