It seems that you can’t go anywhere online without seeing something about the current COVID-19 outbreak. As a response, many businesses have had to suddenly alter their operations or transition to digital workspaces in order to send employees home.
While this time is certainly full of change – and conversion rates may start to slow down – it is certainly not a time for businesses to panic – or stop growing. Solid marketing strategies are more important than ever, particularly for businesses that are able to operate online.
In situations like these, it is imperative for companies to buckle down on the marketing streams that will keep the brand light burning. And right now, that is undoubtedly content marketing.
Generally, both B2B and B2C entities utilize content marketing in some form.
However, Gartner’s report found that only 17% of businesses listed content creation as a vital marketing strategy – even though content marketing ROI is typically higher than other types of marketing!
So, in a time when companies are tightening up and reducing extra spending, it would be a grave mistake to reduce content funding and production.
Content marketing is not an expense – it is a vital resource that can help businesses get through a crisis and continue to connect with customers.
Here are four key reasons why you should continue churning out content and how it can help to keep your business afloat during this time.
Online Behavior is Changing
As more and more cities are ordering people to stay at home as much as possible, internet usage has understandably increased. Many of us are spending even more time than usual scrolling through social media feeds and browsing various websites.
This means there are new online opportunities for your business to capitalize on – particularly in relation to the current situation. There are plenty of ways that you can use content marketing to provide relevant resources to your audience.
Remember that online search behaviors are going to be changing during this time.
You may need to conduct some new keyword research to find trending phrases to qualify for searches related to the current situation, such as remote working tips or advice for starting online businesses. Many companies are using this trend to their advantage and offering free or reduced educational content to help professionals who are now working remotely.
For instance, Ahrefs announced that they are offering a “Blogging for Business” course free of charge.
This is a fantastic content strategy since more people are going to be interested in this information and have the time to consume it. It will certainly help them to generate more leads that could turn into paying customers.
You Can Provide Helpful Information
It is important that you use your platform to be a voice of reason and support to your audience during this time. They will be looking for answers – so keep your focus on your business, services you provide, and how your company is going to continue providing even during these challenging times. Businesses should be focused on helping – not fear-mongering.
One way to do this is to focus on positive news.
For instance, you have probably received emails from nearly every business you have ever encountered on how they are responding to COVID-19. Be sure to focus on your customers rather than just your business in this type of message. Thank them for their support and let them know you are doing all you can to maintain safe operations during this time.
If you are sharing information that is directly related to COVID-19 prevention or safety tips, be sure that your facts are accurate and backed up by scientific research.
For instance, HP released a guide sharing how people can safely clean their printers and computers to help stop the spread of the virus. As you can see, the cleaning solutions mentioned were recommended by the CDC and proven to kill the virus on contact.
This information is great and useful for reassuring customers that you are doing all you can to operate safely and help people stay safe, too. Keep your content fact-based and stick to encouraging and inspirational topics.
There is plenty of bad news circulating around online; be a source of positivity instead.
Other Marketing Channels May Dwindle
As more cities are ordered to stay quarantined or socially distanced to combat COVID-19, they will not be interacting with certain other types of marketing, like physical ads. If you are in B2B and rely on in-person meetings (like business conferences) to generate leads, then you need to focus on digital marketing since these large gatherings are going to be cancelled or postponed.
So, now is the time to switch things up and allocate funds to different types of marketing outlets – which is primarily online content.
Now, this is nothing new.
During the Great Depression, businesses needed to adapt as people were spending less money and staying home. Procter and Gamble (who at the time sold mostly soap and cleaning products) changed their advertising and pursued new marketing outlets.
At the time, they were one of the first companies to create radio broadcast sponsorships, something that worked quite well since families often gathered around the radio in the evenings together. They sponsored serialized fictional stories which became known as “soap operas” – a genre that is still alive and well today.
After the Depression, P&G’s revenue hit new heights!
While radio advertising is certainly not groundbreaking these days, you should be considering other types of content marketing outlets that will be growing in popularity. For instance, now might be a great time to launch a YouTube channel!
This Will Pass
Things will return to some sense of normalcy eventually. You don’t want to hurt all of the hard work you’ve done by slacking during this time. This is particularly true with any SEO strategies. Now is not the time to shut down your link building and keyword presence.
Although the frequency of your content does not necessarily influence rankings, the quantity and quality certainly does. Plus, according to research from HubSpot, websites that published sixteen or more blog posts per month did receive higher inbound traffic numbers.
Even though times are changing, you should still continue to build your keyword presence, build links, and create top-quality content. You will be quite grateful you did, since this will help to sustain your business long after COVID-19 passes.
We can’t predict when things will “return to normal” – so it is crucial that companies adapt to the COVID-19 situation and keep moving forward. Content marketing is more important than ever. It is one of the easiest and best ways to connect with your customers through online channels.
Focus on creating high-quality content that current audiences are looking for. Integrate current topics when applicable and adjust to capitalize on new opportunities. Spread positivity and accurate information and continue to focus on your SEO strategies. This is what will help your business continue to grow during these times of crisis.
Joanna Besley is a Content Marketing Writer for E2M Solutions Inc., whose primary writing focus is on marketing topics and SEO. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the San Diego area hikes, traveling outside of the country, and trying out new vegan restaurants.