How to make a case for content marketing during uncertain times
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the fabric of society across the world, affecting nearly all aspects of our everyday lives. The way we work, communicate, shop, learn, entertain and more has changed dramatically and people have had to quickly adapt to new situations and circumstances.
Marketers have certainly been no exception to this in facing these challenges. This has come at great cost to many digital marketing projects and strategies that have been paused or cancelled altogether, one of those being content marketing.
Given our passion for content marketing, we thought we’d outline a few strong reasons why content marketing should be a strategy that is persisted with. This is especially true during uncertain times like the one we’re in now which unfortunately may not be the last.
Increase brand awareness
One of the biggest changes in our behaviour as a result of COVID-19 is the dramatic increase in our online activity. Lockdown for those that were affected, of course, was the primary instigator of this, as people were forced to work from home, order online food deliveries, entertain themselves via Netflix etc as part of the new daily routines. As a matter of fact, April 2020 had the highest recorded figure for internet consumption in New Zealand’s history at an average of around 500GB per household of data for the month.
With such an increase in activity comes an increase in potential traffic that websites can attract and content marketing is the perfect strategy to employ to do so. With more people on the lookout for great content, it provides a fantastic opportunity to increase brand awareness at a time where the captive audience has grown substantially.
If you’re optimising your content for SEO (as you always should) you’ll be able to explore the new opportunities that will undoubtedly present themselves. This could be in the form of new keywords that are created in the context of the situation or through the growth of existing long-tail keywords.
If you do it well, you’ll have grown your brand awareness during an economic downturn and be in an ideal position to start strong when normal business resumes.
Build confidence and trust
Content marketing also has the ability to play an important role when it comes to building confidence and trust in a brand. This is especially important during uncertain times when people are generally feeling a little more vulnerable and cautious. They also tend to be extra vigilant when informing themselves prior to purchasing decisions.
Through content marketing, you can establish yourself as an expert in your given industry through thoroughly-researched and well-presented content. This will build trust with your readers which will reassure and encourage them to conduct their business with you. If this feeds through the entire customer journey you’ll have gone a long way into establishing a long term relationship with your customers that will serve you in years to come.
Having strong, authoritative content on your website is also an increasingly important ranking factor for Google which looks to favour sites with the greatest integrity in their information and data. It’s what works best for Google, their users and your brand so everyone wins!
As a brand, you want to do your best to maintain your relevance with people as much as possible. This is at the forefront of thinking for brands when times are good and everyone’s happy and spending but it should also be a priority when times are not so good too.
This harks back to the previous point about trust and the importance of maintaining it once you’ve gone to the trouble to establish it in the first place. If you suddenly disappear from sight and become silent during uncertain times, what confidence will you impart on your customers that you’ll be there for them with your services and products during this crisis or the next to come?
Producing content during this time, that is helpful, topical and relevant to the context of the situation at hand, will maintain that level of trust and confidence in your brand. As with the previous point about authoritative content, relevance and topicality are also big ranking factors for Google as well so maintaining your presence in this regard with new and fresh content is well worth the endeavour.
During cost-prohibitive times, budgets for all marketing activities get scrutinised and questioned as margins get squeezed. Creating engaging, fresh content from scratch often (but not always) takes an investment in time and therefore cost that some will be reluctant to commit to.
But there are ways of creating fresh content that are less demanding on time and one of the best strategies with this in mind is to update or repurpose existing content. Most websites out there are awash with content, some of it good, some of it not so good but on any given website there is usually no shortage of it to be found.
Taking time to re-examine old blog posts can often be an enlightening experience for a number of reasons. You may be surprised to discover what content you have at your fingertips that you may have previously forgotten about. You may be also surprised to find how much of it is better than you expected in essence but is in need of a tonal or technical refresh. For other pieces of content, you might find that it can be reworded and applied to the current context you find yourself in.
With all of the above, nine times out of ten, you’ll find it much quicker to update, refresh and republish an existing piece than to write the equivalent piece from scratch. If the blog is already ranking for keywords but in low positions, you’ll be surprised how quickly an update can boost its rankings offering quick returns in the process.
Content marketing is a great strategy during uncertain times
As you can see, content marketing is a great strategy to embrace during uncertain times. It presents opportunities to increase your brand awareness and build trust with your customers and allows your brand to stay relevant and topical too. Better yet, through repurposing and refreshing existing content, it can be a cost-effective solution too.