The Ultimate Guide To Content Creation During COVID-19
Content is, and always has been, a driving force that powers marketing campaigns. And looking at the recent events, it is all the more important to drive feelings of empathy, trust, and transparency for your brand through your content creation during COVID-19.
The validation to this started midway through March, when the leadership across companies, like Freshworks, Zoho, Amazon, Adobe, etc., demonstrated first-hand the key aspects of empathy, trust, and transparency across their communications channels.
Here’s how it helped. As soon as the news of the pandemic came out and a nationwide lockdown was imposed, the leaders came forward and assured their customers about their Business Continuity Plans. That helped them build trust and avoid customer churn.
That’s not a one-time activity, however. You need to keep your customers and other stakeholders updated on how your business is trying to help them, what steps you are taking to resume operations post-COVID-19, and how you can help your customers during these uncertain times.
This is key to customer relationships, and thinking long-term is the path most organisations are following. Also, a key part of this is your content engine, which must keep running.
The current scenario brings to light some interesting possibilities. We will touch upon a few of them as we go along. You may be concerned about the relevance of your content, or there may be sensitivity issues. Yet, you want your content to be up-to-date. How do you achieve all this?
As someone responsible for creating content, it’s crucial to adapt your content management strategies to the current situation. Below are key insights which should help you better manage your content creation during COVID-19.
Let’s take a look at what all you can do to create captivating content:
Solutions to Power Your Content Creation During COVID-19
1. SEO Pays You Back
Businesses heads are searching for solutions to enable remote work, HRs are searching to digitalise their HR systems, and SMEs are looking out for digital solutions to keep their businesses running. Where do they search? Does your solution exist where people are looking for it?
A key channel is Google, and SEO is the one thing you might have always kept at a lower priority, considering “it takes time.”
But bombarding your users with Ads won’t work now. You need a solution that helps you attract the users who have the intent to buy.
But again, you say, the world is under lockdown and I am not selling, so why marketing?
While most businesses have been thinking of surviving, those who have been successful in the past are now working towards thriving in the post-Covid-19 world. So, when everything goes back to normal, your business should be available online when customers start buying again. And since we know SEO takes time, now could be the right time to start.
Here’s how to proceed:
- Do a content audit for your website
- Find 3-5 key searches which your users would search for, so your website has a higher chance of ranking
- Create a content calendar, add topics aligned with each keyword in the last step, and also add 4-5 more topics which revolve around each of these keywords
- Start creating long-form and engaging content around these topics
The aforementioned process is called Pillar-Cluster process. It was first strategized by Hubspot.
This is also a perfect time for experimentation, and your SEO team should adopt a few new and robust SEO strategies. You don’t even have to wait until the market opens up again.
2. Retaining Your Existing Customers
A major part of content marketing is about targeting old customers rather than acquiring new ones. While your existing customers can bring you new ones through referrals, you need to retain your existing ones first. You can reiterate your relationship with existing customers and put some strategies in place for following up with leads when the economy opens up again.
Take a step back and review your customer base. Put the data through various tools to analyse your customer following. There are various tools apart from your CRMs that you can use, like YouTube Analytics, Google’s Audience Retention Tool, Facebook Audience Insights, and Google Trends. Invest your time gainfully in exploring these tools and feeding your data into them. You will be amazed at the new insights you can get from this exercise.
Remember, now’s also the time to take another look at various customer reviews on your company’s products and services. Take special note of the negative reviews. Are you missing something? How can you go the extra mile for your customers? What do your customers really want? Use this information while creating more relevant content and you will be sure to improve your customer engagement.
3. Plan Content Marketing Campaigns
Under normal circumstances, it’s difficult to get your content noticed. With the current COVID-19 scenario, this has become even more of a challenge. One of the key reasons for this increased difficulty is the flood of content in the digital space as a result of the market coming to a standstill. People are using their ingenuity to create captivating content revolving around COVID-19. Why should you not join the bandwagon?
This an excellent time to analyse marketing campaigns and restructure them in line with the current scenario. You can do this a thorough post-mortem of your past strategies and plan an overhaul.
Get your marketing team online and do a bit of brainstorming. A new idea can sometimes become a legend. For example, take the case of the “30-minute guarantee” campaign launched by Domino’s Pizza in 1973. This single idea turned Domino’s Pizza into a hugely popular brand, overnight.
But that was the seventies. You need to create content to ride the wave of the current era and use the capabilities of being digital to reach mass audiences.
4. Create Content Relevant to the Current Scenario
Content creation during COVID-19 involves a thorough overhaul of your existing content. Relevance is the keyword here.
You need to put out content that your audience can relate to. Your viewers need content that will add some value to what they do on a daily basis. For example, you can touch upon how time, that used to be such a precious commodity, has become more available today, and then go into the details of what people can do with the extra time they have on their hands.
This is also a time where you need to ensure that you don’t create irrelevant content, as this can turn out to be counterproductive. For example, if you are posting content on social media, you need to realise that different social networks address different demographics.
Furthermore, in today’s “copy-paste” culture, there is a lot of duplicate or similar content floating around. And this is something you want to avoid. Simply repeating what others are saying can do more damage than good.
You can recreate your existing content and add new material that aligns itself with what is happening in the country and around the world. If you have an e-commerce company (for non, then it’s likely that your sales have plummeted or come to a standstill), rewrite your content and align it with the current scenario. Empathise with and relate to the circumstances that people find themselves in today. It is also important to avoid bombarding your customers with Ads since it can be considered insensitive.
5. Engagement Through Competitions
[For B2C Organizations]
Everyone loves to participate in a competition and probably relish the lure of winning a prize! Competing with others is also a great engagement activity. So, this is a good time to launch new campaigns and competitions with rewards linked to your products and services.
In a time when people seek new things to keep themselves occupied while being stuck at home, motivate them with some stimulating activities. Create competitions and interactive games that provide informative content through participation.
However, do not lose sight of the fact that you are organising these competitions to promote your brand. Hence, while planning these competitions, make it interesting and attractive, but avoid a hard-sell.
You can offer prizes in the form of free coupons to your products or services to be redeemed later. These will keep people engaged while reading your content or watching your videos and podcasts to learn more about your company.
6. Intensify Monitoring
Above all, you need to monitor the way your content is performing. Creating content, publishing it, and then forgetting about it can lead to some disastrous results. At the very least, you need to monitor the feedback you get from your audience. Negative feedback can damage your brand image. If you don’t monitor your content, you won’t be aware of any negative feedback your content might be generating.
Utilize monitoring tools that will give you an accurate picture of the way your content is being received. You can get a clearer picture of your customers’ preferences and behavior. Digital monitoring can also help you assess the bounce rates to see how much time customers spend on your website.
Other than Google Analytics, there are many content monitoring tools, free and paid, which you can use – SerpStat, Netpeak Spider, Headline Analyzer, Cyfe, and Salesmate, just to name a few. Use these tools to monitor your published content on a weekly or monthly basis to tweak it and make necessary adjustments to your fresh content.
Summing it Up
In these challenging times, carrying out even the simplest tasks becomes complicated. Creating engaging content is not easy, and the difficulty level increases, given the present COVID-19 crisis.
However, as we observed here, there has been an exponential increase in the internet audience, as India and several other countries have either been through several phases of lockdowns, or are still under one. It is this increase in internet activity that you can use to your advantage to build up your audience with captivating content.
So, how are you going to revamp your content creation during COVID-19? We have mentioned a few ways of doing it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with a few good ideas of your own.
Don’t be left behind, and use your time during this crisis to create something meaningful that will reward you in the times ahead.