Content Shifts in the Wake of a Pandemic: What COVID-19 Means for Your Brand (Part 2)

You know what needs to change in your marketing strategy amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, and now you’re ready to put it all into action. But there’s a new challenge to overcome; how do you add value to the slew of COVID-19 discussions online without looking opportunistic?


Let’s delve deeper into that.


In these unique and unpredictable times, we’ve identified some new and emerging ways for brands to set themselves apart. In the first part of this series, we shared the importance of being sensitive in what you post, and how important it is to become a trusted advisor to your audience. Now let’s talk about HOW with these simple yet effective ways to transform your content in the wake of a pandemic: 


Put your ear to the ground

Have you ever heard the old saying, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”? This advice is more important than ever. Brands need to tune in to relevant conversations, and tailor marketing strategies around them.


In the last two months alone, tens of millions of posts have been shared about the Coronavirus, and it’s reasonable to assume that these figures will remain steady as the virus rages on around the world. Most industries are impacted in some way by the Coronavirus, and if brands don’t keep a finger on the pulse of the conversations surrounding this, they won’t have a realistic idea of the behaviors and tendencies of social media users right now.


Still need convincing? Here’s exactly how social listening benefits your marketing strategy:


  • Understand if you’re reaching the right audiences for your brand
  • Monitor and forecast negative trends and themes
  • Stay ahead by engaging with trending content
  • Streamline your paid targeting and audience strategies
  • Stay aware of overall brand health
  • Predict and prepare for industry trends as they happen


In other words, the implications of social listening for your marketing strategy are huge. Dynamics on social media are changing by the hour, and as global and regional situations with the Coronavirus evolve, so do debates and topics of conversation on social media. Social listening contextualizes your content in ways that other marketing tools simply can’t. It gives you critical insight into the issues and sentiments influencing your target audience in real-time. If you can’t identify and understand the conversations taking place on digital, it’s going to show in your content. The solution isn’t to throw out your entire content strategy, brands can still effectively get their messages out to audiences, but what you’re saying and how you deliver it is key. 


Don’t just think content, think connection


It’s important that we as marketers make a mental mind shift from churning out content to creating a deeper connection with our communities. We’ve all heard it before: quality over quantity and digital is no exception. So, how can you begin putting this in to practice right away?

It’s important that we as marketers make a mental mind shift from churning out content to creating a deeper connection with our communities. Click To Tweet


Let’s start with a real-world example: the rise of content geared towards working remotely,  a trend that’s popped up inevitably in response to school and workplace closures. Whether it’s an article on quite simply, ‘how to work from home’, or a list of the best video conferencing tools, it’s nothing we hadn’t already seen before this pandemic. If your brand wants to weigh in on this subject, think about unique ways you can engage with targeted topics like:


  • How employees can stay connected during this period of social distancing
  • How working from home impacts connectivity amongst teammates
  • What working from home looks like for the entire family, and how parents can navigate this unique situation
  • Ways your team can authentically emulate workplace ‘check-ins’ during this period, such as lunch or coffee breaks and water cooler chats.
  • Management and leadership best practices during this time


If we think sharing generic remote productivity tips is enough to build a bridge with our audience: we’re kidding ourselves. This content is useful, but it’s important to think deeper. 


Play to Digital’s Strength

Now is the time to play to our digital strengths. This means doubling down on content like live streaming and video, engaging audiences with interactive content experiences and using influencers to tell a more authentic and cohesive story.


Let’s unpack each one of those a little more…


In this era of social distancing, brands don’t have to cancel their events, they need to shift them to digital instead.  We’re already seeing brands embrace opportunities to host their high profile events live and on the web. From Social Media Week to Google, big names aren’t letting current events stop them from engaging their audiences. That’s why virtual event platforms are scaling big time to accommodate increasing demand. 

In this era of social distancing, brands don’t have to cancel their events, they need to shift them to digital instead. Click To Tweet


Moving to digital isn’t just for brands with event cancellations. In fact, we’ve seen giants like Disney and Universal provide their own solutions to current social distancing guidelines by tuning in to what their audiences are looking for while they’re stuck at home. In addition to joining or hosting virtual events, B2B companies can follow in the steps of these B2Cs by offering snippets or snackable versions of content they’re no longer releasing in-person. 


Already video heavy on social media? Think about converting some of that content into a live stream on platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram. Or take inspiration from IBM and dabble in creating interactive assets to reflect your brand and its values. People love interactive content like surveys, quizzes, and ebooksespecially at a time like this when they’re looking for entertainment. 


Your influencer marketing shouldn’t stop now, either. If you’re missing out on opportunities to tell your brand’s story authentically, then it might be wise to think about how influencers can help you out. In fact, many agree that influencer marketing might be exactly what your brand needs to sustain customer loyalty in this stay-at-home economy. 


This is all to say that you need to understand where your audience is, what they resonate with, and how you can leverage the many options within digital to reach them. 


At Social Tribe, we’re confident that careful consideration and planning will go a long way on digital in the coming months. We’re also aware that with this situation changing by the day, it’s not easy to keep up with, let alone get ahead of, trends on digital. So if you’re still feeling unsure of where to go from here, remember that everyone at Social Tribe is ready and waiting to help! We live and breathe social, and as a virtual agency that’s been around for a decade, we have a few extra tricks up our sleeves for creating dynamic digital marketing strategies that are sure to resonate, even in this unpredictable period.