Amid COVID-19, no one cares about your product.
They don’t care about how much it costs. They don’t care about your email marketing campaigns, social media updates, or how you’ve raised venture capital.
They care about the health of their families, keeping their jobs, making their boss happy, and paying their bills.
For marketers, the rules of engagement have been turned upside down.
Personally, marketing has always been a customer-centric exercise. It’s about a customer’s needs, problems, pains, aspirations, and goals; not your product’s prices, benefits, and features. In other words, it’s about them, not you.
The global pandemic has made marketing even more customer-centric. If a brand isn’t completely tuned into how their customers and prospects are feeling and operating, they’re doomed.
These days, the most effective and sensible marketing is empathetic and supportive. It shows people that you understand what they are experiencing and that your brand will help them navigate the current landscape. It’s about positioning your brand as a trusted resource.
This is not a time to be pushing sales or coming across as opportunistic. As strange as.it sounds, sales are not important. In the short-term, this will cause some financial pain but it will generate long-term benefits.
Before anyone accuses me of being short-sighted, the best and smartest brands can achieve a delicate balancing act between being supportive and positioning themselves for success. They can support their customers today and, at the same time, develop the right marketing and sales strategies to unleash when the global pandemic loosens its evil clutches.
When economies start to recover, these brands can quickly take advantage of the new landscape while weaker rivals struggle to revive their businesses.
So what do brands do from a content marketing perspective?
As I mentioned above, content needs to be insightful, instructive, and engaging. It has to help customers do their jobs better and more efficiently at a time when people are doing more with less.
For prospects, content should educate and nurture, and position your brand as a valuable resource. It is not about the sale because many brands don’t have money to spend. But when things change and budgets return, people will remember the brands that helped them.
As important, content absolutely needs to be high-quality. The writing has to be engaging and user-friendly and the medium (blogs, eBooks, videos, infographics) has to be well-designed.
There’s a lot of content being published but most of it is, at best, mediocre.
It’s the same crappy content that was published before COVID: listicles, tips driven by SEO considerations, etc. it’s content for the sake of content. Frankly, it is a waste of time.
When executing content marketing, brands need to think about what their customers and prospects need to know right now. What type of content will make them more successful or make their jobs easier? It’s content that people read right away or save for later because it’s valuable. How can your content be so good that it clearly stands out from the competition?
As important, your content marketing has to be planned to take into account target audiences, buyer personas, and the buyer’s journey.
What type of content resonates at different stages from awareness to consideration to decision? How much content should be created and how should it be distributed and shared. And how is the performance of content assessed amid limited budgets?
These are difficult, challenging, and, in some respects, exciting times for marketers. The rules have changed. What worked before doesn’t work today. Smart brands will adapt and do what they’ve always done: meet the needs of target audience and, in the long-run, carve out a competitive edge.
If your brand needs content marketing driven by great storytelling and compelling content, let’s connect. I provide content planning and execution that breaks through the noise.