COVID-19 has changed much about how we live, and while an end to the pandemic is in sight, content marketers must be vigilant in adapting to people’s needs. Buyers’ shopping habits have changed in terms of what they buy and how they buy it. Restricted budgets have made people more selective in their purchases, and more than ever they want to buy products they can trust.
As the pandemic slows in many places, shopper confidence is returning; however, consider all that has happened and how it has changed people’s needs and wants. Let’s take a look at five ways content marketers need to adapt in the age of COVID-19.
1. Empathy is essential
Many people have lost loved ones because of COVID, or incurred long-term health problems. Countless more are fearful for their health and their financial future. Lives have been fundamentally changed, and any marketing strategy should take this into account.
Express empathy in your content marketing strategy wherever you can. It isn’t necessary to talk about the pandemic in every piece of content you create, but when the topic is approached, do so with respect for people’s fears and losses.
Topics that might be connected to COVID-19 also need to be approached with care. For example, many people have had their incomes slashed, and you should bear this in mind when mentioning money.
2. Earn their trust
Since the pandemic began, people have become more careful about how they spend their money, and they are more likely to do their research before buying. Remember this when creating content—focus on trust, and make sure any facts or statistics you include are accurate and easy for potential customers to verify.
Take this approach in every step of your marketing process, whether it’s content marketing or posting on social media or writing a follow-up email. Everything you create should help educate potential customers. Demonstrate that your product provides a solution to their needs and that you’re a company they can rely on, as those will be key considerations at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
3. Offer genuine help
A small but helpful gesture like giving free advice or steps to solve a problem can mean a lot, especially in times when people are more likely to need help than usual.
Providing help has always been a valuable part of content marketing. Giving people something for free is a way to gain trust and develop a relationship, putting you in a better position when going in for the close.
However, make sure that any help you offer is genuine—not something that can be viewed as a heartless attempt to profit from other people’s losses. It’s fine to recommend your products as a solution, but make sure it’s a genuine solution that will help improve people’s lives. Otherwise, you’re more likely to drive people away.
4. Follow changes in priorities
People’s shopping habits have changed since the pandemic. There is now more emphasis on security than luxury. Money is tight for a lot of people, and many are unsure about their financial future. They may be more interested in buying products and services that will sustain them and keep their family safe than they are in splurging on what may be considered nonessential.
Keyword research is one of many tools and resources that will help you know what people are looking for online. Not only will this help you make your content more visible to the right people, but it will also provide you with insights into customer behavior.
Bear in mind that changes in priorities might mean new opportunities even if others are closing. Again however, remember to empathize and make sure not to look as though you are trying to cash in on misfortune.
5. Repurpose existing assets
Creating quality content can be costly, so repurposing existing content is a great way to publish “fresh” content at a fraction of the cost. Some of your old content that’s still online might appear to be out of touch with current times, which is a great reason to look at it again.
In many cases, only minor edits can bring old content in line with current moods and priorities. Make sure you evaluate any images that might accompany written content and ensure they are appropriate and empathic. A stock photo of a couple on the beach or a large crowd of people would have been fine in 2019, but those images would likely not be appropriate today.
Above are just a few examples of how you can adapt your content marketing strategies to the era of COVID-19. The key is to bear in mind the impact the pandemic has had on people’s lives and be empathic to their concerns and fears—as well as their losses. Adjust your sales skills to offer genuine help and make things at least a little easier for people, and remember that you may need to work harder to build trust than before.
Hitting the right notes will help you stay competitive and engage your customers in a way that will help them want to do business with you—during the pandemic and beyond.