26th March 2020

The coronavirus and your content strategy

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We’ve spent many an hour, discussing and deliberating (remotely), our own digital content strategy.

The widespread arrival of the coronavirus means we’re in such an unprecedented situation, that to be honest, it’s difficult to know what the best advice is.

I’ve observed from afar how companies (large and small) have behaved digitally during the crisis, and will continue to do so with great interest, as the epidemic intensifies.

The spread of the disease doesn’t mean that your digital content strategy has to be completely put on hold though.

And so, through reading and monitoring over the last few weeks, I think it’s worth considering the following five tips, so that you can guide your digital content strategy through these unchartered coronavirus waters.

1. Stick to clear messaging

You probably aren’t able to post content as regularly as you were three/four weeks ago, but that shouldn’t overly concern you, because it impacts the vast majority of us. So, don’t fight that. Accept it.

What you must do, is make the tone and clarity of your output straight to the point and as helpful, clear and informative as possible. Empathise with the audience, and letting them know you’re there, is always a good start.

2. Interact via social

Described by one senior digital journalist as a “gossipy playground of disbelief” it’s also the first port of call for clients/customers.

Some of the best engagement over recent days has been from organisations that speak directly to their staff and customers. Answer questions, engage in conversation, but most important – listen – socially.

3. Don’t look to profit

There’s the “sell’ and then there’s the “hard sell”. People are anxious, vulnerable and concerned about the impact the coronavirus will have on them financially. The last thing any of us want to see are “special coronavirus offers” or people attempting to make a quick few quid out of the situation.

4. Regularly review and update your online contact information, listings and opening hours

If we aren’t quite in “lockdown” we may well be in the near future. Something as simple as keeping an eye on your basic on-site details and plans (if required), can provide people with peace of mind. At the very least, you’re being helpful.

5. Plan for the surge and recovery

Your digital content strategy might be on hold, but your online communications recovery plan can be shaping up now. Go back to the messaging point earlier, talk about what your plans are, how are you going to help, and base it on honest informative updates.

Afterall, there’s only so many times you can sit through an online quiz!

Tom McDermott