We’ve previously written about How to Write Content for Answers and have realized it is also important to learn how to write content in times of upheaval. The current pandemic has severely impacted what your audience is prioritizing, along with how they may view your brand. This pandemic and any other future disruptions are sure to happen but provide opportunities for you to stand out from your competitors. Below, we address how you can make the most of a bad situation while avoiding the pitfalls.
1. Continue to Create Content
Depending on your type of business, you may have lots of time or hardly any during times of upheaval. However, it would be best if you did not let that interrupt your content creation. You may even want to take on more. Your first piece of content should be acknowledging the disruption, outlining your plan of action, and what you are currently doing to meet your client’s needs properly. Be sure to let your readers know whether or not the upheaval has disrupted part or all of your business. Not enough time to create content by you or your team? Feel free to outsource it, as upheaval is probably affecting freelance writers in your profession who would appreciate the work.
2. Change the Topic of the Content
This disruption is sure to have your clients thinking differently about what you do. Take a few moments to collect the biggest problems your customers have and may have in the future. Feel free to consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and that your clients are likely located towards the bottom needs. They include the most basic such as food, shelter, etc. as well as security and safety. Can your business help meet these needs? Assure them that your supply lines are still intact if they are. Let them know of any possible delays. Make sure they know you are there for them in their time of need. Any promotions you currently have should be changed to reflect this.
3. Adjust Your Workflow
Overall of 2020, we’ve seen consumers turn to brands that have empathetically and creatively responded to the current crisis. Brands not addressing the current reality are latently or subconsciously seen negatively, which may negatively affect sales. Your workflow should be one targeted for rapid response, rather than a “wait and see” strategy that can come after a crisis. Yes, it is important to plan for what to do when the disruption is over. However, your primary purpose should be the situation at hand rather than one down the line at an unknown time.
We recommend auditing your existing marketing process to define with clarity the responsibilities of each member of your team. You may want to stop or limit any automated messaging you may have. You should also layout how to reach the public (press release, blog, social media, etc.) as well as how to reach them (local news, print, YouTube, etc.).
Ensure that each team member is 100% familiar with your stance on the upheaval affecting your customers. Have these discussions ahead of time to speed up your response process, instead of waiting for your team to bring it to you.
4. Once Isn’t Enough
Your base is probably being flooded with messages about the upheaval, whether they want it or not. Your one piece of content, post, etc. probably won’t be enough. One of the oldest and most successful marketing books states that:
- The first time someone sees your content, they may not even look.
- The third time they are aware of it.
- The fifth time they will read it in its entirety.
- The ninth time they wonder if they are missing valuable information.
- The 15th time they want it.
- The 20th time they see it, they buy the product or service.
These are not hard and fast rules that apply to all industries, but you get the overall meaning. You must constantly and consistently make your business known, along with its benefits. Research your industry to find a “sweet spot” of not too much but not too little content. Better too much than too little. Feel free to repeat the same points. However, do not plagiarize, even from yourself. Search engines will find the repeated content and penalize you for it.
We also recommend making it easy for those who want more to find it. For example, did your business prepare a formalized plan in response to COVID-19? Feel free to share it online. Share both the full version as well as the short and sweet one to meet the needs of different clients. Not all upheavals are the same, and not all clients will react the same.
How to write content in times of upheaval is almost as important as your business itself. Your clients want to know they you are still in operation. If not, they want to know when you will be back in full or partial operation. Your customers are far more likely to look for this information online before contacting you via phone, email, or in-person during hard times. Make sure you have an answer for them.
Content Marketing is Proven to Impact Any Small Business Business
If you have read this far, you are living proof of the advantages content marketing can bring to any small business. When properly executed and part of a well-defined marketing plan, it can establish you as as thought leader, fill your sales pipeline, and reduce your advertising spend.
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