Let’s face it, global pandemics are a bad thing. But, despite Twitter saying: “coronavirus is not a marketing opportunity” – if you’re a marketer or a business owner, it’s time to view the coronavirus lockdown as an opportunity to outsmart your competition and put the foundations in for serious future growth.
Thye whole GrowTraffic team is working from home today just to be on the safe side and there’s an eerie quiet on the main roads as it seems a lot of people are choosing to do the same.
At GrowTraffic we are lucky the team can work from home, not only does it give our employees huge amounts of flexibility, but it also means we can weather the storm of a global pandemic. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have the same luxury as we do at GT. This coronavirus COVID-19 is seriously impacting on everyday life and it’s having a big impact on the economy.
You’re probably thinking the only businesses out there likely to benefit from coronavirus are toilet roll manufacturers, dust mask suppliers and big pharma, but can your business benefit from it too? As your competitors’ teams are all working from home, working reduced hours, taking sick leave and as your competitors’ orders are slowing down, it’s likely they are going to start thinking about what parts of their business’ usual activity they should slow down too. Often marketing is one of the first things to go.
And this is where you’ve got a chance to start stepping up your marketing activities. I’m talking about using digital marketing generally and content marketing specifically.
I can already see the comments coming in that I’m completely unethical, but this isn’t new advice. It’s always been known that the best time for many businesses to break into a market is by marketing during a recession. Well, 2020’s coronavirus offers those same economic fluctuations. Get to it.
But I’m not talking about doing any old kind of marketing here, I’m specifically saying now is the time to up your content marketing output. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do those direct response pieces but I am saying content marketing and specifically, inbound content marketing is ripe in these times.
And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there has been a growth in content marketing searches that coincide with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic:
Of course, in part that’s because GrowTraffic is an SEO and content marketing agency, but it’s also because of the nature of content marketing.
There are several factors that go into making a content marketing campaign successful and one of those is velocity. What I mean by velocity is the regularity of output. Countless times I’ve seen successful businesses who actively use content marketing as part of their marketing activity just completely stop. At first, this isn’t a bad thing and often they’ll continue to see traffic growing from the content that they’ve already produced. But guess what? Over time that traffic will slow down, stall and then start to drop. During that time other competitors have a chance to take their dominant position in the SERPs through content marketing and because of Google is looking for stability in their index it’s completely possible for a new business to come in and a chunk amount of voice in the market. Best of all, if you keep on carrying out your content marketing activities when your competitors decide to start again, they aren’t going to take back what they’ve gained they’ll just have to share it with you.
In addition to taking a significant share of voice and reach from your competitors as they slow down or stop their marketing activities, you should also be able to provide information about the impact of the pandemic to your customers. Topical posts (like this one) are great chances to reach out to people who have never heard of your business and who in the grand scheme of things aren’t likely to either, you’ve got to be careful and do it in the right way. People are dying from the coronavirus and that’s why many brands have been steering clear from featuring it too much, but even so, this feels like an opportunity rather than profiteering. Launching a campaign as Pornhub did is probably still going that bit too far and it’s left them open to criticism!
So where are you going to start?
First of all, you need to make sure you understand the type of content your customers and potential customers want to read. Then you need to understand where that content fits within your customers’ buying journey. Pro tip here, don’t create loads of content in the awareness phase – any fool can do that. Concentrate on creating content that’s largely in the consideration phase, this is where the real benefits of content marketing are – especially if you’re reliant on this as an inbound activity.
The next thing you’re going to want to do is to create a content calendar. Remember you are trying to take advantage of the downtime caused by a global pandemic, which will only last until summer at the latest. So you’re going to need to act fast and go heavy here. Think about how you can create a lot of content to get yourself started. I’m a firm believer that there is a critical mass when it comes to inbound content marketing. It’s different for every industry. Front-load your content creation, stick a load of resource into it now and get it live, then once you’ve got a decent knowledge bank of content up an on your website’s blog section, it’s time to regularly add to it.
With the exception of picking the topics you’re going to write about, don’t think too much about it just get the stuff live. Remember if something really takes off and is getting loads of traffic you can always go back to it and improve it later on.
Remember, I’m not saying this is a quick fix because it’s not. Content marketing is a medium-term marketing strategy with long term benefits. You’re going to need to be committing to around 12 to 18 months worth of activity to really start to see the benefit and once you’re on the merry-go-round you’re going to need to stay on it. But the coronavirus does offer an opportunity, the likes of which we’ve not seen since the last recession in 2008, to take a big chunk out of your competitors. This is a sure way to set yourself up for success in the coming years by laying the foundations for your online traffic growth and increased customer acquisition.
Whilst many businesses have got some internal resource, most businesses don’t. So if you want to start taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic and really start going to town with out-marketing your competitors, let us know. We’re an SEO and content marketing agency with a track record of achieving huge amounts of traffic growth from our inbound content marketing activities. To find out how we can help with your SEO and content marketing please get in touch now.