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During widespread crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic, companies need to address internal and external issues quickly and with nuance. Even though the crisis at-hand may be outside of your control, you will be scrutinized for how you respond (or don’t).
Your content marketing channels – including your blog and social media – are among the most important platforms to utilize during these times. They should serve as a go-to resource for clients and other stakeholders seeking timely and relevant information about your operations or strategic shifts in conducting business.
Businesses can leverage content marketing to keep their networks informed and engaged during such times of upheaval. Here’s how to ramp up your efforts with care and sensitivity:
Provide Another Route to Find Answers – Beyond Your Customer Service Team
Your business’s blog houses a library of knowledge for prospective clients and brand loyalists alike. In a crisis, many will turn to your blog or social media for reliable, up-to-date information on how your business is responding to the crisis, how operations may change and how they might be directly affected.
If your team is overwhelmed with customer questions (as they frequently are during a crisis), your content can serve as an effective customer service tool. You might build an editorial calendar based on FAQs, write blogs to answer these questions or respond to concerns and then promote the information on social media. This gives your customers an additional route to get the important information they need – and frees up your team for other high-priority tasks. In fact, proactive content marketing might be part of your company’s crisis response plan. If your company doesn’t have a crisis response plan, seriously consider developing one for future issues that may arise.
Offer an Expert Perspective and Invaluable Insight
During a global crisis, put your industry expertise at the forefront. For instance, if you provide financial services, you might provide insightful financial tips for families facing a recession. If you sell software, you can highlight the ways your technology keeps businesses up and running in a remote environment.
In addition, be a force for good – especially on the internet, where misinformation spreads like wildfire. Your content should link back to reliable sources (such as the CDC or World Health Organization), and reiterate recommendations or information originally distributed by experts who are facing this pandemic on the frontlines.
Remember to keep your content customer-focused, empathetic and thoughtful. Unless your product or service directly benefits consumers dealing with the crisis, you may want to avoid overly promotional language since it can come off as insensitive during stressful times.
Fortify Trust and Leadership
Don’t completely disappear during times of crisis; retain and build trust with your networks through consistent and professional communication. Opportunities to connect may include:
- Create a webpage or online portal with educational articles, videos and other resources that help your clients respond to the swiftly changing and tense news cycle.
- Promote a series of infographics on social media highlighting common FAQs you’re receiving in the midst of the crisis.
- Showcase video snippets of company leaders outlining action plans and offering personalized guidance to your customers.
Many businesses may be forced to pivot in the coming weeks or months as our economy shifts and priorities change. Implementing a sustainable and nimble content marketing strategy is a vital aspect of continued digital communications to keep both internal and external audiences informed.
Aker Ink is known for approaching crises with the appropriate thought and strategy to minimize repercussions, communicate necessary information effectively and continue to achieve business goals. Find out more about our crisis communications and content marketing services.