5 ways to content market in a crisis

Coronavirus has changed content marketing — here’s five tips to work through it​

Over the past number of weeks, the world has changed beyond recognition. That means strategies in every area of business must also change. Content marketing has always been long tail — it is at the top of the funnel and direct conversions can be difficult to measure. The coronavirus pandemic will amplify that. Here’s how you can use that to your advantage by inspiring people.

But please remember the first — don’t tie your marketing to the coronavirus pandemic in any way unless you’re selling bidets during the great toilet roll shortage.

What’s your objective?​

Choose your target — Engin Akyurt / Unsplash

There’s a massive spectrum of possible results when it comes to content marketing. Are you looking for hard-to-reach direct conversions, are you looking for branding, or are you somewhere in between?

The answer should usually be that you’re somewhere in between. Every campaign should have aspects of both covered and they should always be soft-sell.

Take TV advertising. This is mostly branding and it’s very difficult to measure direct conversions off without extensive measurements following a campaign. You aim to catch the attention of the viewer, show off what the product can do, and then brand at the end.

This doesn’t work in the age of social media. You have three seconds before someone skips to the next video. You have to brand at the same time as catching the viewer’s attention for that first conversion — the click.

Getting that click through content marketing has just become much more difficult. There is so much uncertainty that you must aim to achieve it at the time the quarantine falls. You must now concentrate on branding.

Boost your brand recall​

One of the main aims of content marketing is brand recall — Sam Warren / Unsplash

One of the most important functions of content marketing is brand recall. By providing regular, useful and interesting pieces, whether those are video, pictures or words, you lodge your brand into people’s minds. When they go to book their holiday, they remember that your brand provided a wealth of information about what to do in that destination. It may take weeks or months, but that is the point where they will convert.

Now you have those weeks or months to really push your brand through your content channels. I’m already planning my next trips for as soon as the quarantine is lifted, as are many other people. We’re carrying out research to keep ourselves busy. If you can attract our attention through your content now, it’s quite possible you’re going into a list of things to do when we can finally move freely.

There are a few ways you can do that. The first is quality content.

Quality attracts an audience, and boosts SEO​

Quality work attracts a quality audience — Kym Ellis / Unsplash

The first thing you should be honing in on for content marketing is quality: get a good writer or producer and be able to reach the audience you need. The choices you make at the very beginning will show in your results.

Don’t lie in your headlines — everyone hates clickbait. A click has been one of the most valuable things over the past few years and will continue to be now.

How many times have you hovered over a link before deciding not to click, or clicked, read a few lines, and closed it again? If your viewer doesn’t get the information they want out of your piece then they’ll be disappointed and not come back.

Be knowledgeable in your content — you’re the expert after all. Your audience has clicked on your link because they think they know what you’re talking about.

That means going into detail, which is significantly better for SEO too. Don’t be afraid to push well past 1,000 words. Detail also means that a piece is evergreen; people are more likely to keep coming back to it through search engines.

Make a list, and don’t use specific holidays​

Working with specific holidays significantly narrows your audience — Cooper Le / Unsplash

It’s an odd psychological thing — people are far more likely to click on and read a listicle. It doesn’t matter what that number is but you need to get it in your headline. 7 things to do in San Francisco will work much better than: Things to do in San Francisco. Perhaps it’s because people know it’s achievable to read through bitesize chunks while they’re on the bus, or the toilet.

It might sound like a great idea to blog about the lovely things couples can do on Valentine’s Day in Edinburgh or on a bank holiday weekend in Adelaide. However, you’re massively limiting your audience. Not many people you want to reach will be travelling to your destination on those dates, or be in a relationship for that matter. In order for a piece of content marketing to work well, you want it to be as broad as possible.

Try: 18 things to do in Tokyo this February — you’ll even catch the people who won’t be there in February but want to visit.

Inspire people and don’t worry about being funny​

Make sure you’re inspiring your audience to take one of your tours — Allie Smith / Unsplash

Every content marketer needs to inspire their target market. You want people to take that holiday, or buy that tour or activity. Doing so will make their trip happy and smiley and clappy and rosey.

You can already do that. You’re already working in a position where your job is to tell fantastic, inspiring stories every single day. You have nothing to worry about. None of this is complex — it’s just practice, testing and taking your opportunities, and you’re perfectly capable of being the best content marketer out there.

Don’t worry about being funny either. Being funny is hard and very specific to people’s tastes. A lot of very well paid comedians don’t do a very good job of it. So don’t worry about it and don’t force it. And if you do have a funny story to tell then it will come through naturally.

Conclusion​

Write well, and build your audience — Art Lasovsky / Unsplash

Always keep your objectives in your mind when working on your content marketing, whatever that is. It makes it so much easier. In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, you need to be focusing on branding so that when it comes time to book our next trips, you’re at the front of the customer’s mind. You can do that by creating well-produced, quality content that inspires and interests people.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll dig into some of the more technical aspects of content marketing and take a look at some other areas, such as sales and design

Ventrata are offering to help tours, activities or attractions operators get through the Covid-19 pandemic however we can

If you need anything at all, feel free to reach out

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