Business audiences have been looking for online content more than ever before. They seek insights to help them navigate the crisis. Some consulting firms have transformed remarkably well and geared up their online presence, while others have been struggling to do so.
We’ve outlined the key principles for effective content creation in times of crisis:
It can be difficult to know the proper message to convey in times of crisis. What position should we take? What is important to our clients? How often should we share content? Companies may feel overwhelmed by these questions and may decide to hide from view. Doing so is very risky; it leaves the gap wide open for your competitors to move into the space you leave behind.
Here are two reasons why companies should stay visible in a crisis:
- It builds trust. Your clients are going through difficult times, with many of them looking for guidance from thought leaders. Producing content that empathizes with your audience, and gives practical advice to guide their decision-making results in increased trust and stronger relationships.
- It strengthens your position post-crisis. Research has shown that those who stay visible during tough economic times will rebound more quickly when things start to recover. Use this momentum to position yourself as the trusted advisor, and you’ll reap the benefits post-crisis as well.
Listen To Your Audience
The needs of your audience are changing rapidly. Firms often make assumptions about what their audience would like to read without any input from their audience. Fact is, you probably don’t understand your audiences as well as you did before the crisis. This poses a huge risk: producing content that is perceived as irrelevant or off-key will hurt a brand more than it does good.
Instead, whenever conversing with a client or prospect, ask them which subjects they’d like to read about. This ensures that your content will be relevant to your audience in each stage of the crisis. Discussing recovery subjects when your audience is not ready for that will make you lose them. But discussing ‘old’ crisis subjects, and you will be seen as slow and irrelevant. Therefore, client interactions serve as a vehicle to ensure perfect timing with your content. Moreover, it will strengthen your client relationships; your clients will appreciate your gesture of creating content that fit their current needs.
How much articles have you recently seen on how to work remotely? Currently, there is a lot of content being published that all say similar things. If your audience perceives your content as interchangeable with your competitors’ content, then people will quickly forget about it. It will hurt your reputation as a thought leader.
Here’s what to do instead:
- Avoid the clichés. One-liners such as ‘’We’re living in unprecedented times’’ have passed their expiry date. These worn-out phrases will undermine your content pieces and will do more harm than good.
- Include both short-term and long-term topics. While one portion of your audience focuses on the short term, the other portion may be occupied with topics that look beyond the crisis. Therefore, it’s important to have a solid mix of content pieces that covers the entire range of your audience’s interest.
- Think one step ahead. Thought leaders don’t follow the herd. Instead, they look ahead and ask themselves how they can contribute with new and relevant insights. Having regular client interactions will validate your assumptions about new topics and insights to ensure relevancy.
- Repurpose existing content. There’s no need to create brand new content every time. Like most companies, you probably already own a lot of content. Have a look at past articles and presentations and take interesting text snippets or images to create a LinkedIn post, for instance. You can also share recent news articles that could be relevant to your audience. Don’t forget to include a few lines with your take away or opinion on the shared news article.