Content Marketing During a Pandemic: Lessons Learned
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world as we know it on its head. Companies’ strategies for doing business and marketing their products and services have shifted to maintain relevance in this new reality.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most important insights we’ve gathered from marketing during COVID-19. Read on to learn what pre-COVID content marketing principles are still vital, what trends and strategies are growing in importance, and what’s new in the marketing landscape.
What’s Still Important
In the world of content marketing, we’ve found that we’re still playing by many of the same pre-pandemic rules. When we talk to clients about their content strategies, these rules still very much apply:
Some trends and strategies that were already important before are even accelerating. Measuring content marketing ROI and performance is one of them.
Recently, we’ve looked more deeply at which clients stayed on with us at the start of the pandemic and which ones have stuck with us throughout. The most notable takeaway? Clients are coming for thought leadership, but they’re staying for the measurable results we help them achieve in terms of SEO and lead generation.
This makes complete sense. After all, businesses have been trying to figure out how to stay top of mind online while demonstrating content marketing ROI and proving that the investment in digital and content marketing is working.
We’ve also found that some publications have doubled down on the importance of honest, authentic content coming from experts. These publications aren’t looking for articles regurgitating generalities that add nothing new to the conversation. They’re looking for honest, experience-based content that tells a truly helpful story during this volatile time.
In a recent episode of “What’s Next?,” James daSilva and Brittni Kinney Ratliff said that publications tend to look for content by expert authors that includes:
- Strong advice.
- Personal examples and experience.
- Relevant research.
- Emotional intelligence.
- Honesty and humility.
- A tool kit readers can use, even if it doesn’t provide all the answers.
Last but certainly not least, email marketing has taken off during the current health crisis. This trend makes sense because people started looking for simpler, more efficient ways to stay up-to-date. And what easier way than having information delivered straight to you?
According to Campaign Monitor, some industries sent more emails in March 2020 than they did in February, and open rates increased, too. This was especially true for “essential” industries, such as government and healthcare, that also saw decreases in unsubscribe rates.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also introduced all-new considerations. Many of our clients and leads have asked, “How do I talk about COVID-19 in my content?” or “Should I talk about COVID-19 at all?” And the answer isn’t as complicated as you might think.
Ask yourself, “Is my audience touched by the effects of COVID-19?” and “Is COVID-19 impacting how leads might interact with my business?” Do you answer “yes” to either question? If so, you need to actively produce content to help your audience members navigate their new realities as they relate to your industry and products or services.
The coronavirus crisis has undoubtedly ruffled the marketing industry’s feathers. But I hope this article has reassured you that not everything has changed and gives you some insight into what strategies could use more of your attention as you refine your content marketing strategy into 2021.