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Content During COVID: Engaging with Your Audience in the Age of Social Distancing

It has never been more important for your brand to have a strong online presence, but it is equally as important that your content during Covid hits the mark. Content marketing is not about selling your product but about providing your target audience with value. You don’t want to look like you are trying to take advantage of the situation. Engaging with your audience will provide your far more opportunity.

Yes, you should continue deploying your marketing strategies, but your content may need some tweaking.

There are two trains of thought brands are working through: how to communicate in response to the coronavirus and how to shift the marketing strategy to be effective in the current climate. We’ve witnessed how different brands have handled the pandemic. Some have been applauded while others were perceived as distasteful and used poorly timed ads.

Now is your chance to reshape. Redistribute your marketing budget. It’s likely going to be all or mostly digital, so the spotlight is on your content. You must figure out how life for your target audience has changed and how to meet them where they are at. The good news? There are no disruptions in the digital world, just make sure customers know you are still available and wanting to help. Here are some considerations to guide you with your content during Covid:

Provide resources

We’ve already established that content marketing is not about you, it’s non-promotional and all about your customer. What better way to show that you care than to curate content that provides your customers with information that is helpful and relevant? It’s as easy as putting together a list of resources. This is not only useful, but you’re also building trust and credibility.

Update your website regularly with applicable resources and be sure to be transparent with your customers. If coronavirus is hindering your ability to serve your customers, use your platform to get ahead of it. Consumers have been fairly understanding of the situation and would appreciate honesty and transparency above subpar service or products.

Collaboration

Brands are joining forces in an effort to support consumers in any way possible. However, it’s not just consumers who benefit greatly from collaboration. This is also a great way for you to increase traffic and improve the quality of your content. Collaborating with a colleague brings some new perspective and ideas but set your sights on working with outside experts.

Identify influencers or micro-influencers in your industry and schedule an Instagram or Facebook Live for your customers. You can use this time to share valuable information, like tips or tricks, or conduct a Q&A. Not sure where to start identifying influencers? This can help.

There are other ways to collaborate on your content. Add a quote from an expert, such as:

In an age where the technology, algorithms, and options for delivery are constantly changed – there is one single guiding start for every facet of marketing best practices. That star is the human audience.” – Erika Heeren, Founder & President of the Small Business Marketing Studio

Or, reach out to multiple experts, and present the same set of questions, use their answers to create content. This is sure to drive traffic but also a great networking tool.

Empathy

While you’ve readjusted your business to the new normal, you may be eager (and a little anxious) to aggressively sell, sell, sell. Don’t forget that your audience is also stressed, frustrated, confused, and figuring out how to cope. Be authentic and compassionate because lacking these two traits could have a lasting negative impact on your bottom line.

You may wonder how this translates to creating content that has an empathetic message. If you’re successful at content creation, the chances are that you’re already doing this. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. How do they feel about this situation? What do they need?

Some marketers succeed at finding the correct topic for their content by drawing a quick Venn diagram. In one circle, jot down what your audience cares about, or how they’re feeling and in the other jot down topics in your area of expertise. Can you identify common themes?

When unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with a trusted source and make sure your content is not overtly promotional and self-serving.

Content During Covid

The past few months have been a learning curve for the majority of businesses but there truly are some great opportunities. Reevaluate your content marketing strategy and take a closer look at your target audiences’ behavior. Many people have had more time to spend online, which widens your window of opportunity to reach them and actively engage. Understand how their lifestyle has changed and make it known that you are there for them.

Be the source of information and keep those resources up to date. Reach out to others in your industry to collaborate and lead with empathy. Make sure your content is there to serve your customers. If you’re able to accomplish this, social distancing won’t feel so distant.