In times of crisis, we all need to pause, take stock, and adapt what we are doing given the extraordinary circumstances.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis like few others in modern times. I’m writing this post as my home country of England is in the grips of the virus, as are most countries (50% of the world is in lock-down).
I’m also writing this post as England, and in fact the world, comes together in unity and solidarity.
Times of struggle bring the best out of people and I’ve already heard news of countless good deeds worldwide, from communities coming together to help self-isolating neighbors to the beautiful singing echoing across Italian balconies.
My singing voice isn’t something I want to expose you to, but I can reach out to you – my digital neighbors – to share what I can. One thing I do know a thing or two about is content marketing.
If you are a business owner who’s unsure on how to approach your content at this time, here are my thoughts as a content repurposing expert and owner of a creative agency. I will pass on the advice we’re giving clients, and following ourselves.
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There is no right answer
Honestly, nobody is really sure on the best approach in this situation, but there are certainly some important things to think about. I will share my views on whether you should post content, and if you should, what kind of content.
If you carry on posting as normal, business as usual as if nothing is happening – especially through scheduled posts – you run the risk of looking ignorant at best and offensive and insensitive at worst. I’m not saying this will happen to everyone, it’s a case by case situation, but I’ve certainly seen people being called out for doing this.
You also want to be careful that any content you create at the moment doesn’t make light of or appear to abuse the pandemic. For example, some business coaches are suddenly experts in helping businesses through a pandemic. Some probably already have a paid-for webinar or online course for pandemic business basics! (Many of whom are probably genuinely trying to help but it’s all about positioning and context). Some influencers and brands have been called out for trying to hawk “immune boosting” vitamins and similar products and companies have been lambasted for price gouging of essential items.
This isn’t an opportunity to pivot your marketing to a new trend. This is a pandemic. People are dying. Think about your actions and forget about your KPIs for a minute!
If you do nothing else, at least promise me you’ll look at your content calendar and consider how appropriate some of your choices are? It may have felt pretty sweet scheduling out 3 months’ worth of tweets the other week, but now look at them all and see what’s appropriate. Similarly, review your upcoming videos/podcast episodes/blog posts. Does anything need amending, rescheduling or pulling?
Don't stop creating content during a global crisis
I firmly believe that you should not stop creating content during this crisis.
By all accounts and according to the experts, this is not going to blow over in a couple of weeks.
This pandemic is going to last for months and nobody can put an end date on it. If you stop creating content as a mark of respect or uncertainty, you are going to disappear off the radar completely and more importantly, you are deserting your audience when they may just need you the most!
Creating content in a global crisis requires a different approach, but it doesn’t require you stopping completely.
Create positive content that raises spirits
As more of us are being asked to stay indoors and self-isolate, we’re going to have more time on our hands (some of us, not all). That probably means more time on our phones and computers!
I think, as content creators, we owe it to our audiences to create new, relevant content for them that stays true to our brand and helps maintain a sense of normality.
There is a lot of negative, scary, confusing content being shared right now. If we can contribute to creating happier, helpful digital spaces, we absolutely should.
I say we leave the medical information and talk of pandemics to the experts, and stay in our area of expertise, giving people positive, helpful content to consume.
Your content might help somebody do something differently, take up something new, or just provide a positive bit of respite from the worries of the world.
Who knows, you may just become someone’s hero during their time of quarantine. Or a parent’s hero during their time of trying to stay sane whilst the kids are off school!
We have a duty as content creators to share positive content during a global crisis. Good people who are staying home deserve good content.
Content during a global crisis should help people
If you feel able to, work on some new content that helps people in a way that is relevant to your brand, their interests, and the unique circumstances we are sharing.
For example, personal trainers are creating at-home workouts and sharing them on social media (I like the ones from @syattfitness) whilst offering client sessions over Skype or group sessions on Zoom.
If there was ever a time for self-care, it's now
We are all being affected by this pandemic and though we may be working hard to keep things going like normal… Things are not normal.
Cut yourself some slack.
Whether you’ve got kids at home with you as you’re trying to work or you’re struggling under the weight of extraordinary times, be kind.
You aren’t going to be on top form with so much on your mind. I know I’m not and I’ve been making sure my team at Content 10x know that we all have to take care of ourselves right now.
If things are a little slower than usual, that’s okay. If you don’t have time to create new fresh long form content, that’s okay.
Or... repurpose your content
Rather than adding more stress with the need to create new content, you can always repurpose some of your old content.
It’s likely you have a whole treasure trove of content and now is the time to work out what in it could be really helpful to your audience right now. Once you know, you can start repurposing it.
Be really intentional with what you share and why and if you can do it in a way that brings people together, as mentioned previously, then I’d recommend doing it. It can be as simple as a Facebook or Instagram Live or something grander like arranging a live Q&A on Zoom about your most visited blog post.
To go along with all the usual repurposing techniques you might use (I recommend browsing our blog if you want more tips!), it’s worth filming a short video or writing some social copy to explain why the content you’re repurposing is perfect for your audience right now.
If that sounds like a lot of work, that’s okay. You can only do what you can!
If you do want some help repurposing your content and staying front of mind in these turbulent times, Content 10x is here if you need us.