Content Marketing During Covid-19: How To Shift Your Strategy

The coronavirus has had a significant impact on how we gather, travel, and do business. The current situation is difficult, and there’s nothing we can say to sugar coat it.

The harsh reality is, businesses are being hit in a number of ways, and it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Unemployment cases soared to 22 million in just four weeks of the coronavirus emergency.

For marketers, this has caused massive uncertainty.

From flat search ads spending to cancellations of some of the biggest events in tech, everything is now going through a fresh (and thick) lens in the COVID-19 reality.

When you don’t know where to begin and what the future holds, what can you do to mitigate the risk of COVID-19’s impact on your business, while also developing and strengthening future avenues of growth?

In this comprehensive blog post, we share some insights into a tactic that, if invested in properly, will benefit you and your business right now. Aside from the unique local promotion ideas you may be trying to wrap your head around, you should also be focused on the messages you send to your audience.

Here, we’ll cover the importance of content marketing, some critical considerations to make, the trends you need to look out for, and why positioning your brand to address complicated audience concerns is so crucial right now.

Let’s dive in.

The Importance of a Content Marketing Strategy During a Crisis
Here’s a common question on every marketer’s mind right now: how should we talk about COVID-19…or should our business be sharing any content related to this in the first place? If we do, how would the business look to my customers? How much should we invest in talking about coronavirus? Should we make room for this topic in our content strategy at all?

These are incredibly fair questions to ask, and a lot of the answers depend on what you are trying to achieve from content marketing.

Content marketing is essential for many types of business. However, any content is only as good as the goal behind it. So before doing the leg work and investing in content, please ask these questions collectively as a team or business.

1. What’s our goal from content marketing right now?
You may be a retail business trying to bridge the gap and educate your customers about your online offerings, or you may be a real estate business that wants to drive long-term trust in your brand.

Whichever bucket you are in, you need to understand what you are trying to achieve. The biggest mistake you can do right now is jump right in without a clear goal.

Here are some excellent content marketing goals to have:

  • Supporting and helping your customers through these testing times
    – Building long-term trust
    – Educating the customer on your industry
    – Engaging customers in creative ways
    – Entertaining customers so they can have a good time
    Depending on your business, you may have a different framework to identify these goals. Our only recommendation is to have one.

2. How much can we (or should we) deviate from our pre-COVID content marketing plans?
While the answer to this question can be tough, the best way to go about is by following what we call the estimation and elimination strategy.

Essentially, you lay down your pre-COVID plan and estimate what you’d need to invest, create, and do given the current scheme of things.

Next, you eliminate anything that doesn’t align with your business goals.

If you have a brand that targets an audience that is suffering, you will likely need to invest some of your content budget in addressing their current needs, no matter how painful it might be to spend time re-working your strategy.

However, if your audience isn’t experiencing as much hardship, and talking about current events isn’t in-line with your brand, you might be able to continue producing content as you normally would.

3. How much should we invest in a time-sensitive strategy over an evergreen strategy?
You may find yourself at crossroads here.

Investing in a time-sensitive content marketing strategy may help your business right now, but it will direct investments from plans you’d otherwise pursue.

The key here is to be creative and find a balance. You don’t have to invest a ton of money in acquiring and licensing software when all you need to do is create.

– You can use a simple service like to do the design leg work.
– You can use a service like to repurpose your blogs into videos easily.
– You can use sites like and to find videos and photos for free.
– You can use free services like or OBS studio to record exceptional educational content for your customers.
– You can use services like or to create thumb-stopping videos.
Yes, there’s a time cost to everything. And this is where balance comes in.

One way to do this is to create blog content with a more general focus and include a section or a couple of statements that tie in the current situation to keep it relevant.

In a couple of months, when discussions have moved on from today’s hot topics, you can edit out those pieces and re-work the story as needed.

Leverage Content Marketing Trends that Have Emerged as a Result of COVID-1
Innovation is not an option right now. It’s a necessity.

Many brands around the world are doing a fantastic job of supporting and engaging people in their own creative ways. This has resulted in some pretty fascinating content trends, some of which were unthinkable a month back.

Let’s check out the top 3 trends.

#1 Virtual gatherings
Businesses are hosting virtual happy hours for their employees; there are fitness and cooking classes on zoom and even virtual tours of the world. The opportunity to come together virtually is a trend worth exploring.

This can increase brand affinity exponentially and generate a lot of buzzes if done right.

Consider the company Natural Light.

They are hosting a commencement for fresh graduates, all online.

Virtual gatherings like these can be your pillar content that lays the foundation of other forms of content for your business.

Here are two ideas from our team to get you started:

Host a loyal-customer only zoom call and check in on them. Answer any questions they may have or just offer a good time.
Invite people to an online-experience – something unique and creative that people may enjoy. Inspiration: Here’s what Airbnb’s doing.

#2. Live video has never been stronger
If you are active on Instagram, you’d now see several people going live.

From musicians to comedians, live video has exploded as people quarantine all over the world.

According to Facebook, in Italy, specifically, Facebook and Instagram live views doubled in a week.

In an interview with Glossy, here’s what Kristine Brabson, executive director of content strategy at Hearst had this to say about the growing popularity of Instagram live:

“Keeping up a cadence and posting several times a week, or even several times a day is also crucial for driving viewers and engagement for some. Build a regular cadence. Some of [the Hearst brands] are going [live] daily or twice daily. You need to build a habit, so it’s like appointment-style viewing, particularly in the lifestyle and fashion space.”

You may or may not have experimented with live in the past, but this is a great time to jump in and start creating. Here are two ideas to get you started:

Go live at a specific time – let’s say around 7 pm – on dedicated days to share exclusive deals, tips, and tricks with people who tuned in.
Invite a customer for a shared IG live where you can talk about them and your business with your audience.
(If your brand is in the hospitality space – obviously one of the hardest hit industries right now – here are some additional ideas to get you set up for success.)

#3. Collaboration is becoming key to successful content creation
To succeed at content marketing during these times, brands need to collaborate.

This idea reflects in the trend we are seeing across industries where people are coming together to share what they are good at.

B2B businesses are organizing expert webinars, B2C companies are collaborating with their customers or influencers to educate, entertain, and engage their customers.

Here are two ideas to get you started:

Identify influencers in your industry and create an invite-only experience for your customers.
Collaborate with micro-influencers and run an Instagram Live series where you can share tips, tricks, and ideas related to your industry.
Work with a content agency who can help you refine your brand story and craft the appropriate messages that your audience needs to hear.
In all these trends, there’s one underlying theme: the essence of helping and supporting people in all ways possible.

And this brings us to the most essential part of the post.

A Stronger Focus on Positive Brand Messaging and Positioning
When we do come out of this pandemic, people will have a sense of your business.

This sense may be negative or positive, depending on the calls you took during these times. What you choose to do as a business right now will reshape how you do business in the future.

Here’s what you can do to maintain positive brand messaging:

Don’t take advantage
During tragic times, it can be hard to admit that marketing still needs to happen.

But avoid taking advantage of this situation to score a business profit at all costs. Yes, keeping your business afloat is crucial, but it should never come at the cost of human life.

It may come as a good boost initially, but it’ll only hurt your brand in the longer run. For example, more than 6000 sellers price gouged various items on amazon.

Recently, amazon suspended all of them for taking advantage of the pandemic.

There’s a lot more you can do to make money for your business than by preying on people when they need you.

Offer support and help
No matter what content strategy you build, always factor in the ways you can support and help others right now. Help may come in the form of making donations to support your local businesses or offering time to educate others.

When you offer support or help anyone, please do it without expecting anything in return. Selfless support is needed at this time because many won’t be able to reciprocate your good deeds.

Be empathetic
People are going through a lot right now, and it may result in anxiety, anger, and frustration when it comes to your service. While you should have empathy as the core pillar of your customer service, this is a time when you should practice it even more.

People will always remember how you made them feel when the world was upside down.

The best way to think about positioning your brand during COVID-19 is by thinking humans first.

Display authenticity, compassion, and selfless support, and you’d continue to stay on the right side of history.

Content Marketing During COVID-19: Final Thoughts
COVID-19 is here to stay and its impact will be felt for years to come. While that’s an unfortunate reality, there’s a lot we can do as marketers to ensure our customers are safe, healthy, and supported.

Remember, content that provides value will never go out of style. So continue to create, and don’t worry about the noise. Here’s how you can ensure that happens:

– Understand the real importance of content in your marketing strategy by asking yourself some hard questions.
– Identify the trends that are reshaping the way we communicate and do business, and then leverage them to create content.
– Your brand’s choices matter. Use content to position yourself as an empathetic, helpful, and supportive brand.

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