We’ve recently seen a shift in our economy. This is recent, but it’s not exactly news. All businesses have felt an impact from the global pandemic, and by now the term “new normal” has been repeated enough to drive anyone crazy. Some businesses are laying off their employees, but others are bracing for a rebound. At some point business will resume, but a slow time doesn’t mean it’s time to stop everything. People need to brace themselves for a point when customers want to buy. For anyone who has a business to sell or a product to promote, now is the time to make content with the right content marketing strategy.
Mind you, content marketing and content creation isn’t a new concept. Nor should this be viewed as a substitute for other responsibilities. For the people who have some time, they should be focusing on the benefits of content marketing. It’s one of those things where you don’t always see immediate results, but the longterm results can be highly beneficial.
During slow period, there are ways to prepare for the longterm. When businesses resume, you want returning viewers and newbies to know you’ve been active. Even if they’ve ignored you for three months, they want to see the sum of three months of work when they return. This is why you need a content marketing strategy that thinks like a returning customer but appeals to a prospective customer.
1. Focus on the Benefits
If you’ve got a product to sell or a brand to promote, now is the time to let customers know why they need to work with you.
I’m sure you have content where you simply discuss the features of your product. This does not make you unique, and it shouldn’t be the selling point for your brand. Right now you should analyze customers who have used your features and convince people that they should also be using your product. Do this by showing metics that highlight success thanks to your business.
Take a company like Mint for example, who allows customers to manage budgets and merge accounts that track spending. They should be highlighting how their services have reduced spending, or the amount of time customers have saved because of their all-in-one solutions. This doesn’t just allow customers to know what the app does, it allows customers to know what the app can do for you.
2. Case Studies
Want to take a deep dive into highlighting successes? This might be a good time to perform a case study. If your business has a success story, show how you aided that success.
These can benefit customers by showing features, but they can also create a more human relationship between businesses and users. Case studies should show real outcomes, and but also address the method of obtaining the results. When customers are looking for solutions, they want to see that companies have an investment in their customers and are proud of results.
Never underestimate the power of the human approach. A case study may highlight a unique story, but it shouldn’t highlight special treatment. All customers should be able to obtain the same level of satisfaction if they maintain an equal investment when working with you.
3. Go From 101 to 201
If you’re selling a product or service, you probably have a FAQs page. This addresses the most common questions (hence why they’re frequently asked question), and many people will stop here before reaching out for support.\
Then there’s the uncommon, but not unusual questions. These are questions that the FAQs don’t answer, and the ones where people will turn to Google or the customer support. Take a look at old correspondence, identify some common sticking points, and create content to address some questions that are a little trickier. This is going to be a little more technical and will probably require a decent time investment, but having this resource in the future will be beneficial when there are new customers coming in.
This can also be a great opportunity to generate growth. Because these questions are uncommon by nature, there’s probably some keyword ranking potential. Before you write you 201 course, try to Google the answers to your question. If you’re not getting clear results, try to identify the right keywords and base your content around this. When people are looking for answers, they’re going to be more likely to click your page.
4. Revise Old Content
Content marketing isn’t just about creating new content. It’s about optimizing all content.
When you have time, see which webpages or blog posts are performing the worst. Then, audit that content. If you can improve the keywords, reformat the article with proper headers, or make it easier to read, then you should do it! If the content is out of date, you may want to revise the information or replace the page.
Optimize all content so it can be found, even the old stuff. Most businesses make mistakes in their early stages, and sometimes those mistakes can be costly. That doesn’t mean the content is bad. If the information is still relevant, then you should be trying to improve your ability to be found. If you’ve written more about the topic, link the new and the old posts. There’s no need to duplicate work when you can update the work you’ve already done.
5. Invest In a New Platform
Adaptable content is all the rage, and chances are you can increase your reach by using a new platform.
It seems like everywhere I go, people are raving about TikTok. Yes, the app is super popular right now, but your product might not adapt itself to TikTok. If your audience wouldn’t like a product demonstration while the song “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion plays, TikTok might not be the right platform for you.
Know your audience, and create content that will reach them through the right channel. If you have longer product demos, try YouTube. Quick demos might go well on Instagram. If you’ve got charts, Pinterest could work. Lots of quick tips? Maybe Twitter. Regardless of where you go, don’t overextend yourself. Pick the platform that works best with your content and focus on that one.
The key here is to make content that is beneficial on your website or blog and on social media. If you Instagram account flops, at least you have great photos on your blog.
Try Something Different!
Businesses are hurting, people are losing jobs, and you’ve got a product to sell.
You need to get eyes on your product and convert those eyes to paying customers. At the very least, your content marketing strategy needs to generate some type of interest.
Now is the time to play a longterm game. Think of the things your customers need, and cater to that. Then think of the things prospective customers would like to see, and create content for them. Regardless of what you’re doing, you should be doing something different than your content marketing strategy from three months ago.
When customers are coming back in higher numbers, you’ve created a platform where you can be found. This provides quality information and demonstrates you are a reputable resource in your industry. Nobody can outsmart our current health crisis or speed up a slow economy, but we can look toward the future. By diversifying your content marketing strategy, you’re planning for a better future.
Bonus Tip: Highlight How Your Product Helps
This can’t apply to every business, but many businesses have some feature that is beneficial during this time. If you allow for contactless payments or can meet over Zoom instead of in person, you need to make that known. Show you’re aware of customers concerns and you’re still available to help. This may not change behaviors immediately, but when customers are ready to talk, you’re going to meet them in their comfort zone.
Originally published at https://www.michaelbeausoleil.com on May 29, 2020.