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How to create content during lockdown

Isla Mercer

Project Manager at Shaw

With no face to face contact, communicating with your customers and reaching out to new ones can be tough during lockdown, but a global survey by Kantar of more than 35,000 people found that just 8% of them thought brands should stop advertising. Your customers still want to hear from you, so now is the time to think creatively about how you can best communicate with them.

So, what is content marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” In other words, it’s assets a brand creates that don’t specifically have the message ‘buy me now’ but instead give reason for a potential customer to build a relationship with a brand to build loyalty and encourage a long-term sales partnership.

Content marketing can include:

• Social Media
• Blogs or news posts
• Videos
• Podcasts
• Email marketing
• E-books
• Webinars

While it can be very time consuming to consistently create great content, its importance shouldn’t be undervalued as it builds a good rapport between you and your customer, makes your business seem more credible and your product/service desirable. Trying to create exciting, new and engaging content can be extra tough while we’re in lockdown, but it isn’t impossible.

One easy way to engage with your audience and create a whole lot of content, though it’s difficult to control the quality, is by asking people to share content with you. If you make a food product you could ask people to post their favourite recipes, if you’re in the tourism sector you could ask people to share their favourite memory about the area you’re in. This not only provides you with a bank of content you can build into your content marketing schedule, it also encourages customers to actively engage with you, which builds a relationship with them.

That leads us on to a very useful tactic in content marketing, recycling. Obviously, re-sharing things gets boring very quickly, but you can be clever about how you do it. Maybe by sharing across a different platform – email vs. social media or by using things like #throwbackthursday on Instagram which allows you to bring up older posts that you think might be interesting to your audience now. You can also have a look at older blog posts and see if you could re-write them to make them more relevant to what’s currently happening in your industry, or the world in general.

Sharing everything you do across all your platforms probably isn’t for the best as you’re likely to have quite different audiences using these platforms for different purposes. Perhaps save your longer, educational blogs for LinkedIn and your beautiful imagery for Instagram.

Now more than ever, people are looking for educational content online. Cement yourself as an expert in your industry by providing educational and inspiring content via blog posts or if you’ve got some extra time, why not try a new medium like webinars or podcasts?

Lockdown has provided quite a change in the images we normally see on social media and for businesses, it can be a nice way to show the people the background to your product/service. Creating behind the scenes posts if you’re still working may seem dull to you, but for others it’s really interesting to see how things are made. A simple video shot on a mobile phone could give a little insight into the process behind the product. It could also be an opportunity of you to introduce more of your team, including fun ways you’re working/keeping from boredom to showcase the personalities of your business, and ultimately your brand.

Another way to show some of your business’s personality is to take part in a social media challenge. The trick is to find one that fits with your brand, but there are loads out there to choose from. From the Getty Challenge, where people try to re-create famous paintings from things they find around their house, to the various TikTok dance challenges that seem to have exploded in popularity over the past few weeks. These are fun for your customer to see and could be fun for you and your team to make as well.

If you’re still not sure where to begin, or don’t have the time to create great content as often as you’d like, get in touch and we’d be happy to help.