If you are struggling to find content to post on your social media, or to find blog topics that might be useful right now, then you're not alone!
The world is reeling from a global pandemic, businesses are struggling across many industries, and marketing strategies are being thrown in the bin.
But, it is actually crucial that we don't panic, and instead curate a content plan that is intelligent, insightful, useful, and has short-term as well as long-term aims.
Tips for marketing in the current situation
First, let's get one thing clear... you are still allowed to market your business and share content. I know it can feel a bit strange - you're wondering if it's too "trivial" or too "insensitive" - but the world still needs you and your business.
We all need as many businesses as possible to survive so once this is all over (whatever and whenever that is) we have an economy that can survive. Not to mention we need to look after our mental health that is closely tied to our work and purpose.
Many businesses have products or services that people need right now - so you absolutely need to continue marketing. And even if your business is taking a hit right now, eventually people will need you again so don't disappear from sight - keep sharing stories, advice, and offering help.
So, how do businesses share content and continue with marketing strategies without offending or sending the wrong message?
5 tips for content planning
Firstly, don't ignore the situation - you should acknowledge what's happening but not dwell on it. Find out what your audience needs or wants by simply asking.
Then, show empathy... and look for ways to help.
Your followers are spending more time online than they ever have before, so you can't afford to stop marketing. But you do need to ensure the content you are sharing offers genuine help to others.
Don't send out emails just because everyone else is - people are already overwhelmed and anxious - so make sure your posts on social media and the content in your newsletters is there for a good reason.
What advice can you give that might really help others right now? Rather than pushing products or services, show what you know and tell your story.
Value - not selling
The message right now is: VALUE not SELLING. Think about your services/products - can you package them up to solve a problem right now? Can you adapt your product or service offering to fit in with current times?
Share tips & advice - people will grow to trust you and appreciate that you are generous with your knowledge. They might not buy from you now but they will get to know you and remember you when the time is right.
Keep thinking - keep asking.... what value can you offer your audience? And how can you solve their problems?
Play the long game
Steer clear of words like "panic-buy", "infectious" or "killer-sale" even in innocent contexts.
Also consider the images you are using and what message your brand is conveying. Don't use images where people or crowds are touching and re-word any language or campaigns that describe a close interaction with others.
You absolutely can still have a long term content plan - but keep it flexible. Be ready to change content as and when further updates are revealed.
It might be a good idea only schedule email campaigns and social media posts on a weekly basis, rather than a month in advance. Blog topics can be reviewed case by case, or even adapted (see point below).
Adapt content to the current context
You can 'pivot' a blog topic - so if you had planned to write a blog about self-managed super funds - just change the angle to talk about what the new measures mean for accessing super early. Or if you wanted to write a blog about the health benefits of avocado, make sure you talk about why looking after our health and diet is even more important during this stressful time and still praise the yummy avocado - you could list a group of "stress-busting foods".