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Corona Content Marketing (CCM): A Brave New World

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”

– John F. Kennedy

We are truly living through unprecedented times. Gone are the days when concerns such as a slight fluctuation in the Forex marketplace or a decision made by the Trump administration sent shocks across the major news outlets. Headlines are now dominated by words such as “quarantine”, “social distancing” and “lockdown”. While there is no doubt that the global COVID-19 pandemic has already taken a massive toll on our sense of normality, the fact of the matter is that the term “business as usual” no longer applies. Countless firms are struggling to make ends meet thanks to a worldwide economic downturn while some brick-and-mortar enterprises have already been forced to close their doors for an undetermined amount of time.

What does this signal for the world of e-commerce and online content marketing? How can digital business owners supersede the situations mentioned above? Before we attempt to answer these questions, it is important to take a look at some surprising observations in regards to why owning an online business could actually provide you with a relative sense of insulation from such volatility.

The Benefits of an Online Enterprise During Times of Crisis

According to statistics compiled at the beginning of April, well over three billion individuals are locked down to some degree. It is now likely that this figure has risen close to half of the global population. It is, therefore, no surprise that traditional purchases have been put on hold for the foreseeable future. A handful of industries which have been hit the hardest include:¨

  • Airlines and travel agencies
  • Shipping and transportation
  • Hotels and accommodations
  • The retail sector

Of course, this list will continue to grow in direct proportion to the scope and extent of the pandemic. Retail shops have already suffered from this situation, and the ugly truth is that (as of yet), governments are not certain when such restrictions may begin to ease.

However, we also need to appreciate the immutable fact that every cloud has a silver lining. Some of the firms which are set to perform quite well during the coronavirus outbreak include:

  • Amazon and Amazon Prime
  • eBay
  • AliExpress

There are several reasons behind these observations. The most obvious is the fact that consumers are able to purchase goods and services from the comfort of their own homes. Furthermore, it is quite easy to browse through countless categories, and the prices encountered via such portals are often substantially reduced when compared to traditional retail outlets. It is therefore clear to see why online businesses are currently set to supplicate their brick-and-mortar counterparts to an extent; at least for the time being.

Statistics Do Not Lie

Without downplaying the obviously negative consequences being felt throughout the physical retail community, it is still important to highlight recent statistics which clearly illustrate a trend towards the e-commerce sector. Here is some interesting data collated by Digital Commerce 360:

  • Online orders within the United States have increased by 56 per cent in the past two months.
  • The e-commerce growth associated with the Asia-Pacific region has increased by 78 per cent.
  • Online orders throughout Western and Central Europe increased by 48 per cent between March and early April.

Of course, we have known for quite some time that the popularity of the online retail sector has been expanding at what can only be called a breakneck pace. It is therefore ironic that an international crisis could very well drive sales and conversions through the (digital) roof.

Another critical point to mention here involves the duration of this current COVID-19 outbreak. Indeed, there is no clean and sure-fire exit strategy. Even experts within the medical community agree that it will be months before the majority of restrictions begin to lift. Considering the fact that some portions of the world such as Africa, India and Latin America have yet to feel the full brunt of this pandemic, we are without a doubt in it for the long haul.

This is why we need to look at the long-term results of such a paradigm shift. Shoppers who become extremely comfortable purchasing items online are likely to embrace this very same habit even when restrictions and lockdown measures are eased. This is why those who currently own an online business need to appreciate the potential opportunities at their disposal. If they are capable of leveraging the appropriate content marketing solutions, they will be able to meet the demands of an increasingly interconnected global marketplace. What are some sure-fire methods to embrace and perhaps more importantly, how can Textbroker provide a bit of much-needed momentum to your current strategies?

Another String to the Content Marketing Bow

SEO, PPC, CRM, and CTA. These are a handful of the acronyms found within the “alphabet soup” of online content marketing. We will now include CCM (Corona Content Marketing) within this esteemed list. As you may have already guessed, the methods associated with CCM will be slightly different when compared to approaches attributed to a state of normalcy.

The first thing to emphasise is that the underlying SEO principles will remain more or less the same. You still need to identify your target market and to appreciate their unique needs. You will have to employ multiple sales channels in order to boost your online SERP exposure as well as to reach as many individuals within this demographic as possible. As always, issues such as client engagement and offering quality products are paramount to your success. Having said this, some new variables will need to enter into the equation. Let us take a look at each in greater detail.

Providing a Human Touch

Successful content marketing is all about the end-user; regardless of the global state of affairs. Any robust online company needs to embrace what can only be called a rather humanist approach if they hope to retain their clients. This notion is now more important than ever before, as the majority of consumers are worried about the current state of affairs. This is why the professionals at Think With Google have outlined a handful of useful strategies to incorporate within your online marketing campaign:

  • Proactively address customer concerns.
  • Offer relevant solutions to their problems.
  • Provide organic content that is laden with a sense of optimism.

There is no better time than the present to develop and grow real-time client relationships by espousing a decidedly proactive stance. If you can then tie this sentiment together with proven SEO techniques, the chances are high that you will enjoy a higher degree of brand loyalty over time.

Content Creation During Crisis Management

Take a moment to recall the financial crisis of 2008. More than 200,000 businesses in the United States alone failed due to their inability to adapt to changing times. Now, multiply this number by 15 or 20 to begin to appreciate what the world may experience in the coming months. While an oak tree may possess deep roots and a thick trunk, it will often founder during high winds. On the contrary, a blade of wheat possesses the flexibility to survive even the strongest of tempests. This is the very same quality which your online enterprise needs to embrace through the use of proactive content marketing.

Referring back to the notion of “Corona Content Management” mentioned earlier, this method will begin by developing material that is relevant for the current global state of play. Let us imagine for a moment that you work within the travel sector. Which of these two titles will resonate more with current readers?

  • “Your Top Mediterranean Travel Destinations for Summer 2020”
  • Planning Ahead: The Best Mediterranean Holidays to Consider Once the Coronavirus Has Run Its Course”

The first title is irrelevant at best and obtuse at worst. The second proposal clearly illustrates that the company in question appreciates the present situation and yet, still wishes to provide its readers with valuable information. To put it simply, content creation needs to embrace a modicum of hopeful realism as opposed to blind stubbornness. Current and potential customers will undoubtedly appreciate this pragmatically hopeful approach.

Addressing the Question of Evergreen Content

One of the most well-known SEO strategies is to employ evergreen content thanks to its long-term value. However, we are living in a brave new world. Content that is curated in this manner could very well cause the business in question to appear out of touch with reality. On the contrary, it is much better to incorporate the outbreak within your articles and presentations (in a tasteful manner, of course). Here are two more examples of how an online retailer could leverage this strategy to its advantage:

  • Why Our Vitamin D Supplements Can Benefit the Immune System.
  • Top Tips for Staying Fit at Home During the Next Few Weeks.

Although both of these topics can be viewed as short-term advertising campaigns, the fact of the matter is that their relevance within today’s world will undoubtedly appeal to the end-user. Furthermore, they are addressing real-world problems and solutions.

The Changing Face of Search Engine Optimisation

SEO terms can often be viewed as some of the most accurate “barometers” of consumer sentiment. For example, the long-tail term “how to invest in gold” was trending during the 2008 financial crisis while queries such as “North Korea” and “Bitcoin price” reflected the global state of affairs in 2018. It should therefore come as no surprise that search queries linked to coronavirus have now taken centre stage. According to the Search Engine Journal, some of the most trending terms include:

  • How to clean produce.
  • How to wash hands.
  • How to buy stocks.
  • Boredom during self-isolation.

Of course, your online enterprise might not be related to any of these search terms. It is still important to note that you should take COVID-19 into account when determining the appropriate keywords. For instance, the phrase “self-isolation” can normally be related to a host of online products and services (such as the benefits of a new online MMORPG during the current outbreak). You could instead employ “quarantine” when marketing a pair of glasses intended for those who work from home and are worried about straining their eyes when viewing computer screens for hours at a time. As always, thinking outside of the box is the best way to ensure that your branding and content are able to remain relevant.

Innovation, Adaptation and Flexibility

The bottom line is that the coronavirus and its associated effects will be felt far into the future. As we are entering into completely uncharted territory, even the most seasoned of analysts are unsure of its breadth and scope. While we cannot overstate the human impact that this pandemic is exerting, we need to keep in mind that life goes on. The ability to curate content that is able to resonate with the end-user while still extolling the benefits of your online business could very well represent the difference between success and failure.

The professional authors at Textbroker are likewise not immune to the present situation, and as always, we will be here to help you in any way possible. During such uncertain times, it is much better to become proactive as opposed to reactive. This too, shall pass.

About our author

Ron 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.

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