Content has become a catch-all answer for businesses everywhere who want to improve their marketing strategy. Content marketing is the art of posting online material that generates an interest in your brand without explicitly promoting it. Pivoting a content plan involves understanding what message you're currently sending your customers, and what the message is that you actually want to send.
This concept of content marketing has become especially important as businesses have had to quickly adapt to COVID-related matters. From web pages to emails, it can be difficult to manage a strategy based on an ever-evolving situation.
Whether you're thinking of pivoting because your business has fundamentally changed in the short-term, or you're brainstorming a new approach, we'll give you a few tips to get started.
1. Think About Your Customers
Content is all about your customers. It's about understanding what they're looking for. Ultimately though, this can mean different things for different businesses. If you're fulfilling your passions in a one-man enterprise, customers may just want to share in your talents and success. But more often than not, they're looking for you to solve a problem.
What kind of information should you be sharing? In terms of views and conversions, here’s what you should be aiming for:
- Tutorial videos
- Blogs/articles featuring new research
- Product demos
- Product reviews
- Entertaining infographics
You may not have your own podcast or a series of video interviews, but there should be a structural narrative or theme that holds what you do have together. The problem is that the importance of content is no secret, which means that everyone's on the same bandwagon. Standing out means communicating with your target demographic better than your competitors are.
2. Consider Your Value
What kind of value are you adding to your customers' lives? If you're marketing during COVID, are you able to offer them a way to protect themselves from getting sick? A way to entertain themselves while at home?
These questions can help you decide if it's time to pivot your strategy. If your business is currently in a slump right now, it may not get very much attention while you’re pivoting. This could be viewed as a positive or a negative. On the plus side, it can give you a chance to tweak your message for when things do start to ramp up again. You just need to be careful if it's somehow misinterpreted by the customers who are still interested in your brand.
When it comes to the most valuable forms of content, most experts agree that video is king and is likely to remain so. Having a good video strategy is the best way to demonstrate your value while entertaining your customers. This can create stronger connections with your brand.
3. Ask What Exactly Has Changed for Your Business
This is a question that is not always easy to figure out. If you're a restaurant owner, you're likely struggling with how your customers will react to new guidelines. But the real question is how you will cope with the new restrictions. As they shrink and expand to fit health officials' expectations, your message needs to highlight your flexibility in the face of these challenging times and why you're committed to putting safety first.
Look at past and present keyword searches for clues to shifting behavior patterns. If searchers are looking for ways to keep a schedule during quarantine, you should be shifting your message to talk about where your product or service fits into this.
4. Start a Conversation
Content is not just information, it’s an avenue to begin a conversation. Here are a few ways to generate dialogue:
- Express your gratitude
- Provide honest opinions on a relevant topic
- Ask open-ended questions
- Request feedback
- Show a little empathy
This tip can be tricky because you can easily find yourself in controversy territory when it comes to generating a conversation. Arguments are not inherently bad for your brand though, you just need to keep driving home the value that your business provides.
If you're not in touch with your customers on a daily basis, consider consulting with colleagues who do have face-to-face interactions with them. They can likely help you fill in the blanks so you can start taking steps.
5. Don't Do a 180°
Your customers are likely to become confused or annoyed if they think that you've made a hard right with your business. This is especially true if they were satisfied customers of your business in the first place!
There should be certain points that are non-negotiable for you. For example, your products are still environmentally-friendly, even if they’re new and improved. From there, you can work those overarching points into a new approach that will keep people on their toes without making them feel as though you've abandoned your company values.
Here are a few questions that can clarify your shift:
- If you presented this to a current customer, would they quickly understand the change you're making and why you're making it?
- Are customers aware of what action they need to take and is that action relatively easy to take?
- Have you found a concise way to update your content for today's audiences so they feel seen in the midst of a shifting world?
At the end of the day, getting the right message out in your new content plan depends on you having the right tools in place to accomplish your goals. If you have questions about how to shift your content strategy and improve your inbound strategy, or how to utilize digital tools to improve your outreach, ManoByte is here to help.