The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the lives of everyone and has re-shaped the marketing landscape, among other things, making marketers find new strategies—not just for the challenges during the pandemic but also the post-COVID challenges a brand will face.
In the pre-COVID era, interacting with brands was an experience that included both digital and physical means: Consumers could view a product online, read all about it, make sure to check in-store availability, and experience the product in many different ways.
For brands that utilized omnichannel marketing, this process is not unfamiliar. However, when the entire retail market went online, some things were bound to change, and content marketing is one of them. Content might be king, but some types of content are just not going to cut it post-COVID.
Of course, the importance of content goes without saying, as it is an essential component of building a brand and remaining relevant.
So, how is content marketing going to change after the pandemic? Let’s find out.
Traditional and digital content
Traditional content marketing will acquire a digital perspective post-COVID. Of course, this was to be expected, as consumers no longer cared for ads on traditional media (TV, radio, etc.), and neither did brands. Since the pandemic pretty much accelerated the transition, digital content being the preferred kind of content makes sense.
Digital media and digital content marketing allow the customer to take initiative. Nowadays, people will go online and look for solutions rather than products per se. Advertising can only aim to showcase value instead of going the “traditional”, hard-sell way.
To achieve that, brands need to invest in content for their email marketing campaigns, social media pages and optimize their website and blog.
As the statistic above shows, consumers spent a significant chunk of their time online in 2020. Not to mention the fact that online shopping will continue to be the preferred shopping method. In that case, email marketing content needs to be an integral part of your content marketing strategy.
Creation, diversity and the human factor
To create good content, you need tools that will allow you to take advantage of your audience’s preferences. So, invest in email marketing and marketing automation platforms that can help you create tailor-made content that resonates with your audience. Use behavioral triggers and set up automated email sequences. These are some of the most sought-after functions of various alternatives to Mailchimp, for a good reason: They help marketers make sure their email content is segmented and personalized and stems from their audience’s actions.
Make sure your content matches your social media profiles. Email marketing content builds awareness, but social media is what perpetuates a brand’s image.
Think of it as the good old billboard in a busy avenue—it’s there to entice. Social media content could be a post that can lead a prospect organically to your website, blog, or even a landing page optimized to convert. However, you can’t create the same kind of content as you did before.
The pandemic changed the way people view things as a whole and connected them in a globalized way, making them more sensitive to social matters. It would be best to create social media content that is human and “speaks” to your audience. And while your brick-and-mortar store couldn’t show how a brand cares about social issues, your online content can change the way your target audience views your brand simply by practicing social listening.
Ensure your social media calendar is marked with content creation that includes real people, UGC, bits and pieces that go straight to your blog posts, perhaps a virtual event. Don’t shy away from using video in your email marketing campaigns, as well as your social media. Content like this will look and feel refreshing, and your brand will be established as one that engages with its audience.
Your online content needs to be as diverse as a global audience. Use photography that will appeal to several people, rather than just one single group, and make sure to segment your audience based on their psychographics and not just their location and age. The experience of the pandemic is global and shared, and this feeling of one-ness is expected to last and diversify the way people view brands.
Last but not least, your blog is perhaps one of your most powerful content marketing tools. You can create all types of content and blog posts in there, so make sure to take advantage of the endless possibilities and the unique way it can help you connect with your audience, especially since digital connections and communication are here to stay.
As mentioned above, segmentation and laser-focuser personalization are prerequisites nowadays and will be even more so after the pandemic.
Expect people to want to feel unique as parts of a whole. Investing in the right tools and doing qualitative research will help you take a data-driven approach and figure out what your audience wants. But it’s more than just that.
Automated email marketing campaigns show you care. So don’t shy away from birthday email campaigns or even a simple thank-you email campaign. Showing kindness has never been more critical in terms of content.
COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, and the past year is sure to be remembered. And despite the way it changed the marketing landscape, the pandemic all but boosted the way content affects how a prospect views a brand.
It brought forth a more human image for a lot of brands, and it helped them connect with their audience and other brands, engage, even protect and boost their authority.