Let’s just take a moment to exhale and collectively agree that the state of the world right now is absolutely nuts. A month ago we were all talking about how Parasite dominated the Oscars, now you can’t step foot into a movie theatre. Just a few weeks ago, you could meet friends after work for a drink. Now, we’re #socialdistancing and practicing isolation to trying to #flattenthecurve. Times, they are a-changin’—and not in a way we ever anticipated.
COVID-19 (coronavirus) has turned the world upside down, not only endangering the global population but causing temporary and long-term damage to many industries. Lockdowns have been issued, doors closed, and jobs lost. Now, in the face of uncertainty, we’re seeing just how important—and inspirational— content can be in the face of a global crisis.
As a business owner, you may be asking yourself, “Do I promote my brand during a time when people and the economy are suffering?” Honestly, good question. Think of it this way: your business was started because you saw a need in the market for your offerings. That market still exists and while many industries are currently seeing a lull, it won’t be forever. Now, more than ever, content marketing can be used to maintain your presence, resonate with your customers, and position you as a leader in your industry.
Stopping all marketing efforts now and trying to pick back up again later is like trying to run a marathon after sitting on the couch for six months. Slow and steady, my friends. Slow and steady. Stay connected. Talk to your audiences. Show what you can do for them. Just be genuine and authentic in your content. No one likes a villain.
Here are some ways we suggest going about marketing during a time of crisis.
It’s a rule of thumb to never post content for the sake of posting content. But now more than ever: don’t post content for the sake of posting content. Instead, find ways to position your brand as a resource, not just another meme generator (no offense, memes, we still love you). Communities across the country are struggling, so figure out how your brand, products, or services can help during this time and connect with your audiences by showing them you’re here for them and how. Show why your business is important now—and why it will be after the crisis subsides.
Local grocer, Wildwood Market, has taken advantage of social media to promote their products in lieu of closures due to Coronavirus, helping sustain their business while also providing necessary goods that have sold out at many major grocery stores. Win, win.
Retrospec highlighted how to get through quarantine responsibly while simultaneously promoting their products.
No one likes to be inundated with emails they don’t need, want, or care about—BUT, right now, email campaigns can do more than alert your audiences of sales and promotions, they can show how your business can be a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time. They can inform, inspire, and educate. (Which, to be honest, is a solid goal, Coronavirus or not.) Be a source of valid information, share what you know, help eliminate fear, and drive responsible action. As a brand, you can position yourself as a certainty in a very uncertain time.
BMO Harris used social distancing to highlight their digital banking efforts, promoting their services while addressing COVID-19 concerns.
As marketers, we’re always telling our clients to share their stories. That remains true now. Sure, maybe the narratives are different, but the content is there—you just have to get creative. Record a podcast, create a webinar, build out an interactive PDF, generate animated ads. Give your customers a reason to listen and care no matter the circumstance. Or, make something creative for them to do during this downtime. Not only are you helping your business sustain and building awareness, but you’re also bringing people together (digitally that is). And right now, we can all use a little entertainment.
Lessonly gave their followers something productive and fun to do while social distancing.
Wondering where you’ll find time to manage content, let alone create it? *insert hand emoji*
We can help you build strong content marketing that matters, today, tomorrow, in a few months—whenever. Have questions? Let’s talk.