Content Creation in a Post-COVID World: What You Need to Know
We are all aware of the current state of affairs thanks to the global health situation. As COVID-19 continues to take its toll, it seems as if the notion “business as usual” has been put on hold for the indefinite future. However, we also need to highlight the simple fact that the world will turn. The sun will continue to rise, and eventually, this health crisis may even be relegated to the annals of history. This is why businesses which are able to embrace a more proactive approach in the coming months should perform quite well when the viral tide finally begins to recede.
How has the world of content creation been affected since the outbreak? What key takeaway points can serve to emphasise the new approaches which need to be taken? Is there a bright light at the end of the digital tunnel and if so, what steps can you take in order to engage with your audience more effectively?
COVID-19: Not All Bad News
First and foremost, we are not in any way attempting to downplay the impact that this health crisis has had upon society as a whole. The main intention is rather to highlight some trends which often fail to make news headlines. For example, did you know that approximately 80 per cent of all online freelancers have reported higher levels of client engagement during the past six months? This is great news, and yet, it is only the beginning. Here are some other interesting findings that have recently been brought to light:
- Online retail sales have increased by 3.9 per cent when compared to 2019.
- 48 per cent of all consumers have begun to make purchases via private retail websites.
- 88 per cent of individuals state that they will remain loyal to a brand that they have chosen during the lockdown period.
Perhaps even more importantly, it has been reported that 58 per cent of all consumers plan to perform their shopping online prior to and during the holiday season.
So, we can now understand why massive virtual retailers such as eBay and Amazon have performed so well in recent times. However, can this level of success be translated to the average enterprise with the help of targeted content curation? This is where adaptability comes into play.
Identifying a New Audience
It should first be mentioned that businesses will not be required to completely sanitise their content as if the material were akin to a COVID-19 outpatient. Instead, only minor adjustments need to be made. The first involves addressing what is known as the “revenge shopper”.
This term is not nearly as nefarious as it may sound. The concept of “revenge spending” is rather simple to explain. As many consumers were forced to curtail their shopping habits for months at a time, they are now eager to return to the retail community with an understandable vengeance. Perhaps “splurging” would be a better phrase in this sense.
Thus, we are likely to witness the birth of a new (albeit temporary) audience. Businesses will need to cater to the short-term needs of those who are eager to purchase products and services with the help of the online retail community. Thus, a sense of urgency needs to be reflected in any content that is created. If the desires of this target demographic are met, a one-off shopper will be much more likely to transform into a loyal customer.
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The Ever-Present Role of Social Media Channels
The second component of successful post-COVID content creation involves a topic that the majority of online retailers are already familiar with. They must develop material that resonates with social media circles. Of course, many of the same principles which have been outlined in previous Textbroker articles should be embraced. These include:
- Researching the most appropriate keywords.
- Identifying the audience that resonates most with the material in question.
- Posting regular updates in order to gain SERP clout.
- Regularly engaging with visitors and obtaining valuable feedback.
- Targeting posts which have received the most positive responses.
So, what might change in the coming months? One interesting observation has been postulated by the marketing team at Good Rebels. They rightfully stress the importance of proactively responding to social media analytics as soon as they are made available. We need to remember that online competition is likely to be rife in the post-COVID world. Thus, customers will soon look elsewhere if they feel as if a specific firm is not on the “same page” with what they are looking for in a product or service.
Developing a Worthwhile Strategy Sooner as Opposed to Later
Now that we have identified some of the main variables that are likely to impact content marketing approaches in the near future, what steps can businesses take in order to ensure that they remain well ahead of their competition? Let us segment the answers to this question into a handful of easily digestible suggestions.
Become a Growth Hacker
If this term has not yet been coined, it is likely to be recognisable in the near future. Growth hacking is another way of stating that you need to immediately appreciate the impact that your content has upon the audience in question. However, relatively few businesses realise the importance of this approach.
Many online entrepreneurs create content and believe that allowing it to remain within the digital world will somehow cause it to “germinate” into a viable form of engagement. This is just as much of a fallacy as believing that a plant will grow simply because a seed has been embedded within the ground. Without the proper nutrients (in this case, analytics and flexibility), even the most well-written content could quickly outlive its usefulness.
Growth hacking involves the ability to gauge how a specific piece of material is performing in a real-time scenario. You can then make any changes that may be required. Otherwise, the benefits will fade and wilt, much like a plant that has not received the appropriate amount of water.
Readjust, Redefine and Reevaluate
The COVID-19 scenario has turned much of the world on its head. It only stands to reason that the online retail community has been affected in a similar manner. So, it would be a fallacy to believe that previous strategies will provide the same results as in the past. This is when a bit of reevaluation is in order.
Once again, this does not necessarily signify that you should completely abandon your prior approaches to content creation. It is still probable that specific adjustments are in order. Here are some questions which should be asked in order to understand if the material in question is still as relevant as it once was:
- Have the goals of your business been modified?
- Have the desires of your audience changed?
- Are your products and services still as relevant as they once were?
- Has the content addressed the current health situation, or does it instead exhibit a rather generic feel?
If you are able to address these questions, the chances are high that you will be able to better understand whether or not any changes are warranted.
“Hooking” the Reader at an Early Stage
Gurus such as Neil Patel have always stressed the importance of hooking the reader from the very beginning, and for good reason. If you are able to engage the visitor at an early stage, it only stands to reason that he or she is much more likely to take further action.
The issue here is that the word “engaging” tends to be overused. While there are plenty of articles which aim to describe this nebulous subject, how many actually take the time to provide you with a viable framework? In order to save a significant amount of time, here is a four-step process that can help to ensure that your content is able to truly outshine the masses:
- Begin with a snappy and enticing headline.
- Summarise the content of the article within the introduction.
- Embed media within the post.
- Include a clear and confident call to action.
Try to remember that the majority of potential customers will not take the time to read through every sentence of an online article. This is why engendering a sense of interest is essential.
To COVID or Not to COVID?
This is a rather contentious subject which deserves to be clarified. Some companies have shied away from being associated with COVID-19 in any way, shape or form. They believe that such a connotation will somehow reflect negatively upon their website and the associated content. This is one of the biggest mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
Whether palatable or not, the fact of the matter is that words such as “COVID” and “coronavirus” are some of the most predominant search terms in this day and age. This is why it makes little sense to avoid their presence from an SEO point of view. However, there is an important caveat to mention here before moving on.
Not all content will benefit from mentioning this current health scenario. This is ultimately determined by whether or not the material in question can somehow be related back to the terms themselves. Let’s take a look at the right and wrong way to incorporate COVID-19 into a specific topic:
- Thanks to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the need for online dietary supplements is more pronounced than ever before.
- Looking to avoid COVID-19 and to remain healthy? Try our dietary supplements!
As we can see, there is a major difference between stating a fact and making unrealistic promises simply to entice potential customers. While there is nothing wrong with embedding COVID-19 references within your content, make sure that it is relevant.
Always Remember Your Content Marketing Pipeline
A final consideration involves how your content pipeline might have to be slightly modified in order to accommodate the post-COVID retail community. Also known as an engagement funnel, the main purpose of this framework is to provide you with the insight required to make any changes as may be fit. However, we need to acknowledge that the conversion process (from reader to engaged prospect) is likely to take on an increased sense of rapidity due to the “revenge buying” mentioned earlier. What does this ultimately signify for the pipeline itself?
Simply stated, you will need to continually analyse which posts are garnering the lion’s share of interest. You can then capitalise upon this material in order to curate relevant offshoots that will be liked and shared within the online community. While this may require a bit of trial and error, the results are certainly worth the effort.
More of the Same (with Slight Modifications)
The good news is that you will not be obliged to revamp your entire approach to content creation. However, decisive actions may still need to be taken if you hope to leverage the opportunities to be found within the digital community. COVID-19 has had an indelible impact on our society. Why not make the most out of the positive aspects of this situation so that your business can ascend to the next level?
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About our authorRon first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.