Marketing During Crisis: Pivot to Content

Welcome to the new normal

The novel coronavirus has turned our world upside down. We are all in crisis mode. At our homes, in our communities, and at work, it seems like everything is changing daily. We’re worried about our health, the economy, and our overall security. And in our business, we stress about how to keep the business running and weather the storm. The principles of content marketing can help pave a path right now.


The old way isn’t going to cut it

Pushing your products just doesn’t seem right in a crisis. It feels icky. With a global pandemic like COVID-19, or any crisis, people’s priorities shift, and they focus on their needs right nowBuying just isn’t relevant. Products are not what people want. Besides, selling isn’t consistent with your values. And during a crisis, you want to use your values to guide your organization, and you want to do your part in the community.


Now is the time to pivot to content marketing

While we on the Content + Media team at CMD believe content is always the right answer for your marketing needs, during a crisis it is even more relevant. Instead of selling your product, you can share your expertise in a way that helps people. You can tell stories about your community and where your brand fits in. And you can show your corporate values at play.

Here’s a good construct for shifting to content: create a path that empowers your customers to share their stories and use your expertise to help them solve their needs. If you’re not already a customer experience (CX)–focused organization, here’s your chance to use CX to increase customer satisfaction, sales, and retention like the CEOs in a study by the Economist. It all plays into your content marketing plan.


CMD content structure: consumer landscape, company responses, channels


Putting content marketing in play

  1. Reevaluate your customer
    Combine your knowledge with some research to understand where people are. In this crisis, people are sheltering at home, want to keep their kids engaged and informed or educated, and need different ways to stay sane and feel secure.
  2. Find your opportunities to map to your customer RIGHT NOW
    How can you reach people differently? Now is the time to look at your values, align those with those of your customers, and build a relationship. Project ideas, DIY information, tips to feel secure, and advice for long-term planning can go a long way.
  3. Pivot your message
    This is the time to put your customer first. Connect the dots for people and make it easy to work with you. That really gives customers value.
  4. Share where your customers are
    People are online, on social channels, and watching or listening to the news. According to Nielsen, crises like COVID-19 can lead to a 60% or higher increase in content consumption. Make sure your story is there – where and when they need it.
  5. Evaluate and optimize
    Watch what’s happening across your tactics and pull levers to make quick changes for more powerful connection.


Shift your thinking

We are all adjusting to this new normal and trying to do our part to keep the economy going. With content consumption up and when hawking wares feels unpleasant, we are in a good situation for content marketing. What are some ways you can shift your thinking and reach out to customers with high-impact content?

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