If you are reading this now, you are probably wondering what to do with your content strategy for the rest of 2020. You had planned your ad campaigns, your social media posting calendar and your blog post topics carefully. And then the global pandemic hit, and nothing was the same.
Many businesses had to close down their shops and move their activity online or cease it and wait for the lockdown to be lifted. But even if you are running a strictly 100% online business, your content strategy is no longer relevant. Your customers won’t want and need the same things they used to. Their priorities have shift and with them their behaviour and the way they relate to brands.
What Will a Post-COVID World Look Like for Content Marketers?
If there ever was a moment to say goodbye to a salesy content strategy, it is now. Consumers need more than emotional arguments to buy a product. They are fearful and wonder whether your products are safe. They need extra reasons to spend their decreased revenues on items that are not of strict necessity.
At the same time, marketers need to look at the events they planned to host to promote new products, new stores, etc. Large gatherings of people are still forbidden in most countries. Customers must wear a face mask in any public building. Thus, if your content strategy includes promoting specific events, you need to reassess whether it is still possible to host them and under what conditions.
What Exactly Should You Adjust in Your Content Strategy for the Rest of 2020?
There is no magic formula, if you were expecting one. It is a totally new and unprecedented situation for everyone, from consumers to top level CEOs. However, there are some things you can do to adapt your content strategy:
1. Asses Consumers’ Sentiments from Polls
These days, both authorities and media outlets are polling the population to assess their state of mind and to decide on ways to lift lockdown safely. These polls are very useful for your content strategy.
They are focused around topics such as:
- How likely people are to engage in various activities after lockdown;
- What they mostly wish they could do;
- What they are most likely to buy/do when lockdown is lifted.
For example, event planners can find out whether people feel safe to attend concerts, shows or fairs. As for travel agencies, they can assess the most popular post-lockdown destinations, where people feel it is safe to go.
2. Spend More Time on Social Listening
Polls are not the only source of information that can help you adjust your content strategy. Social listening and a more active engagement with followers on your social media pages will give you plenty of information, as well as content ideas.
People are more vocal than ever. They say what they wish they could see on Facebook pages, websites, blogs and online stores. They are constantly asking their favourite brands about product availability, safety precautions and payment or shipping options. These questions are like a new content calendar for you. You can plan ahead for weeks or months and provide the answers your clients want.
3. Prepare Some Nice Surprises
Can you do something to lift up your customers’ spirits? Is there any way your business can make their life a little bit easier or more pleasant? Even if we talk about focusing more on inspirational stories than sales promotion, if it is in your power to make your followers happy, do it.
Examples are everywhere. Look at how prominent opera and theatre companies responded to the COVID lockdown. They started streaming some of their best shows for free on their websites. Museums allowed anyone to take a 3D tour of their collections. Even if you cannot offer anything comparably spectacular, make your own contribution, in your small way.
4. Don’t Practice Brand Social Distancing
Keep your employees and customers safe by practicing social distance, but do not put barriers between your customers and your brand. In other words, keep posting. Do not take a break just because business is down.
You may not make money now, but your brand value will grow and you will be able to recoup later on. Radio silence in times of trouble has the loud sound of your business doors banging shut for the last time.
5. Assess, Reassess and Reassess Again
Whatever content strategy you may create now for the rest of the year, it needs constant readjustment. The reality is that things are changing from day to day. Keep always up to date with the news and apply your best judgment to determine ways in which you can readjust your content strategy to meet your customers’ needs and demands.