Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Social media, the news and your in-box are focused on one thing: COVID-19. Plenty of stories abound abouot coronavirus symptoms and spread. And, given that the pandemic is on everyone’s mind, it would be unrealistic to suggest steering your content creation efforts away from that topic. You can, however, develop coronavirus-focused blogs, podcasts, e-mails and more, that help you stick to your messaging, without repeating everyone else’s efforts.
As you do so, consider the following.
Stick with what you know. Unless your business is involved with healthcare or virology, its best to leave advice on COVID-19 symptoms and social isolation and to the experts. Instead, you can develop coronavirus content that might include:
An email about how economic issues might impact your industry (and, if warranted, what your organization is doing to mitigate that impact).
White papers, videos or webinars concerning Industry-oriented best practices/how-to information to keep people safe during the outbreak. This can focus on care and cleaning of products, while factoring in social distancing in any messaging.
Blogs about uplifting and positive stories, such as how your company and your clients are helping the community during this time.
Heartening and encouraging Tweets and social media posts.
There is plenty of information to pass along to your audience that is pertinent and more importantly, not all gloom-and-doom.
Speaking of which . . .
Focus on optimism. This is not to suggest that times aren’t difficult -- they are. Nor does it suggest that “all positive, all the time” is in yours -- or your audience’s -- best interest. But your content doesn’t have to add to the plethora of negative stuff out there. Nor does it have to be a continuous loop about how your company is dealing with the crisis.
A podcast could focus on the steps taken by one of your employees to successfully work from home, while sharing a kitchen table with his or her spouse. Or, you could invite one of your clients to write a blog about how gardening can avoid “shelter-in-place” cabin fever. You could also develop an infographic about changes your organization has made to contend with the virus.
Stick to the soft-sell approach. People are worried, frightened and panicked. This is not a good time to be beating customers or prospects over the head with the newest, latest product or service (unless it is specific to the current situation). Now, more than ever, your content should take into account client pain points.
If your product/service can reduce the pain, so much the better. Let your audience know you are there to help. Otherwise, content could address concerns inherent with your industry, such as supply chain disruptions, shortages, general market uncertainty and even how people are coping with the outbreak.
Be creative. COVID-19 content doesn’t need to be COVID-19-specific. The brilliant marketing efforts of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum are a good example.
This non-essential organization is closed, but the content, posted daily on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, is being handled by Tim, the museum’s head of security. Tim’s tweets and social media posts show off the museum’s collections, while detailing his own amusing struggles with social media. The posts are refreshing and interesting, and are generating many loyal followers. The museum is closed now, but the chances are pretty good that, once it re-opens, there will be an uptick in visitors.
Granted, most of you probably don’t have museum paraphernalia on hand. However, there is no reason why you can’t keep your brand in front of your audience with creative and appealing content. Just like Tim.
Embrace repurposing. There is a great deal off chatter in content creation circles about “multichannel strategies” and “content repurposing.” In plain English, this means taking your content, and putting it into different formats. Your blog can be part of a white paper or case study, or can be truncated on social media. The webinar you aired can be rewritten into a blog. People consume content in different ways, which is why the “multichannel strategies,” mentioned above, are so important.
To conclude, there is more to incorporating COVID-19 into your comment than repeating what everyone else is saying. Developing refreshing content, that is in stride with the times and consistent with your overall messaging, helps keep your brand front of mind.