When the world changes so drastically in a matter of weeks, it can be hard for many businesses to carry on operations as usual — and the truth is, they shouldn’t. Your business needs to continue engaging with your audience and remaining relevant and desirable as a solution, and that means adapting with the times and delivering content that addresses your audience’s experiences right now.
Yet, if your business doesn’t directly apply to ongoing efforts to contain or treat COVID-19, how are you supposed to market your business tastefully in this time of crisis? Already, Google is cracking down on businesses trying to capitalize on the spreading disease; ads that pretend to peddle cure-alls or other fake coronavirus news have been eliminated from the search engine. If you want a successful content marketing strategy that engages your audience and improves your SEO, this guide might help.
Is Your Niche Surging?
Before you make any decisions regarding your marketing strategy, you need to determine whether your niche is surging in popularity. Because schools and offices are closed, many industries are seeing a spike in interest and use — and your business might be able to benefit. In particular, niches that are seeing a lot of activity right now include:
Remote collaboration and e-learning services. Tools that facilitate coordination and collaboration amongst remote workers and learners have become vital as social distancing mandates have come into effect. If your business can offer anything to assist a remote workforce or student body — like video chat, file sharing and the like — you should strive to market these tools appropriately.
Home health and fitness tools. Though adults at home tend to have more time on their hands to devote to getting fit, gyms around the country have closed. As a result, consumers are buying home fitness products like never before, and services like online fitness courses and coaching are popular. What’s more, because COVID-19 is worse for those with weaker health, improving diets and overall wellness is key. If your business is at all connected to health and fitness, you have an excellent opportunity to grow.
Online collaborative entertainment. There is rarely a time when entertainment isn’t popular, but these days, entertainment that brings people together has suddenly become important. Examples include multiplayer video games, collaborative streaming and other entertainment services that can keep many people distracted and amused without requiring them to share a physical space.
If your niche is surging, your content marketing job is simple and straightforward: Produce content that improves the visibility of your products and encourages a larger audience to engage. Ultimately, you should rely on a service that knows how content marketing works. You might try to partner with other services that are surging to showcase your wares — like performing a workout using your branded exercise gear over a Twitch stream — or you might generate blogs comparing your products in features and price to others on the market. In any case, a popular niche makes your content marketing job much easier.
What Can Your Content Offer?
If your business isn’t in a surging niche, your content marketing strategy can still work wonders to keep your business alive and thriving during this time of uncertainty. In general, audiences want a combination of three things from the content they consume during the COVID crisis:
Information. People have more time and energy to devote to their interests and passions than ever before, so content that is large and comprehensive is suddenly seeing an uptick in engagement. You should find a topic related to your business that isn’t well-covered by other content creators, and you should create an exhaustive resource — perhaps taking the form of multiple blogs, a YouTube video series, a podcast or something else.
Entertainment. This is a scary time — and it is a boring time. In both cases, people need distraction and entertainment. You should do what you can to make your content lighthearted and fun, if your brand and business make that tone appropriate. You might consider producing a casual video game or video series that helps people laugh and get their minds off the various threats to their normal lives.
Reassurance. Business leaders like you need to assume that the world will normalize relatively soon, or else there is no point in continuing operations. Consumers, too, need reassurance that this isn’t the end of the world. You might produce feel-good content that helps your audience see how you and other people are maintaining normal habits in this abnormal environment.
Though you should be a bit more lenient in the timeline for achieving your content marketing goals, you might not alter your content strategy all that much. As long as you address the crisis and do what your audience needs to feel seen and comforted, you should see success in your marketing efforts.