If there is a faint silver lining to this crisis and the difficult post-COVID period that we’re now wading through, it’s probably that the situation provides us with an opportunity to strengthen brand identity and reiterate our values. Content marketing can serve as an effective tool to remain in touch with your customers, emphasise what you stand for, and keep the communication channels alive.
Audiences seek out content that entertains, inspires, educates, and informs. That’s why it’s important to revitalise our content strategy with a more help-oriented approach, employing a subtle and nuanced tone to keep the content empathetic. Content marketing can serve as a transformative tool for businesses to reignite the engagement process.
But that’s easier said than done. How does a business come across as empathetic to its customers without compromising on honesty? How does one offer value through product sale without seeming insensitive? And how can businesses keep up the content creation without adding to the clutter? These are crucial and challenging questions that must be addressed in this period.
The answers to these questions can be answered by more questions: How can we be of service? Are there specific customer problems that we can help resolve?
Here are a set of simple guidelines to follow in order to create effective content during the pandemic:
- Make it clear to your customers that your business is running, and the restrictions under which you’re operating. The message should be brief, clear, and to the point.
- Acknowledge the weight of the situation on your customers directly. This creates a sense of urgency while reassuring them that you are on the same page.
- Ensure your content is concise and to-the-point. Nobody wants to read wordy, long-winded articles and mailers even during simpler times!
- Invest in twice the amount of content ahead of the recovery. It is wise to have a sufficient quantity of material ready to publish as things improve.
- Preferably choose situation-relevant topics where the crisis can be acknowledged, and the changes to come in your industry can be discussed coherently.
- Personalise your content by setting the right tone and employing language that evokes a sense of ‘pathos’ without compromising on sharing the facts.
- Revise and re-optimise existing content. Select relevant material from your content catalogue to re-publish.
By internalising these essential points before you revise your content strategy, you create a strong foundation for your content during the crisis. When you don’t just empathise with your customers’ grievances and challenges but directly address them, it generates goodwill that’s likely to last a long time.
Evolve Successfully by Adapting Early and Regularly
Your business needs to prepare to continually adapt. Develop a dynamic strategy that aligns with customers’ changing needs. Keep studying engagement metrics to track time spent on specific topics. This helps you understand what kind of content is resonant with customers, and subsequently, should influence your plans to put out material on those of similar topics.
Stronger and Deeper Engagement in the Wake of the Crisis
Amidst the disruption, there lies dormant the potential for deeper and ever more interesting long-term relationships between businesses and customers. With audience engagement attaining new heights, the need for credible information and real support has drastically increased. Customers are turning to social media to voice their support for brands that have gone above and beyond to help them.
Content marketers have returned to the drawing board to rework their strategies at a foundational level, and re-establish helpfulness as a central concept. Healthy engagement during this period will help businesses earn the trust of their customers, and that is, quite simply, the essence of content marketing. While ‘predictability’ may not be one of the recurring themes during this crisis, ‘longevity’ is certainly worth aspiring towards while developing a new content framework for the times.