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  • Writer's pictureZEVEN GMBH

Content marketing in times of crisis

With social distancing, self-isolation and remote work the “new normal”,

how are you adjusting your content marketing strategy to respond?

While many of us have dealt with crisis management in the past, no one had a playbook for the level of disruption we’ve experienced due to COVID-19. In response to the situation, we’ve seen many businesses halting their content marketing projects and cancelling campaigns in an effort to cut down on any “non-essential” spend. This may seem like a wise approach but now is actually the best time to use content to stay relevant and engage with your customer base. And because modern approaches to content marketing encompass such a broad range of tactics, smart marketers are spoilt for choice when looking for fresh ways to connect with their customers.

Here’s a great example.

DoubleTree is an American hotel chain owned by Hilton. The brand is famous for offering guests a fresh chocolate chip cookie at check-in. This personal touch has proven so popular with guests that many have attempted to replicate the secret recipe for DoubleTree’s delicious chocolate chip treats. But how do you provide this “added extra” to your guests when people aren’t allowed to visit your hotels? You pivot. Understanding that this is an anxious time for everyone, DoubleTree opted to reveal its chocolate chip cookie recipe to the world in the hope that a warm chocolate chip cookie could bring a moment of comfort and happiness to their guests who are stuck at home.

The power of the pivot

While the approach may be different for every brand, now is not the time to stop marketing. It’s the time to develop impactful ways to shift your content strategy so that your messaging and delivery is appropriate and meaningful.

Here’s our advice:

  1. Go online: If you had events or conferences planned; think twice about cancelling these entirely. Why not take the experiences online? Even if you can only provide certain elements of the experience, you’re still creating value for your customers but without breaking any social distancing regulations.

  2. Adjust your messaging: Content that might have been effective pre-COVID may no longer be suitable. Now more so than ever, your messaging shouldn’t be about selling. Your messaging must be sensitive to the situation and should showcase that you empathise with your audience. Think DoubleTree and the cookies – revealing their secret recipe may seem like a small gesture but it says a lot.

  3. Educate: In line with the message above, why not use your influence as a brand to offer advice and educate your customers about the pandemic? According to research conducted by Edelman, a US PR and marketing consultancy firm, 85% of people expect companies to use their power to educate their audiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

Are you having trouble pivoting your content marketing strategy? Contact us now. We're here to help.

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