The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live, work and play.
Marketing strategies that worked in the past just aren’t performing the way they were before the global shift that upended our lives.
Content marketers need to be aware of the impact that the pandemic has had on their work and how to devise an effective content marketing strategy in a world after the pandemic.
- 84 percent of companies, (including B2B and B2C) have a content marketing strategy.
- 96 percent of top content marketers say that content marketing has helped them build credibility with their audience.
- 75 percent of marketers agreed that SEO was their most efficient content marketing tactic in 2020.
- 70 percent of organizations report the pandemic has had a “major” or “moderate” impact on B2B content marketing strategy
Here are some content marketing shifts that you will need to make in a post-COVID world:
1. Branching out to different content topics
As content marketers, we are accustomed to having selective topics that a brand leverages to try and build its authority around.
While that works most of the time, this strategy becomes less meaningful if the world flips itself upside down.
The pandemic forced people and businesses to embrace a new reality. The things and topics that mattered in the past, didn’t account for much. This was due to the fact that people had more pressing things to be concerned about.
Content marketing works best if you take an inbound approach.
This means that you will need to put your audience’s content needs first and find a way for them to connect with your brand.
In a post-covid world, you will need to branch out and explore related content ideas.
A sub reddit about travel saw this change after the onset of the pandemic. Redditors that used to post about their latest visits to places all over the world realized that doing this wouldn’t be an option any more.
Instead, they took the opportunity that the pandemic presented and started threads about the different places they visited prior and embraced the local travel scene as international travel was out of the question.
These content ideas should be relevant to your target audience. They also need to be in line with the kind of content that you used to publish before the pandemic.
Your target audience will be better able to relate with your brand’s new content and marketing efforts if you take this approach.
Once you have your content ideas down, you will need to find the best content format.
Video content is performing really well these days. 41% of content marketing teams found creating video content to be their top content marketing tactic.
Even before the pandemic, consumers found video content to be engaging, so incorporate it into your content marketing strategy.
2. Conduct surveys and ask your audience questions
The customer knows best.
This saying should be at the heart of every marketing professional that wants to take their content strategy up a notch.
88 percent of top content marketing professionals consider audience needs over sales messages, understanding that there are different types of content created to meet different needs.
The whole point of content marketing is to market to a business’s target audience and acquire leads by leveraging amazing content.
Most content marketers will agree that their content marketing campaigns garnered the most appreciation when they listened to their audiences.
Since your audience’s priorities have changed due to the pandemic, it will be a fair assumption that there might be some change in their content preference as well.
Conducting polls is one way to get a quick understanding of what your audience will like to see from your brand.
Surveys are also great, but creating, distributing and analyzing survey results can be a challenge. Clear and concise surveys will work in the majority of cases and most engaged customers wouldn’t mind helping a brand that they care about.
Social media is also a great place for you to connect with your audience. To save time, we recommend using social media tools that will optimize the whole process.
People adore brands that are active on social media. It makes businesses appear closer to them and more approachable. The great thing about this is that communication can happen both ways.
Create a quick text post using Canva or any other tool and ask your audience for some much-needed insight.
You will end up saving your content budget and time to only create content that appeals most to your audience. That being said, sometimes audiences don’t want what they think they want.
So, it’s best to account for this and create some content that your team thinks would work best for your audience. This content can be used in tandem with the content that your audience says that they would like.
Analyze the data you get from both kinds of content and tailor your content marketing strategy accordingly.
Jake Hill, the Founder of DebtHammer, a debt relief service based out of Austin, TX, uses surveys for a couple of reasons. “We survey our customer base for two primary reasons. One, nobody understands an industry better than the consumers who are buying your products or using your services. If you ask them the right questions, you can unravel insights that a 30-minute brainstorming session could never uncover. Two, if content creation is at the core of your marketing strategy, well, surveying your customers gives you a data source that nobody else in your industry has. Publish your findings!”
3. Focus on trending topics
The pandemic has shown how people’s need for content changes when there is a global event.
As such, content marketers need to be on the ready to capitalize on any opportunity that presents itself to them.
How do you know if something is going to become a big trend? Well, a lot of it comes down to knowing your audience’s behavior and how they will respond to things. In addition, leverage tools like Buzzsumo and Semrush can help you find popular topics in your industry.
You will need to put on your content marketer hat and use your intuition to identify trends before other marketers catch on.
Even if the trend has grown, it could still benefit from your brand’s take on the topic.
While creating content on a trending topic, you will need to provide value first and foremost. Covering the event in detail is key to creating a comprehensive piece of content.
Trending topics come and go
It is necessary that your content marketing strategy incorporates these as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
96 percent of marketers use SEM to distribute and showcase valuable content. And we all know that the first thing that people do when they want to find something is to go on the internet using Google or some other search engine.
Play to your strengths when you are creating this kind of content. The quality of the content needs to be top notch if you want it to have maximum impact.
If you play your content cards right, your content might even go viral.
To find trending topics, you should always start off with Google. But here are some other tools and websites that you can use to capitalize on the next trend:
- Google Trends
- Twitter’s trending section
- SEO tools (Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, Buzzsumo, etc.)
The recent pandemic has impacted content marketing as well as almost every other industry.
Content marketers need to realize this and make the shifts necessary to keep their content strategies up to date and relevant.
Exploring different topics and kinds of content is one way to connect with your audience.
It is also a good idea to get your audience’s insights about the kind of content that they would like to see from your brand.
Capitalizing on trending topics is another shift that your content marketing team needs to make.
The effects of the pandemic have still yet to be fully understood by marketing professionals. Keeping this in mind, content marketing as a whole needs to be nimble and effectively adapt to the changing times.