The world is different, and so is your brand’s message. If you think now is the time to be quiet, then you’re wrong. Now is the time for content marketing.
The need for it as a way to inform and connect with your audience is greater than ever. The world is dealing with a pandemic, a public health crisis that has disrupted every industry. Your audience has new concerns and worries. Content marketing is your way of telling your story — one they’ll want to be part of.
Content marketing describes the strategy of continuously producing content that your target audience finds relevant and interesting, which then converts them to leads. It’s the predominant driver in modern marketing.
But it’s not a commercial for your brand. Rather, it’s a collection of stories that casts your buyer in the lead role. As they navigate hard questions and challenges, new content is there to direct them to the solutions and relief they need. Content marketing shares insights and focuses on how your buyer’s life can be easier. It’s not about features and functionality.
Why does content marketing matter right now?
The gut reaction for many brands when their income is disrupted is to shut down marketing. Many companies see it as an expense, not a revenue generator. They are wrong, and there’s plenty of data to support this.
Nobody wants to be sold anything right now. They want information and answers. Depending on your industry, you may be serving customers who have shifting priorities. Now is the time for content marketing to allow you to pivot as well.
Revisit your content strategy.
If you know that you should be producing the same if not more content right now, then it’s time to revisit your content strategy. You may have a comprehensive plan in place, but it’s probably got some holes in it now. Your audience has changed, and your content strategy should reflect this. Reconfiguring your strategy will help better position your brand right now and for the rest of the year.
Highlight your thought leaders.
It’s also an opportune moment to work on thought leadership in your content marketing, which involves using your own experts and their talents and experience to develop credibility and trust with your audience. It means that you’re working to answer the biggest questions of your buyers with the best answers.
You should leverage thought leadership based on what your brand and its experts know that can provide some resolution to coronavirus-related challenges. If you have the expertise to share, then now is the time to do so. It can bring knowledge to your customers and beyond, providing them with a reliable, trustworthy source.
Rely on brand storytelling.
Everyone loves a great story. They draw you in and grab your attention. Brand storytelling is the same, only the narrative is a little different. There are still all the integral parts of a good story — characters, setting, conflict, action, climax and ending.
Remember, your customer is the hero of this story. Each story connects to your “why.” That means more than ever in the current environment. People make decisions with their emotions, and brand storytelling is a way to deliver a meaningful message.
Weaving in storytelling as much as possible in your content marketing will allow you to cultivate a relationship with your customers. You’re standing with a purpose, and smart buyers will understand this and become loyal to your business.
Content marketing has, for many years, been the leading strategy for companies that believe in communicating with customers, not selling to them. Take this opportunity to reexamine how you interact with your audience, and if your content efforts are hitting the mark.
Michael Brenner, the author of “The Content Formula,” is a globally recognized keynote speaker on leadership, culture and marketing. His work has been featured in The Economist, The Guardian and Entrepreneur.
On June 9, Brenner is leading a daylong virtual workshop for PRSA titled “Developing a Content Marketing Strategy and Building Your Team.”
Photo credit: esb professional