Coronavirus has changed everything. Here at Write House, I’ve had to pivot the entire content marketing strategy, not knowing whether creating and sharing content is the right thing to do in these uncertain times. However, I have seen the value of creating a coronavirus content marketing strategy…
… So, I wanted to share why it’s important for your small business to have a coronavirus content marketing strategy, too.
I’ve read a lot of content, mostly opinion pieces, on what businesses can do to survive the coronavirus crisis. Much of what I have read has been fear-filled, urging businesses to be cautious to ensure self-preservation.
Self-preservation is a very human reaction in times of crisis. It explains why in the early weeks of lockdown there was an irrational need to hoard toilet paper, hand sanitiser and pasta, among other things.
I’m not saying businesses should not be cautious. However, many businesses are built on taking risks, which is why it was refreshing to see a couple of articles in Marketing Week urging businesses to look outwardly and not inwardly during this crisis.
A fantastic opinion piece by Carl Carter urged businesses to ‘be brave’ with their marketing, emphasising that in difficult times your consumers need you.
Another powerful opinion piece by Tanya Joseph said that businesses will play an important part in rebuilding society, post-coronavirus.
A clear message
From one small business to another, don’t put your content marketing into hiding in the interests of self-preservation. To abandon your content marketing is to abandon your customers, who will then abandon you – running into the open arms of your competitors.
Understandably, content creation is not likely to be your highest priority. You might not have the resources, due to staff cuts, the time, money or even the motivation to come up with a coronavirus content marketing strategy.
However, your customers need you. They will look to you for support and reassurance. By continuing to create content in these uncertain times, it’s your business they will remember most. If you cut back on your content marketing, you will lose ‘share of mind’ with your customers, and run the risk of losing future sales.
Now is not the time to go into hibernation, but a time to build loyalty in the face of adversity. Here are some fast, free coronavirus content marketing tactics you can use to communicate with customers:
#1 – Email
Customers will appreciate you keeping them informed of what you’re doing as a business during the coronavirus. Whether it’s notifying customers of store closures, hours changing or that you’re operating remotely and it is business as usual, this can be communicated in an email.
It’s important to be informative and honest, focusing on what you know is important to your customers. Letting your customers know that you’re thinking of them and that you’re available to help them in any way you can during this crisis, adds a personal touch to your email outreach.
#2 – Your website
How you use your website for your coronavirus content marketing strategy will depend on what type of business you are. However, many businesses have created a coronavirus hub page on their website, curating coronavirus-related resources in one place and making it easy for site visitors to find.
If you have a blog on you website use it. If not, start one. Blogs are a great, easy-access resource for your customers to find answers to questions, which will help ease any anxieties they may have.
#3 – Your social media channels
Your social media channels are one of the quickest and easiest ways to reach your customers with the information they need. Posting on social media is something you can do more regularly than an email or a blog, and keeps you in touch with customers, while allowing you to track comments and conversations they’re having on social media.
Social media is especially useful if you’ve had to close your business or suspend your services temporarily. For example, if you’re a driving instructor, although you can’t give driving lessons currently, your social media pages are a great place to share driving tips.
Keep creating content
You can deliver an effective coronavirus content strategy through email, your website and social media. These are just three potential touch points that will connect you with your customers, but you can also use video, eBooks, infographics and interactive content such as quizzes or polls. There’s so much you can create.
The important thing is to keep creating and communicating. I understand that when business is uncertain, the instinct is to minimise costs wherever you can. Usually the marketing budget, including content creation, is the first to be axed.
Don’t stop creating, find ways to adapt your content marketing to suit your timescales and budgets. Now is the time to connect with your customers on a new level as we tackle these turbulent times together.