COVID-19 is having an ongoing and detrimental impact on online marketing.
Many brands are going through a lean phase, wherein they know their target audience isn’t interested in engaging with them right now.
Unfortunately, no one has a marketing playbook for a pandemic yet.
Nobody could have predicted the huge impact that this pandemic is going to have across various sectors and business activities, such as marketing.
But there has been an impact.
It is ongoing, it is huge, and there might not be a light at the end of the tunnel.
This is the reality.
The World Federation of Advertisers found that 89% of multinationals are cutting down on their marketing campaigns.
Digital ad spend is also falling by 16.7%.
We’re living in bad times for marketing in general.
We are going through a lean phase in marketing.
But do marketers have the liberty to sit idle and wait for this difficult phase to pass?
In adversity lies opportunity, and this is the perfect time to go full throttle on your digital marketing initiatives.
Your competitors, might or might not be gung-ho about marketing, but that doesn’t mean, you should ignore it.
You should up your game, and one of the simpler, less capital-intensive ways of going about it is focussing on building your content repository.
Content will play a crucial role in your attempts to get some marketing traction going.
What you are also doing is making sure that once things get back on track (they will, for sure) you already have lots of content on-hand to empower your marketing activities.
And, you have the opportunity to build a well-established content funnel that is already churning out content regularly.
If you get this right, you can be in pole position to leverage the advantage of a more receptive target audience moving forward.
So, how do you make the most of content to drive your marketing activities when things aren’t really moving in the right direction?
Here are a few tips.
A content audit is the first step in the process.
You might have already identified your goals and metrics, but there is no harm in re-evaluating these.
It is imperative that you revisit the types of content you have been coming up with.
For instance, if you’ve been focusing on newsletters, there is a chance such content isn’t going to work for you.
On the other hand, if you haven’t been working on videos, you might need to focus your attention on video content moving forward.
Such decisions must be taken keeping your target audience in mind, and the kind of content that will generate the maximum engagement during these times (and even moving forward).
Also, start assessing the quality of the content you have been putting out.
Remember, you now have very little maneuverability with respect to content quality.
You might have got away with compromising on quality before COVID-19.
But now, when people aren’t really interested in marketing messaging, you need to get only high-quality content out.
Yes, creating and implementing a video strategy is important, but don’t over-complicate things.
Forty-eight percent of consumers will make a decision seeing the video, if it discusses the product or services that they are interested in or actually use.
This and many other qualities define a video that works and delivers the results you are looking for.
With 88% of video marketers saying video gives them a positive ROI, it makes sense to take the video route toward content creation to engage your target audience.
Keep it simple for starters and just talk about your products/services and how they can prove to be useful in the current times.
Also, talk about how you have been helping the communities in your own way.
You could also have discussions taking place on the way forward, being positive and motivational.
But does your consumer prefer watching videos?
Yes, 66% of consumers will prefer to watch a short video as opposed to reading an article.
So, give them what they want.
Also, video consumption has gone up during the COVID-19 crisis, which again makes a case for creating video content.
You might not have had the time to create long-form content, ebooks, guides, white papers, or case studies.
There are plenty of benefits to creating highly-researched content that discusses a particular topic comprehensively.
Writing such pieces is good for SEO.
Your content assets can emerge as the final word on that particular topic. This will result in reputation building and also more engagement via the asset.
This is the kind of asset that readers will love sharing in their circle and content creators will see value in linking back to long-form pieces.
For instance, this piece on Content Marketing Institute about long-form content is a great piece on the subject so I decided to link to it.
That’s the value of creating such content pieces.
What’s more, you can even update and repurpose this content when necessary ensuring it’s up-to-date.
Ask yourself this question:
What is the information that people really need during this pandemic?
Take the case of people who are working from home. What information might they be looking for?
They might be looking for motivational articles, or techniques that will help them manage their work better, or something else.
The key here is your content should perfectly align with what they are searching for.
Simply put, give them what they need.
You’re probably wondering how to ensure you’re catering to the specific content needs of your audience, especially if the topic doesn’t fall in the ambit of your domain expertise.
Think about it, you can get creative.
A digital marketing company can talk about how they are making remote working more productive for their employees.
They can even talk about how they are infusing positivity in their workforce.
When it comes to content, you are only limited by your imagination.
Build on it and push it out. Fast.
Keep creating as much content as you can, and let that be your core focus.
When things get going, this content will help you hit the ground running.
What’s more, content creation is one of the more affordable strategies you can implement at a time when your marketing spending might have reduced appreciably.
As a marketer, you can always make a case for content, and a lot of it.
No content is enough.
Also, start getting active on diverse social media platforms.
If you’ve been focusing on LinkedIn and Twitter only, start Instagramming as well.
With Instagram, you get an opportunity to be extremely creative with your content and focus on using images rather than text.
Explore as many content opportunities as you can, to make the most of content.
Don’t let the lean season dissuade you from focusing on your marketing objectives.
You need to keep the wheels running so that you don’t have to start from scratch when things get moving.
The easiest, practical, and meaningful way of ensuring you don’t miss out is by getting great content out.
So, go ahead, try it!