17 Apr Content & COVID-19: Why Now?
The rapid outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic presents an alarming health crisis that the world is grappling with. With governments, economies and healthcare systems overwhelmed, it’s the combination of human and official responses which will see us through these tough times. Today, we’re sharing some thoughts from our U.K based strategist Rachael.
Diminishing business and personal health
With strict restrictions on movement, the physical and psychological impacts of mandated quarantine, self-isolation, physical distancing and lack of social activities can exacerbate mental health issues and risks.
In addition to the human impact, consumer confidence is falling and retail demand is drying up. As 94% of the Fortune 1000 are already seeing Covid-19 disruptions, businesses seek effective solutions, within the bounds of strict pandemic response legislation.
With so much uncertainty brands are handling the crisis in different ways.
Successful brands are showcasing messages of positivity, togetherness, support of the government’s measures and confidence through their online and social channels. Reporting a 1749% increase in new articles between 1st February 2020 and 17th March 2020 on LinkedIn, it’s safe to say that right now, content is the most popular and efficient channel to communicate with your audience.
From brands big and small, messages of positivity continue to build relationships between brands and consumers who are coming together to tackle an abrupt change to normal life. It is imperative that brands are seen to be supportive, responsible, yet positive and celebrating togetherness during these unprecedented times.
Psychologists believe that following the immediate aftermath of the pandemic consumers will gain a ‘secular immortality’ which will see them celebrate life and start buying goods which they enjoy, rather than goods that they need. Continuing to promote your brand during these times is critical for business survival after this pandemic passes. LinkedIn lives to promote thought provoking conversations, Instagram and Facebook Lives to offer more informal communication, product tutorials and attribute explanations, are all innovative ways to keep your customers informed and engaged.
Positive learnings come out of China, where retail traffic began to grow in the double-digits when stores began to re-open. After the initial recovery period there is a normalisation period, where demands will go back to pre-virus levels (China currently sits here) and a period of strong short-term growth. Use this period to maintain client relationships, even if buying behaviour is slow – if there’s one lesson to learn, it’s that this will end.
Every friend, colleague and client we speak to is already looking for that light at the end of the tunnel. “When are we going to go back to normal?” The truth is, we need to consider that this pandemic is likely to have a lasting effect on consumer behaviour. Never in a generation has the government intervened in the way we live our lives so much. Consumers may be more inclined to ‘cocoon’ themselves spending less time out in public and more time at home and online, creating a post-COVID-19 slump.
So what does all this mean? Pressing pause on your content strategy isn’t going to make the problem go away – in fact, it will only make bouncing back that much harder. With the above predictions in mind, brands should be acting now, but in a scalable manner, to be in the best place possible to capitalise on ‘secular immortality’ and position themselves well as a brand that enables cocoon living. Whether this means pivoting your offering to make virtual and online products more accessible, or tailoring your messaging to resonate with your customers’ current situation, your content strategy plays an integral role in what the next couple of years will look like for your brand and your customers.
If you’d like to scale up your content strategy and creation to work through these challenging times and prepare for the changes ahead, drop us a note! We’re here to help.