There’s one question on almost everybody’s mind right now – when will the lockdown end? Unfortunately, we can’t give you a definitive answer to that. But what we can do is help you and your business adapt to life after the lockdown.
Making your mark with engaging content
With so many aspects of business taking a backseat during the Covid-19 lockdown, now’s the perfect time to get creative. The best way to unleash that creativity and build upon the strength of your brand or business is to start preparing a content strategy for when lockdown comes to an end.
Content comes in many forms, but no matter what form that may be, content it fills a significant role in every part of your online presence. It helps to determine how your business or brand is represented across a variety of different platforms, and perhaps most importantly, it’s one of the main ingredients for actually getting people to discover and explore your website.
With all of this time locked away inside, you can really begin to focus on developing a way to utilise your content to help you, your business and everyone else to recover from this life-changing situation we’re in right now. A post-lockdown content strategy is the perfect way to do this, so let’s take a look at the things to consider and how to go about preparing one.
The world is a very different place right now
That difference is one of the biggest things to think about when planning your content strategy. We can already see and experience those changes during this difficult time. The ecommerce world has had to adapt to a drastic transformation that has resulted in severe declines in traffic for many industries.
Two of the hardest-hit industries are tourism and luxury goods due to strict travel restrictions and the current uncertainty surrounding many aspects of life. However, some industries have also seen an astronomical traffic increase. Supermarkets have recently been leading the way with a general traffic increase of over 260% and page views by over 310% on average in the UK (based on data from 06/04/2020 to 12/04/2020 compared with the end of January and beginning of February). – Up-to-date stats can be found here .
When lockdown ends, that traffic distribution is going to change again. We can’t necessarily predict exactly which way that it will go as human behaviour and future events/situations will have an obvious effect. But from a content point of view, we can begin to create a solid foundation that will help to begin restoring faith and normality into all of our lives, as well as gaining more success for your business.
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Let the planning begin
Despite the differences imposed by the coronavirus situation, planning an effective content strategy still requires some key fundamentals to be addressed;
- Have a clear idea about your desired audience and objectives – knowing who you want to talk to, how you want to address that audience and what you want your content to achieve (e.g. create leads, generate sales, increase e-newsletter sign-ups) will define how you create both your content and your overall plan.
- Think about key points you may want to talk about or touch upon and what channels you intend to use for your planned strategy, this includes calls to action (CTAs) to help give readers a direction or task for when they’ve finished reading. Knowing your channels also helps with the next point:
- Decide how much content you realistically feel your company will be able to produce throughout the duration of your plan and consider a schedule for publishing your content (daily, weekly, monthly etc.). Many social media platforms (e.g. Buffer, Hootsuite) and websites/content management systems (e.g. WordPress, BigCommerce) will allow you to put an automatic schedule in place for publishing your content, taking away the manual requirements for publishing things yourself in real-time. If you want to keep things under manual control, consider creating a content calendar that you’re able to stick to and possibly even reference in your content too.
- Analyse your target audience. Both their current and predicted behaviours will provide a great overview of useful marketing channels for your content strategy. Utilising data and information from previous strategies with regards to how people interacted with your content, where they found it, and what they did after engaging with it will provide some useful information. For instance, by looking at popular blogs with a high exit% in Google Analytics would suggest that CTAs need to be improved to keep users on your website. However, some of that behaviour may differ throughout the lockdown and when lockdown lifts, so adapt your strategy to suit these potential differences.
- Consider the keywords you may need to target within your content and ensure that they are suitable for your target audience as well as being relevant to your products and/or services. Many individuals may be searching for things that they wouldn’t have been able to obtain (or be concerned by) during the lockdown as life slowly begins to return to normality.
- Repurpose. If you happen to have any previous content that is relevant to your new post-lockdown strategy, see what you could possibly review and recycle. Re-purposing relevant content for new platforms or types of content is a great way to publish information that can be tied in with your new strategy without having to create everything from scratch. For example, a previous blog could be turned into an interesting infographic and podcast.
- Start looking at the content that your competitors are producing and publishing. Currently, the content may be more relevant to the lockdown itself, but more and more content that is designed for after the lockdown will begin to appear more often as time goes on. Following your competitors’ social media channels, newsletters, and other activities will give you inspiration whilst setting a benchmark for your strategy. Don’t plagiarise content in any way, but investigate your competitors’ content, get inspired, and make yours better!
- Think about how and where you’re actually going to distribute and publish your content (aside from the intended schedule). For example, you could be planning to publish multiple posts on a daily basis, but you need people to actually be able to find it effectively. The previously-mentioned keyword analysis will definitely help with regards to ensuring your content will rank well in search engine results, but you should definitely consider other channels that could be utilised to give your content the exposure it deserves. This is where your target audience research will really start to come in handy, as you’ll be able to see which distribution channels your audience is using to interact with content during the lockdown.
It’s time to start creating
You’re starting to have a solid plan in place now, so you’re ready to start producing your content. You don’t have to wait for the lockdown to end to begin producing it (unless any planned pieces are situation-specific). It’s a great idea to produce a collection of content before you plan to publish it, meaning you won’t need to panic when your scheduled publish dates come around. Plus, this gives you more time to analyse the performance of your content after publishing and allocate your resources elsewhere.
There are a few things to consider regardless of the content you plan to produce. Whether you’re creating podcasts, blog posts, photos, videos, product content, infographics, or anything else, take these factors into consideration to increase the chances of your strategy being successful;
- Your tone of voice is important. Chances are, you’ve already poured a great deal of time and resources into building an image or a personality for your business or brand. Establishing a tone of voice that reflects that personality is a great way to maintain trust and relationships with existing customers/followers. Your tone of voice will also reflect your target audience, so think about a tone that your audience is going to engage with. But on top of the advice regarding a best-practice approach to producing your content, you need to remember that your voice represents you. Don’t be scared to put your own stamp on what you produce, because being unique is what makes you stand out against your competitors.
- Formatting and design will have an enormous influence on how engaged your audience will be. The aspects to focus on will obviously differ between formats, but making sure that your content is easy to interact with whilst looking/sounding great will be much more appealing to people. But for written content, making sure your text is formatted well is just as important as the quality of the writing itself. It also means that key elements of your content (such as CTAs) are much easier to emphasize.
- Make sure you and at least one other person proof-read or check your content. It’s easy to miss mistakes, particularly with written pieces when you’re written them yourself. Having your content checked by another individual means you’ll have a fresh pair of eyes that could catch any typos, extra spaces or other mistakes.
Now that you’ve got plenty of tips to create your post-lockdown content strategy, use your time to get creative and produce a powerful plan as well as an array of content to bring hope and normality back to your business in the coming months!
However, if you’re looking for some additional assistance, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out how we can help.
We can provide an initial FREE consultation over Zoom or your preferred video conferencing provider at this time, or organise a face-to-face meeting once the lockdown comes to an end.