With the pandemic showing no signs of ending soon, business has never been more challenging. Economic uncertainty persists, businesses that can’t grapple with the new normal are shutting shop, globally, people are confused and anxious about their futures.
But, if history has taught us anything it’s that these very trying times help us uncover new opportunities. And it’s those who are resilient and innovative that rise to the challenge and succeed. Content marketing is an art and one of the most powerful and measurable ways some of the world’s bestselling brands are doing just that.
Content Marketing is how brands become stronger
There’s a common mistake that marketers who have not adapted to this new climate keep making – focusing heavily on sales-based content marketing.
Due to COVID-19, unemployment is at an all-time high in many countries, especially in the United States. This is causing a lot of people to get turned off by sales-based marketing.
This current crisis presents the perfect chance for brands to demonstrate leadership. A business called Jeni’s Ice Creams wrote a heartfelt post on their Instagram about how everyone is in this together. Customers loved it. Crafting such empathetic messages is a great way to humanize a brand. It’s the little yet valuable things like these that make content marketing an art.
Another great example is Ahrefs. In response to the pandemic, they made their USD 800 Blogging for Business course free for anyone who wanted to sign up. This course is several hours of high-level content aimed directly at marketers looking to upskill themselves.
Of course, after spending hours learning about how to use the Ahrefs program, the logical next step for those customers was to pay Ahrefs to continue to use the said program.
Adjusting to the pandemic
COVID-19 has brought about some irreversible changes in customer behavior compelling marketers to make strategic pivots in this new landscape. We’re seeing businesses like hotel chains struggle while home delivery-based companies like DoorDash or Amazon boom. Let’s take Planet Fitness as another example.
People can’t go to the gym during quarantines and fewer people are willing to take the risk even when they are open. So, while people are stuck at home, Planet Fitness brought the gym to them. They began live-streaming home workouts that people could train with them through their Facebook Live sessions. They also went the next mile by partnering with celebrity athletes like NFL receiver Julian Edelman to advertise their workouts.
Content marketing, especially for e-commerce, is all about answering questions. Due to the virus, customers might have safety concerns or concerns around delivery delays. They might also wonder about the health and safety of your employees. Content marketing that demonstrates you have such apprehensions addressed will increase brand loyalty and customer confidence.
Another way is to provide relevant advice that relates to your product. So, if you sell office furniture then customers would find articles about how to set up a home office very relevant. They’ll stay longer on your website, especially if it’s a well-built one, and probably even perceive your brand to be an industry frontrunner.
Crafting purpose-driven and targeted content like this is easier said than done. It’s no wonder why content marketing is an art. Truly engaging stories require organizations for their part to track and understand quickly evolving consumer needs and behaviors. Publishing poor quality content can not only cause damage to your brand perception but also trigger a disconnect with loyal consumers. For brands that don’t have the time or necessary skills in-house, considering a collaboration with a professional content marketing service would be wise.
The pandemic is leaving a lot of people financially drained. Consumers have turned a lot more price-conscious. For old and new customers alike, discounts are going to look incredibly appealing. One way of doing this is to bundle two or more related items and offer an attractive discount. This will even drive more customers to try new products.
You could also add a volume discount to encourage customers to order in large quantities. Another way of increasing the order value is to offer free or discounted shipping if a customer orders over a certain value. Then there is the ever-popular ‘buy one get one free’ style promotions to increase cross-sell opportunities.
Finally, instead of offering discounts to the customer, you could provide charity donations from a portion of the customer’s sale. Amazon does this very effectively with their Smile program and businesses like LARQ are giving away USD 20 off from their purchase price to Direct Relief. Direct Relief is a popular initiative aiding the front-line workers who are fighting coronavirus.
To sum up
If you look at it optimistically the pandemic has created a slew of unique opportunities. More businesses than ever before are backing away and or hibernating until the crisis is over. For some of them, the wait could be too long and could dwindle their chances of recovery altogether. But for those who are game, this could be a chance to stand out from the pack. To build a brand that thrives not just under the current pressure but emerges stronger after the virus is over. To know how we can help your business make this strategic leap with result-oriented content, contact us today.