5 Tips for Content Messaging In the Age of COVID-19
By Cindy Spitz, Senior Content Director, Marcum Strategic Marketing
This is a stressful time for every business owner. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing us all beyond our comfort zones as we grapple with new ways of doing business, and that includes taking a fresh look at how and what you are communicating with your clients and customers.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., not one of our client content calendars has stood up to the pandemic. Nor should it. The topics we scheduled prior to the virus either don’t make sense for the climate in which we now find ourselves, or need to be modified in light of the crisis. Imagine publishing a blog about ways to integrate technology into a manufacturing environment, or acquisition due diligence strategies when many businesses are operating in survival mode.
Many of our clients instead have an immediate need to provide their clients or customers with up-to-the-minute pandemic resource centers, with legislative updates and industry insights. The pandemic has dramatically changed the economic climate we live in, and that drives the content businesses seek.
Professional services firms can position their services around helping clients navigate and act on legislative changes. All businesses will need to rely on fresh content to stay in front of their key audiences. Trade shows and conferences are cancelled for the foreseeable future, and those audiences will count on timely updates and relevant information. So, what is the best way to keep content flowing in this environment?
The following 5 tips can be useful for framing your content and other communications.
- Show compassion: Express your hope that your readers, their families and their colleagues are doing well. Let them know they are in your thoughts. This doesn’t need to be long-winded—it’s better to be sincere with fewer words. Begin and end by touching base with what is happening in the world.
- Be empathetic: The whole world has changed. People who have never worked at home are working virtually, juggling work with family needs. Supply chains are backed up and your customers may need plans to navigate these changes. Try to approach your content with this understanding in mind. Look for opportunities to be uplifting.
- Use an educational approach: Put the promotional content aside. It’s perfectly acceptable to offer your services if they relate to the current situation. For example, can you offer assistance with SBA programs? Ways to manage a remote workforce? You can do this in your call to action. Providing useful information goes a long way in building relationships, something that is so critical now. Customers need you to be an advocate, a partner and a valuable resource. Conversely, you could send the wrong message if you appear tone-deaf and self-serving.
- Be accessible: Make it easy for your audience to get in touch with you. Most of us are working remotely. Offer alternative ways to get in touch via cell, Zoom, Skype or other apps.
- Deliver relevant content: You don’t need to totally upend your calendar—you just need to look at it through a COVID-19 lens. We’re in this for the long haul. As we adjust to what everyone is calling a new normal, be sure to revisit your content more often than you have in the past. Unless your expensive new widget can provide a direct benefit related to the pandemic, you may want to put it on the back burner.
Content has a significant role to play in this new world. These challenging times are affecting every industry, and businesses have to make critical decisions. People are looking for a way to connect. The more you can educate, inspire and deliver solutions, the better positioned you will be when the pandemic is behind us.
Coronavirus Resource Center
Have more questions about the impact of the coronavirus on your business? Visit Marcum’s Coronavirus Resource Center for up-to-date information.