Coronavirus restrictions have changed the way many businesses can operate at the moment, along with the way many of us communicate with our online audiences. With increased noise on social media and limited chances to interact with customers face to face, it’s a challenging time to say the least. We put together a list of dos and don’ts for content marketing in the current online climate, while keeping your audience engaged.
Don’t: Go totally quiet
If you’ve had to cancel events or temporarily close your doors, pressing pause on your content marketing and online communication might seem like the only option. But we disagree! As global lockdowns came into effect, it was reported that social media traffic spiked by as much at 70%. It’s more than likely that your audience are online and have a little more time on their hands. There’s an opportunity to keep them engaged and build positive brand sentiment so you’re top of mind when you can open your doors to your customers once again.
Do: Keep it relevant
With the situation in Australia changing frequently and different states adhering to different lockdown rules, it’s important to review your content to make sure it’s relevant to your audience and their situation. Of course, it’s always best practice to segment your audience, but geographical segmentation is more important now than ever. Your Melbourne customers don’t want an eDM or Facebook ad about your upcoming event or accommodation deals when they’ve just entered a second lockdown. That’s a sure way to make them tune out from your content.
Don’t: forget to consider how current circumstances are affecting your target audience
Who is your target audience? While some have more time on their hands at the moment, that’s not true for everyone. If your target customer is mothers in Melbourne, they might have their hands full with remote learning, so now is not the time to be posting long-form video content or copy-heavy captions. Consider how current circumstances might be affecting your target audience, and tailor content accordingly.
Do: get creative with your content marketing
Now could be the time to experiment with new content formats you’ve always wanted to try, like video, Instagram stories or live streams. Look for ways to cut through the noise by involving your audience, like Q and As, polls or giveaways. While we are seeing some great success in online sales for a lot of our eCommerce clients, it’s not the best time for everyone to be shopping. Depending on your offering, you might need to focus more on content that provides value, entertainment and strengthens your online community. If you run a salon, you could film a quick ‘Zoom make-up tips’ tutorial, or show your customers how to make the best coffee at home to keep your cafe regulars engaged. You can see some of our other blogs and how we’ve tailored content to the situation also – it’s different for everyone. As long as you’re adding value and keeping your audience entertained, they’ll appreciate your efforts!
Don’t: act as though it’s business as usual
If your brick and mortar business has been able to stay open, posts asking people to come and shop with no reference to social distancing and hygiene efforts may seem a little insensitive. We know it feels like it’s all anyone is talking about, but a few posts touching on what you’re doing to keep staff and customers safe will let your audience know that you’re taking things seriously, and give them peace of mind if they do want to visit. It’s also best to choose your language carefully at this time. Avoid referring to your latest piece of content as ‘viral’! Your audience might even find imagery of people hugging or high-fiving to be a little jarring. It might seem overly sensitive, but it’s safest to avoid potentially touchy subjects (no pun intended) and keep a positive focus on your brand and community.
Do: personalise your brand
One way to keep things positive is to work some personal stories into your brand’s social media. If you’re a super busy eCommerce business, you could post some Instagram stories of your team masked-up and packing orders while thanking your customers for their support. Or if you’re a brick and mortar business, you could post about what you miss about seeing your customers face to face, and how you’re using the downtime. With tensions running high at the moment, overly sales-y content may not get as much engagement as some simple, personal posts that create a genuine connection with your community.
We hope you found these suggestions helpful, and that you’re staying safe! If you’d like more in-depth advice about your content strategy, reach out to our team and book a time to find out how we can help.