Why content is key during COVID-19
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, businesses across the world have been forced to change how they work. Over the last month many of us have felt the disruption to our own marketing strategies and business models, but perhaps one thing that is comforting during these extraordinary times, we are all riding this wave together. New ways of thinking, adaptability and agility are all required to ensure businesses survive. However, what is apparent is that content (now more than ever) is crucial to our success. Big brands are flooding our social media with content competing for share of mind, while also reminding and reassuring consumers they can still fulfil our needs.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy state SMEs account for 99.9% of the UK’s business population (5.9 million businesses). The reality is, SMEs do not have hundreds and thousands of pounds to allocate to their marketing budget and therefore the idea of mimicking big brands content strategy seems pointless? Perhaps. Nonetheless, this should not prevent you from writing content. Use your spare time wisely to focus on what content your audience will relate to. What do they want to see? What do they want to hear? This week Michelle Spillane, Marketing & Brand Director for Paddy Power, emphasised the importance of being in touch with your customers and to remain present. You do not need big budgets to accomplish effective content – just time and energy which we are in abundance of.
Types of content
The beauty of content is that it comes in many forms; imagery, video, blogging, email just to name a few. It’s argued that video content is the best form of content marketing to engage customers and when you hear the figures, you can see why. Smart Insights report people will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021. If video isn’t something you currently employ as a tactic, why not take this time to implement video into your strategy? It’s popularity has gone hand-in-hand with the rise of social media so not to partake might be more detrimental to your business.
Referring to Michelle Spillane’s earlier point, think about the content which is relevant to your audience. Perhaps you’ve transferred your skill set and your business is now producing PPE for the NHS? Can you share your leathercraft tips with others through video? Engage with your followers with an Q & A or run a competition with a giveaway to boost morale? There are countless things businesses can do to keep their content flowing but only you know what’s right for you. If you are struggling with content ideas, why not start writing down your customers questions. This should inspire several topics which you can later write about or address in a blog or social media post.
Where to publish your content?
According to We Are Social, in January 2020 3.8 billion people use social media and this is expected to grow to half the world’s population this year so focus here. The likes of Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok and LinkedIn are all free platforms which will help you raise your brand awareness and allow you to communicate with your customers in real time. Despite these compelling figures, let’s not forget the importance of websites. If you’re writing relevant content, ensure your website reflects this. It will aid your SEO as well as helping you to become a thought leader within your industry.
Fashion retailer GAP, spoke at this year’s SXSW about their new approach to social media and how they engage with their consumers. They call it “lo-fi” and rely on content creators to use social media channels like Vine, Instagram and Pinterest to tell the brand’s story and feature top trends and looks. Gap says they are turning to free apps and bloggers over big-budget photo shoots because they still provide a strong visual featuring editorial content and an aspirational product story, which consumers want to engage with.
The very fact that brands like GAP have acknowledge the benefit of using these platforms as part of their content strategy simply highlights the need for big marketing budgets is not always necessary. So long as you have a smart phone, engaging content, and a platform to share the content on, this will help your business ride the pandemic wave .