Digital Marketing

How has the Covid-19 Crisis Affected the Future of Content Marketing?

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Gear up! Content marketing will never be the same again.

As Bill Gates said, “content is king” this concept fits no more in the post-Covid-19 situation. Instead, content is king now more than ever.

There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 has affected the entire world in some way. Businesses and customers have experienced a drastic change overnight in terms of new values, priorities, and perspectives. As a result, many long-term financial plans and content marketing calendars have fallen by the wayside. What was accepted a year back is no more relevant in the new normal? The global marketing facts and figures show it all.

Statistics That Reveal Post- Covid Impact on Content Marketing

Let’s take a look at some of the major reveals:

  • Reports show that content marketing has been affected the most by Covid—19 pandemic. A survey conducted by OrbitMedia in partnership with Agency Management Institute found that nearly 18% of content marketing agencies experienced a negative Covid-19 impact. Further, nearly 51% of content marketing agencies reported that their creative services demand has also been negatively impacted due to the pandemic.  
  •  As expected, the demand for online sales has also increased. 62% of US buyers (Canada (59%), the United Kingdom (58%), Mexico (70%), France (41%), Australia (47%), and Germany (32%)) say they shop online more now than pre-Covid-19. 

The pandemic brought about a significant change in how and where customers consume online media. What businesses are offering them to consume, and how the audience is doing it, is undergoing a rapid transformation. And as the pandemic is here to stay for some more time, the world could still experience unforeseen changes.

Impact of Pandemic on Buyer Behavior

With people following social distancing and “stay at home” regulations, media consumption has skyrocketed. According to the Nielsen study, the US experienced a 60% increase in video content viewership. People now rely entirely on online content for their day-to-day needs, including entertainment, education, communication, and shopping.

The pandemic has also led to what we refer to as Content Overload. For businesses, getting readers to pay attention to their content has become more challenging than ever. For organizations, it has become more important than ever to produce useful content and publish it on the right media, at the right time. It should be done in a way to break through the clutter and grab the readers’ attention and keep them there.

What Content-Type Is Audience Consuming?

  • Purchase-Related Content: Online consumer behavior has entirely changed due to the covid-19 crisis. Apart from looking for news, they now spend more time searching for products and services like household goods, electronics, apparel, food delivery, wedding bookings, and health insurance online.
  •   Business-Growth and Savings Related Content: People who have lost their jobs or are unemployed are searching for jobs online. Professionals are looking for career insights, advice, and services that can help them make money, upskill/reskill themselves.

Tips for Adopting the New Normal Content Marketing

The changing scenario has made content the best communication tool for brands. Now, it’s not about selling and convincing through advertisements, but about making connections and adding value to the audience’s lives during tough times.

So, here’s what you can do:

Get Inside Your Readers’ Head to Know What Do They Like

While it has been repetitively said that content is all about your audience, it has become more than necessary ever now. Before you set your marketing goals or create your content calendar, it’s important to know what your audience likes about your brand and what they want to be offered. 

Take a closer look at your analytics and determine what’s working and what’s getting lost in the noise. Identify the keywords that bring your readers in. Reach out to your followers directly through the comments sections and polls (for instance, you can use Instagram story polls) to know what they care about. Invite them to participate in your Twitter or Facebook Live Q&A. Seek their opinion and advice on what you could change in your content topics.

Knowing and producing what your readers want will make sure you keep them coming back. They will build trust and hence connect with you better. 

Think You, Not Me

Sales-based content is bygone; people are no more interested in reading blogs or watching videos that are all about you or your brand and its offerings. In the current pandemic times, people are not looking for what you are doing; rather they want to know what you can do for them.

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes and consider your content consumption pattern. What would you want to read or watch – a 5-min meme video that lightens up your stress or a 3 min blog about a product?

It is crucial to determine the right content that makes readers want to give their email addresses to download your product specification guides or a research report.

Don’t Make Covid-19 Your Soul Focus

Being empathetic is what brands need the most at this hour. Instead of publishing content all around the pandemic, help your readers adapt to the situation, and improve their lives. Find ways to entertain, inspire, and build credibility with your audience. Industries like healthcare, travel, hotels, retail should seek guidance on how to sell more during tough times.

You could share case studies of companies that are striving and thriving or interactive experiences of professionals with your audience. These could be extremely motivating and uplifting for your readers.

 Create Purposeful Content

While keywords are vital for better reach and other search engine optimization (SEO) benefits, using them alone in your content will not serve you more. Stuffing your content with random keywords that add no value is a complete waste now. Search algorithms are changing continuously and voice search is on a tremendous rise. Copy length that was considered significant yesterday may not be fruitful in the coming times. As experts say, “it’s not about the length, it’s what you do with it that counts”. 

 Seek Guidance from Experienced Professionals

Creative writers are useful but having dedicated content marketers who know how to turn pictures or words into profits is the need of the hour. These people have a good eye for the current situation and upcoming challenges.

Create a specialized team by engaging professionals who understand your industry and have creative chops. Outsourcing to a skilled content marketing team is also a viable option. Partnering with the right partners can bring a whole new skill set and perspective.

The Final Thoughts

The last few months have made it clear that online marketing will strengthen in the long run. However, it will be a bumpy ride. Adapting to the changing times and doing something different from the usual is needed. Now is the time to experiment. Try different tactics and see what works well for you. Now is also the time to align your content marketing strategy with your company’s overall strategy. Be realistic and roll up your sleeves. Keep the above-discussed points in mind, and you could thrive soon.

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