Understanding what to not do is commonly way more essential than what to do relating to coping with a worldwide pandemic that’s affected the world in additional methods than one.
And content material advertising and marketing in occasions of disaster is not any exception.
However as Queen as soon as stated, “The present should go on.” I’m going to stipulate some methods you need to use content material to forestall a PR catastrophe and construct goodwill with each present and potential prospects.
Right here’s what we’re going to cowl:
- Content marketing don’ts.
- Content marketing do’s.
- Venngage’s approach to content marketing in a crisis.
- Your customers need you.
Should you’ve been in search of course on navigating these murky waters utilizing content material advertising and marketing and avoiding frequent pitfalls within the course of, this information is for you.
I’ll share examples of corporations navigating this disaster successfully and firms that aren’t and the way Venngage is approaching content material advertising and marketing on this disaster.
Let’s get began.
Wish to method content material advertising and marketing in a disaster the fitting means?
Begin by making use of the “Jab, jab, jab, right hook” heuristic to your content material technique. What’s jab, jab, jab, proper hook? In easy phrases: Intention to create 80% instructional content material and 20% promotional content material.
Comply with that up by eliminating the what not-to do’s. And conclude by placing in diligent work to observe the “do’s.”
Listed here are some content material advertising and marketing don’ts to keep away from in a disaster:
1. Don’t show an absence of empathy
The purpose of content marketing is educating or addressing buyer wants and providing options to alleviate their drawback. That’s how new weblog guests flip into prospects and prospects flip into raving followers.
Prospects can odor an absence of empathy from a mile away. In case your content material doesn’t exhibit that you simply perceive their ache factors and aren’t providing tangible options to deal with them, your prospects will merely tune out.
Empathy-driven content material advertising and marketing requires you to establish your prospects (and your bigger viewers), and commonly discuss to them about:
- What they’re combating.
- Ideas which may assist them handle a few of their ache factors.
- What you are able to do to assist them.
That is very true for content material advertising and marketing in a disaster.
It’s not concerning the generic “we’re right here for you” or “inform us how we might help” cliches both. It’s best to both present actionable options or on the very least, put your prospects comfy by reassuring or hopeful messages for the longer term by instructional content material.
It will require you to modify up your content material technique to account for altering buyer wants. Brafton’s COVID-19 Hub is a superb instance of empathy-driven content material aimed toward serving to prospects (extra on this later).
However right here’s what content material missing empathy and promoted utilizing email marketing appears to be like like:
@ritual_co so unhappy by the e-mail I obtained at the moment. You’re making enjoyable of the scenario and utilizing a virus to advertise your small business in such shameless means. Your advertising and marketing group is out of contact. Disgrace on you. I’m deleting my app and sticking with morals. #CoronaVirusCanada #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/9GYuguXWYB
— Proud Little Monster (@imlittleMonster) March 12, 2020
Disclaimer: Ritual rapidly corrected their mistake by apologizing in a follow-up e mail – hats off to them. However, I hope this helps your organization keep away from making similar marketing mistakes.
You don’t should even put yourselves in your prospects’ sneakers to be empathetic. You’re a buyer your self and similar to anybody else, you too, are struggling on this disaster.
As a buyer, how would you need to be communicated with? What sort of content material, tone and message would put you comfy? Here’s a handy guide on how to “not” write your emails during a global crisis.
2. Don’t ignore the disaster
On this disaster, you’ve in all probability observed two sorts of corporations:
- Companies taking the time to assist prospects and the neighborhood at massive.
- Companies chugging alongside pretending prefer it’s enterprise as typical.
And similar to me, you in all probability dislike the second sort of enterprise.
Being silent throughout a worldwide pandemic isn’t solely distasteful however can even impact your brand’s reputation and make potential prospects suppose twice about doing enterprise along with your firm sooner or later.
However don’t take my phrase for it. Right here’s a direct excerpt from H+K on how COVID-19 is altering shopper shopping for behaviour:
“Customers count on manufacturers to shift their enterprise priorities and sources to appropriately reply and adapt to present challenges, even when it interprets to struggling vital financial losses. Unsurprisingly, customers count on manufacturers to provide merchandise that support customers with at the moment’s challenges and talk transparently to stakeholders. Past these expectations, customers need corporations to additional assist the disaster by donating a portion of gross sales to native hospitals and/or partnering with different manufacturers to maximise the affect of their efforts.”
I’m not saying you need to begin plastering the phrase “COVID-19” in your web sites, adverts, billboards or social media content material.
You don’t have to say it by title. However acknowledge the truth that we’re certainly going by a disaster in your content material and messaging adopted by reassurances or tangible options.
I can’t consider any instance higher than beverage maker Corona to show my level. Even with the uncommon misfortune of sharing a reputation with a worldwide pandemic, Corona has taken fast steps to treatment the scenario:
Easy methods to deal with Coronavirus if you happen to’re Corona beer: pic.twitter.com/sOP12ck4Pc
— Advertising Examples (@GoodMarketingHQ) February 28, 2020
Briefly: when the going will get robust, don’t keep silent about it! Discuss to your stakeholders, traders, neighborhood and your prospects at massive about your plans for coping with this disaster successfully. This brings me to my subsequent level.
When you’ve averted the don’ts, time to place within the onerous work and begin doing issues.
Listed here are the do’s for content material advertising and marketing in a disaster:
1. Do concentrate on instructional content material
On this pandemic, individuals haven’t stopped trying to find data on-line, they’re simply trying to find various things now.
This implies one easy factor: In these attempting occasions, your viewers has switched their priorities. They need to be educated and never offered.
And with key phrases like “work at home” seeing 300% extra searches in March in comparison with the identical interval final yr, now could be the time for artistic search performs.
Which key phrases are steeply trending up?
Are you able to create inspirational or instructional content material round ancillary however trending topics?
What content material are you able to create now that shall be helpful to readers 6 months or a yr from now? (Don’t overlook to maintain the slugs and headings evergreen so your content material continues to be related even a yr or two from now.)
Show empathy towards altering buyer wants, keep SEO trends in mind through the content material ideation stage and double down on instructional content material if you’d like your small business to climate this storm.
Brafton’s COVID-19 Resource Hub is the proper instance of doubling down on instructional content material and being empathetic towards present buyer wants (which is to be educated):
One other instance comes from Headspace, which used Instagram to coach followers on washing their fingers and in addition tying their product in to make one light-hearted piece of content material:
Professional tip: Undecided the place to begin? Here’s a handy guide on how to be “helpful first” in a rapidly changing environment from The Brafton useful resource hub.
2. Do present firm updates
Determined occasions name for determined measures. Above all else, now could be the time to let your prospects learn about any adjustments to your small business.
This doesn’t simply apply to altering enterprise hours or delivery updates. It is a nice alternative for your small business to be empathetic to your customers and their altering wants.
Levi’s guardian firm is the prime instance of firm updates achieved proper:
Levi’s COVID-19 e mail is a lesson in copywriting: pic.twitter.com/CncgSX7zU1
— Advertising Examples (@GoodMarketingHQ) March 23, 2020
Begin by occupied with how your small business might help your prospects on this time. Particularly individuals who have been straight affected by this disaster:
- Are you able to give them free delivery?
- What about free entry to premium instruments to assist prospects working native companies?
- Are you able to create a hub of instructional content material that may assist your prospects navigate this disaster successfully?
No matter you are able to do to assist, now could be the time to do it. As soon as it’s enterprise as typical, prospects will bear in mind you because the one who helped them fairly than tried to promote to them.
The tip outcome? Improved buyer notion and belief in your model and by extension: elevated gross sales.
There’s loads of firm replace examples however the one I like most comes from Brafton themselves. Right here’s a letter from their CMO, Jeff Baker:
Content material advertising and marketing isn’t all about writing weblog posts or recording webinars. In occasions like these you need to use content material as a PR and comms channel to encourage two-way communication along with your prospects.
How have we handled the disaster? Possibly I’m biased, however I believe we’ve achieved a good job at following the do’s and straying away from the don’ts.
Not solely that, we’ve taken measures to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our business as quickly because it was declared a worldwide pandemic.
Right here’s some issues we did instantly:
- Spoke to our customers. We sent out surveys and spoke over the telephone to grasp their ache factors on this new atmosphere.
- Began monitoring search developments. Staying on prime of website positioning developments and creating content material round ancillary matters (trending key phrases and concepts).
- Doubled down on content material. As a substitute of taking part in it secure, we determined to go all out with publishing new instructional and inspirational content material.
However right here’s a number of different the explanation why we’re thriving as a enterprise – specifically, this two-pronged method:
1. The roles to be achieved framework
“Individuals don’t purchase, they rent merchandise to get a job achieved.” That is basically what Jobs to be Done (JTBD) means.
For instance: Let’s fake your organization sells a web-based assembly instrument. You run a profitable weblog the place you speak about how your instrument helps prospects run productive conferences.
Prospects discover your weblog on-line, join and begin to use your product for on-line conferences.
The disaster hits, the world is pressured to work at home and your product turns into much more essential now.
However you’re not a mean content material marketer. You dig deeper, and after some analysis on Google Trends you discover the time period “webinars” surging in reputation.
Should you have been to suppose from a JTBD perspective, you’d notice your product will also be used to conduct webinars.
You add webinars as a doable use case on your instrument throughout your weblog and landing pages. And voila!
You’ll now additionally purchase prospects who need to rent a instrument to assist them conduct dwell webinars.
Specializing in advertising and marketing your merchandise primarily based on the roles to be achieved lets you be way more dynamic for rising product adoption and scaling your small business.
We’ve written about jobs to be achieved and find out how to apply it to your content material technique in our search trends research study.
2. The GRAP Framework
Created by our content material group at Venngage, GRAP is an easy acronym that will help you bear in mind the basic components of constructing an efficient content material technique.
With out all 4, producing constant outcomes out of your content material and pivoting your content material technique will develop into fairly tough:
Objectives: In case your purpose is to drive model consciousness, it is advisable create viral content material. In case your purpose is driving visitors, you need to create keyword-optimized content. One piece of content material gained’t do all of it.
Analysis: On this stage you employ the info and shopper conduct to make data-driven selections about find out how to create and promote stated content material. Instance: creating highly-relevant outreach lists.
Authority: Your authority is decided by the way you’re perceived by engines like google, social platforms and your viewers. The extra authority you’ve got on a topic, the simpler it will likely be to rank for key phrases associated to your experience.
Promotion: This refers to actively selling your content material on-line. Promotion could possibly be something from link building to driving traffic or rising your Instagram followers. With out promotion, you’re not going to see any outcomes from content material advertising and marketing.
Learn to use the GRAP framework to build a bulletproof content strategy here.
COVID-19 isn’t going away anytime quickly. And till the mud settles, that is going to be the brand new regular for some time.
Ultimately entrepreneurs are going to maneuver on and method content material advertising and marketing like they at all times have. Till we do, hold these greatest practises in thoughts:
- Keep away from the don’ts: Should you keep away from the not-to do’s, you’re already 90% there.
- Concentrate on the JTBD: What different jobs can prospects rent you to do? Make these jobs outstanding in your content material and messaging.
- Apply the GRAP framework: A content material technique that doesn’t account for targets, analysis, authority and promotion is doomed to fail.
There’s actually no definitive playbook on content material advertising and marketing in a disaster. We’re all just about figuring issues out as we go.
Sharing what we’ve realized with each other in navigating this disaster might help different corporations do issues in a different way (or keep away from making expensive errors within the first place).
Take heed to your prospects, hear what they are saying and ship what they want. Even when all else fails, empathy and customer-driven content material advertising and marketing gained’t.