Planning with Crisis in Mind: Your Content Strategy Blueprint for the Next 6 Months
The pandemic resulting from COVID-19 has leveled disruption upon us like never before and the end is not yet in sight. As a result, the marketing strategy that worked just two months ago will be less likely to succeed today.
All is not lost, however. Many businesses – although in vastly different ways – are still moving forward. What is their secret? They are flexible and adjusting their content marketing strategies.
Seasoned marketing professionals who have lived through the ups and down know that the key to sustainable success is a combination of focus and flexibility when it comes to the strategic content marketing plans that they have established.
What? No strategic plan for this kind of crisis? No worries.
Keep reading as we outline how to craft a 6-month plan for your content in a way that will be effective and provide you peace of mind.
1. Break It Down
A plan for the next six months seems overwhelming when we are unable to predict how the next week will look. The first step here is to break your plan down into smaller pieces. A commonly used planning strategy is a 30-60-90-day plan. Maybe those numbers feel too large to you. Remember it’s your plan, so break it down in the way that best serves your brand.
Either way, your first few steps should be to comb through originally scheduled content and determine how much is still salvageable given the current environment. Audit the tone of your messaging to ensure it is appropriate.
2. Maintain Your Commitment to Content Marketing
You have a captive audience right now like never before. Customers have the time to view your marketing messages.
WordStream recently conducted a study that shows search traffic is relatively stable for many. Some industries, like finance, on-demand media and office management, are actually finding new audiences because of the current stay-at-home environment. Other industries who are not faring as well must shift their strategies.
3. Understand Your Analytics
The WordStream study tells us that people are searching for content. The conversion rates are lower, but they will recover as the crisis subsides.
In the current environment, the most important statistics are not conversion rates. Focus upon the number of customers landing on your site right now.
If you build valuable authoritative content, they will continue to come. Position your organization as a trusted resource, so as buying returns to normal customers will look to you when they are ready to take action again.
4. Build Authority
A consistent weekly update as the crisis unfolds about the impact to your customers will establish authority and build connections with and trust in your brand.
If you wait it out, one of your competitors will establish themselves as the authority with effective content. Don’t let this happen.
5. Stay Positive
Customers will remember what you did during the COVID crisis. Putting minds at ease should be a critical component of your strategy.
Communicate with a positive voice. Promote positive resources and uplifting stories that help customers maintain their sanity and learn about specific actions they can take to get through the crisis.
You might be surprised what a competitive advantage this can provide for your business. Positivity and consistency will position you as credible and trust-worthy in your industry.
Consider establishing a common positive theme to accompany each outreach:
A daily meditation practice
An inspirational quote
An anecdote about the human spirit.
The economy is struggling for many reasons. Just like the virus, the economy will experience the impact in stages. The first stage is fear. Fear, even before COVID-19, has always held people back. Right now, it has caused many people to shut down. But just like the virus, that fear will also subside.
Don’t lose hope. There are positive things happening out there.
Businesses that have traditionally operated in-person are pivoting out of necessity and discovering that content marketing creates new opportunities for their brands to connect in new ways and build new followers even in times of crisis.
These businesses could have used this technology prior to the COVID crisis, but they didn’t. It took a pandemic to propel them forward toward a new strategy like content marketing.