You only need a brief glance at social media to see that digital marketing is leading the way when it comes to keeping businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, it has been proven that the benefits of having a solid digital strategy in place can help a business thrive, even during adversity.
When scrolling through Facebook you’ll probably see hundreds of businesses offering clever content marketing pieces to engage their customers; from colouring sheets to live webinars, businesses are now more prepared than ever to add value for their customers and build a connection with them.
Responsive and adaptive marketing is the key to their success, so let’s take a look at some of the content marketing themes your business should be considering right now. We’ve conducted some trend analysis on Pinterest, which is a great way to get inspired by content marketing success stories.
Below are some of the key themes Pinterest has highlighted based on huge increases in search traffic, so let’s review what they are, and how you can utilise them for your marketing.
Escapism and Optimism
The pandemic will be played out in stages, and right now we’re starting to see the first signs that things will eventually get back to normal. Even though we’re facing the unpleasant reality of a ‘second wave’, many people are hopeful that a vaccine is on the horizon and governments are slowly starting to lift restrictions.
Trends indicate that people are looking to find escapism in lockdown, and generally ways to entertain themselves and their family without going out. Rather than resigning to the couch, people are experimenting with new skills, self-development, self-care and challenges.
They’re also planning ahead, trying to understand what they need to prepare for when the next stage arrives. Facemask sewing tutorials, guides to getting their business ready and queries about homeschooling are all trending as people weigh up their options.
So what marketing content should your business be making to make the most of these trends? Here’s some ideas.
Design a home workout or meal plan
If you’re a business who is in any way affiliated with food or health, this is a great idea. Design a graphic or a downloadable PDF that has workouts or meals planned day by day – you could even include a shopping list and a discount code for your website.
Come up with a beauty guide
Beauty businesses may suffer the longest in this pandemic, as salons aren’t expected to open until at least the 4th July. In the meantime, you’ll need to pivot your business. Create an at-home maintenance guide and support it with video tutorials. Start stocking your favourite products and ship them to customers in specially designed ‘bundle’ deals for each beauty concern. For example, you could create a manicure kit or a ‘back-to-work beauty blitz’ package.
Set a challenge for your followers
People are bored, there’s no doubt about it! A structured challenge will be a welcome relief to anyone at this stage, and creating a challenge is something almost any business in any industry should be able to do. Sell sewing supplies? Start a 30-day skill challenge! Sell books? Challenge your followers to share a different favourite book every day. Sell web development services? Offer a 7-day ‘Learn something new’ tutorial, where users need to share their results at the end!
There really is no limit to the options you can explore with this idea.
Offer a free resource you normally keep secret!
Did you notice Hilton shared it’s famous cookie recipe to all recently? Wagamama’s even created a full video tutorial about how to cook their katsu curry from scratch.
You might worry that these things are invaluable brand assets that shouldn’t be shared, just in case they lose their value, but the fact is you’re helping to cement the iconic status of one of your customer’s favourite products that will be likely to go viral – after all, people love a secret!
Don’t worry, people aren’t going to start making everything at home, we can guarantee that when all this is over, people will be delighted to pay you to do it for them!
Recovery and Rebound
In a few months time, when the lockdown is lifted and we all start returning to work, we anticipate that content will need to start focusing on helping people prepare for recovery. Businesses who create this kind of content will notice readers are eager to get hold of it and share it.
Content for this phase of the pandemic will need to be helpful, highly informative and reliable. People will be looking for advice they can trust and assurances from their favourite brands. Here are some ideas we’ve put together that might help:
Set up a virtual support group
Perhaps you offer a service that people can’t engage with so easily during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you run a HR firm or an education service. Why not offer an exclusive Facebook group for your clients to sign up to in exchange for tailored knowledge and advice? Or you could host a weekly Zoom networking event where people could ask an expert their burning questions.
Clients will appreciate the extra care and attention they receive during these troubling times, and you might find even after lockdown this offers new opportunities for your business.
Offer a ‘Boost’
A boost can come in many forms, but in essence it’s something designed to get your customers going again. If you’re a restaurant you might offer a special voucher designed to encourage people out, or if you sell stationery you might offer a ‘back to school’ pack.
Incentivize your offering even further with complimentary digital downloads, you could collaborate with another business to offer educational eBooks, or send business customers free PPE. Give your customers the equipment and skills they need to stimulate their recovery. It can only benefit you in the long run.
Just make sure whatever you do, it’s designed to be safe. Customers are going to be hyper-conscious about ensuring businesses are keeping them safe and not putting profits before health.
Share your post-pandemic process
Information is key. As soon as you know, keep your customers informed. List opening times in an easy to access way on your website or app. Share lots of photos on social media to show off your safety precautions – make customers feel at ease!
You might even create a video that shows the proper process for visiting your shop safely.
At this point you may still want to market towards the vulnerable who are still in lockdown, so sharing information that shows how you are going the extra mile for these people will always go down well.
Do you have your digital marketing plan in place ready for lockdown to be eased? Make sure you follow us on Twitter to be the first to know about any new articles, we’ll be publishing lots of helpful digital advice for Wirral businesses, so stay tuned!