The COVID-19 crisis poses massive business challenges. This article explains how the right content strategy and investment can help companies weather the storm and emerge stronger.
Coronavirus has ripped through the global economy. By some estimates released in March 2020, the total cost could exceed $2.7 trillion (up from the relatively modest $1.1 trillion from forecasters just a couple of weeks earlier). Unemployment is soaring to levels not seen since the Great Depression, the travel industry could shrink by 25%, while global GDP growth is faltering towards zero in 2020.
Despite this, businesses need to stay positive, especially those that rely on SEO and content to grow their brand and attract customers. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. Growth will resume. But in the meantime, we need strategies to navigate the crisis. That’s where some core content planning tips can make a huge difference.
How SEO and content investments could help ease the pain
We know that investing in content works. It’s a proven means of building a loyal audience and cultivating a brand that people trust. It also attracts organic traffic steadily when practised in conjunction with solid SEO techniques. Let’s assume that the COVID-19 crunch lasts 3-6 months. What other types of marketing will still be paying off, and actually maturing by that time?
Paid ads are virtually useless right now in many sectors like international travel. Instead, thinking long-term has become the most intelligent course of action. By planning for the future and investing in content that pays off later, companies can plot a way forward.
With that in mind, here are some content planning tips to bear in mind. This isn’t a “one magic trick” solution, but a set of ideas intended to give online marketers the best chance of a successful outcome from the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Maintain a steady publishing rhythm
Firstly, it’s essential to maintain the same publishing frequency you’ve adopted in the past. You may see similar companies or bloggers panicking or dropping their publishing rate, and some companies may drop content marketing altogether as they cut investment to the bone.
Don’t be so short-sighted. Now is the time to be resilient. Serve your audience with relevant content, and hive off traffic from the companies that desert the battlefield. Remember: audiences haven’t disappeared. They may not be converting, but they are engaging and planning for the future. You need to be engaging too, and not shying away.
2. Get a grip on your content marketing history
If business has dropped-off (which sadly is all-too-likely), that isn’t a cause to despair. It’s an opportunity to audit your previous campaigns and content, with the aim of understanding how to improve in the future.
The best responses to COVID-19 will be ones which use the space provided to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of brands. This means tracking the performance of assets across the board, from Facebook posts to white papers. It means analysing which pieces have sparked the most engagement, what content is most shareable, and what drives organic traffic the best.
With a thorough content performance and SEO audit, you can emerge leaner, better informed, and ready to grow your audience exponentially.
3. Learn new techniques to connect with audiences
With less commerce taking place, smart marketers are working learning into their content planning strategies. If you’ve relied on a single channel or content form (such as blogs, newsletters, landing pages, or white papers), it could be the perfect time to diversify.
Take online courses in video production or packages to create infographics. Fine-tune your webinar techniques and learn new apps which let you connect with audiences in real-time. From TikTok to writing for high-level trade publications, there’s a wealth of ways to use content in different ways.
Now is actually a good time to experiment with what would normally be seen as “risky” strategies. There’s less traffic at stake, meaning that the reputational damage of mistakes will be lowered. And the benefits of innovation could be huge further down the line.
Use the crisis as a period of content planning creativity
This isn’t an easy time, so don’t get us wrong. We’re not charting a magical route to business success, and there are no shortcuts to survival. But by being positive, creative, and dynamic regarding content creation, marketers can certainly position themselves to grow as the crisis recedes.
If you want to reshape the way you plan content, and need help during the COVID-19 period, get in touch. Our expertise in multilingual copywriting and content planning can provide essential assistance during this testing period.
Text: Sam Urquhart