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CONTENT MARKETING in the Age of Coronavirus – have you adapted your strategy?

Every area of the marketing mix has been affected by the coronavirus, as a business have you adapted your strategy, ‘shut-up’ shop or changed your message completely?

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How have some brands adapted their content to connect with customers during uncertain times? Let us discuss why delivering a relevant but sensitive content marketing programme during this time is more important than ever.

Brands Leading the Way…

Football legends Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville own and operate a couple of hotels in Manchester, at the start of the virus Phil took to social media to say not only were they going to continue to pay all hotel staff, but they were also offering rooms free of charge for all NHS workers. His tone was empathetic and authoritative.

Brands That Did Not Fare as Well…

Victoria Beckham’s fashion label come in for huge criticism for applying to use the government furlough scheme, this was against a backdrop of Victoria sharing social media images of her family during lockdown at their luxurious home. The brand has since reversed the decision to claim taxpayer’s money but the damage has been done.

What can we learn from these brands?

I. The tone of voice is crucial!

Many people are suffering as well as many businesses, too, at the other end of the scale some businesses are seeing a record level of orders. You must show empathy, whatever your situation, you must show that you care and back it up with deeds. It is of no use to say you care and then carry on as you were previously.

Neville demonstrated that they cared even though the hospitality business sector is one of the hardest hit. Think about how you can help the less fortunate.

Think about the balance between informing and entertaining. In the early part of the crisis, we saw more informative posts, as we move through the crisis think about how your content can entertain your audience.

Don’t forget to review the images you are posting, should Beckham have modified some of her posts considering the company wanted to furlough staff?

II. Topical and Evergreen Content

Usually, you are advised to create ‘evergreen’ content which can be used and repurposed many times over, this is impossible to do now. Do not be afraid to divert form your content plan because of this unprecedented situation.

Review all content scheduled to go out, is it still appropriate? How your business navigates the crisis will be remembered for many months to come, so it’s worth being extra diligent about the content you are sharing and writing.

III. Review Your Customer Insight

Customer insight is derived by researching the triggers and barriers that drive purchase decisions. Have those rational and emotional triggers and barriers now changed?

Any successful content marketing plan always starts with knowing your ideal customers, don’t assume their needs and wants are the same as per-Covid19.

Can you embrace new technology? Obviously, all events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, brands have had to embrace technology to stay relevant and communicate with their customers. Look at the success of Joe Wicks, now Britain’s most famous PE teacher, he vowed to keep school children active during lockdown by offering free YouTube workout sessions at 9 am each morning. He added in the region of 1 million new YouTube subscribers to his channel and raised something in the range of £200,000 for the NHS. Amazing brand growth in a couple of months!!!

IV. Think About the Marketing Mix

Finally, consider your channels. What media is your audience consuming? How has that changed? For example, ads on public transport and major road networks aren’t being seen by as many people as previously. Many of us are installing new apps and streaming services. Where are your customers hanging out now, and how can you reach them?

How has your content marketing changed over the last few weeks?

Author:  Dorota Iwankiewicz FCIM, DM2Agency

Other articles by Dorota: HOW TO GROW with Societal Marketing.

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