COVID-19 has disrupted the world as we know it, altering how we live and work. First and foremost, we all just want to stay safe right now. Forming a new idea of ‘business as usual’ seems to run a close second. Adapting your content marketing strategy is a great place to start.
If it feels like everything offline has changed, we agree with you. But how has online changed, so far?
We’re paying close attention to that conversation, to give you the best advice we can. Sharing information and practicing empathy will keep us whole through this difficult time. To that end, we’re curating news and articles we hope you will find insightful or inspiring.
Why Adapting Your Content Marketing Strategy is So Important Right Now
To begin with, here’s a smart article on the importance of content marketing in a remote-only world.
Next, this one offers several ideas for adapting your marketing to reflect our emerging new reality.
How do brands market themselves in 2020 amid the COVID-19 crisis? Listen to these experts share thoughts on what brands should be talking about now. Also: finding the right tone, content marketing opportunities, and how to measure success. A few choice quotes:
- “Don’t say anything if we’re not going to be providing some kind of value.”
- “The best way to judge whether something is going to land right is to talk to people within your own company and talk with your customers.”
- “Any kind of pain point you can alleviate, at this point, is much appreciated…”
- “We’re putting more emphasis on qualitative data than quantitative right now”
You may have heard of brand by the name of Google. They developed new guiding principles to keep their media and marketing aligned.
- Context, always. Is this campaign right, given the current context in a local market?
- Constantly reassess. Though we greenlit this campaign last month/last week/yesterday, is it still right for the context and moment?
- Creative considerations. Are all of the creative elements — tone, copy, visuals, keywords, placements — appropriate and relevant to this new reality?
- Changing priorities to navigate uncertainty. What are the most relevant brands, products, or campaigns our media can support right now, and do we need to shift budgets?
- Contribution, at every opportunity. What ways can our brand — and even our owned media channels — be helpful to people and businesses in this moment of need?
Our Clients and Partners’ Examples
As the crisis unfolded in March, many of our non-profit clients reached out to us for help with special messaging. These examples show how adapting your content marketing strategy can be as simple as providing service to your target audience.
- BCRF created a new COVID-19 & Breast Cancer hero call to action on their homepage. This linked to a resource page with information about what patients needed to know.
- Parents League of New York added an alert block on their homepage. They used this to inform members how to schedule and attend virtual appointments, workshops, and events.
- Englewood Health Foundation deployed urgent fundraising initiatives in support of Englewood, New Jersey hospitals confronting the pandemic.
We applaud Pantheon’s support for frontline institutions with a crisis communications website. Pantheon will provide their WebOps platform at no charge to qualifying:
- government institutions
- medical institutions
- educational institutions
- non-profits directly providing relief
Pantheon also released a specialized WordPress custom upstream in response to the pandemic. This can help frontline organizations create a production-ready website to provide timely information during a crisis.
Adapting Your Content Marketing Strategies: A Data Driven Approach
Google Search has never seen as many searches for a single topic continue over a sustained period as is happening now with COVID-19.
Google has now released their first core algorithm update since COVID-19 happened. It will be interesting to observe the impact of this core update, but see this article about what to expect.
Broad core updates are designed to produce widely noticeable effects across search results in all countries in all languages.
Sites will inevitably notice drops or gains in search rankings when a core update rolls out.
Changes in search rankings are generally a reflection of content relevancy.
No surprise, but interesting data here showing how deals declined in the last months. Buyers do appear active and ready to engage with sellers. But the evidence suggests a need for sales strategy adjustments to convert leads into customers.
What do search trends during the earliest weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic tell us? A survey of keywords searched reveals potential topic ideas.
Google has also released a helpful guide on adapting your content marketing strategies. Loaded with timely consumer and industry insights, the guide offers a framework to help you:
- evaluate the situation facing your business
- take next steps to adapt your digital marketing strategy
- how to use tools like Google Trends, Shopping Insights, Google Alerts, and for finding your audience on YouTube.
How Change Brings Opportunity
Finally, we found inspiration in this article about surviving and thriving through change.
Change is often difficult, challenging, and threatening. It also creates opportunity. Always. Throughout my career I’ve learned this many times over and at this point I hold it to be a simple truth. Change always brings opportunity.
We are all facing massive change right now. I don’t know how this ends, but I am confident that the change we are seeing today will lead to many opportunities.
We promise more to come. Stay safe and help others!