I’ve been involved with writing and content creation for many years and, through the decades, I’ve learned one thing. Specifically, when the economy takes a nosedive, so do organizational marketing and content creation efforts.
This is where we are, right now. The COVID-19 spread is causing the global economy to tumble. As most people are under either a mandatory or self-proscribed “shelter-in-place” order, they aren’t buying or consuming. Organizations, in turn, are laying off people, while decreasing “non-essential” services, which includes a reduction in marketing and content creation efforts.
Self-bias aside (!), the problem with such cutbacks is it puts an organization into radio silence, just when clients and prospects need to be hearing from them. As such, it’s a good idea to rev up your content creation efforts, for the following four reasons.
Your audience needs reassurance. Your clients and prospects are in isolation and probably not spending money right now. But you need to reach out to them. If you’re operational, let them know, and the protocols you’re taking to keep everyone safe. If you’re not, let them know why not, and when that will change. The content doesn’t have to be all coronavirus, all the time, either. Other topics that relate to your business (and fit into your search optimization strategy) can also be developed into blogs, emails, social media posts, videos, podcasts and white papers. Your content plan should have one goal: Continual audience engagement.
Marketing in the aftermath will be easier. The pandemic WILL end, the economy WILL come back, people WILL start buying again. But, if you’ve maintained radio silence, it’s possible people might not remember you. This means you’ll have to work twice as hard to generate front-of-mind awareness for your brand and product/service. Even worse, your economic-downturn-inspired silence could mean your competition (which DID have a well-executed content marketing and content creation plan) might have left an impression on clients and prospects.
People are bored. Remember the “shelter-in-place” order mentioned above? Because few people are venturing out, they’re turning to technology and social media in record numbers, trying to connect with friends, while reading up on the latest news. Lucky for you, this means a captive audience, and a great opportunity to provide it well-thought-out content. As an aside, content during this time should be on the informative, rather than “hard sell” side.
It's a good time to build brand trust. There is a lot of panic and misinformation out there. Now is a good time increase your thought-leadership cred through the generation and delivery of calm, confident content.
One of my clients, Connect Media, is a multimedia/news organization serving the commercial real estate industry. Over the past several weeks, Connect is hosting a weekly webinar, in which industry experts from all property sectors discuss best practices they’ve taken during the coronavirus outbreak. The result continues to be reassurance and information in the midst of a lot of noise and panic.
Webinars, along with, emails, white papers, videos and website content are useful for developing and maintaining a knowledgeable voice in turbulent times. This, in turn, builds trust in your organization and brand, meaning people will be more willing to do business with you.
The takeaway here is that your content plan is a long-game effort, one that should be ongoing, even in the face of scary pandemics and economic downturns. The world needs interesting, relevant and thoughtful content at this time. Providing that content can help your company maintain its visibility and brand image, putting you in an excellent position with clients and prospects.